Normally forcing extra innings with the Red Sox in a game Chris Sale starts is about as good as an outcome you can hope for in the 2019 Blue Jays. However, this loss stung (who knew we could still feel disappointment at this point in the season?) because the Jays had a 5-1 lead in the 7th and somehow managed to give this game away.
By the time the Blue Jays made three outs in the first inning, they had scored two runs and Sale had thrown over 30 pitches - just like we all predicted. Sale had a very non-Chris Sale like outing, as he labored most of the game. He had one excellent inning in the 4th, but other than that, the Jays were keeping him off balance. He ended up pitching only five innings, giving up four runs (three earned), walking two and striking out eight (single digits!)
Eric Sogard (for ASG) had another excellent game, with four hits and a stolen base. He started off with an 11 pitch at bat against Sale, and ended up with a well earned single Andrew Benintendi couldn’t cleanly come up with. Two outs later, back-to-back walks to Teoscar Hernandez and Randal Grichuk loaded the bases for Freddy Galvis, who singled home both Sogard and Hernandez. It was an aggressive send from Luis Rivera, but one that paid off as it put the Jays up 2-0 early.
Sogard and Vlad both singled in the 2nd, but didn’t score. However, the Jays did score two more in the 3rd. Teoscar Hernandez reached on a ball Eduardo Nunez bobbled, and then Randal Grichuk launched a line drive high over the green monster (as 72% of GameThread voters predicted a Blue Jay would) to put the Jays up 4-0.
Grichuk and Galvis both singled in the 5th, and Sogard singled in the 6th, but they were all stranded. The Jays did score another run off Colten Brewer in the 7th. Hernandez walked (again), advanced to 2nd on a wild pitch, then scored on a Grichuk single. Drury and Sogard had back-to-back two-out singles in the 8th, but couldn’t score.
The Jays threatened in the 10th. Biggio had a pinch hit walk, and stole second (he was originally ruled out by the Jays challenged (!) and it was overturned). McKinney struck out on Biggio’s steal, then Rowdy Tellez pinch hit for Drury and was intentionally walked to bring up Eric Sogard. Sogard sadly grounded out to the pitcher, Brandon Workman, to end the threat.
All in all, the Jays collected 11 hits: Sogard had his 4, Grichuk had 3, Galvis had 2 and Drury and Vlad both had one. It should have been enough.
On the other end, Trent Thornton had a pretty decent outing. He ended up going 6 1⁄3 innings, giving up 2 earned runs, 1 walk and he struck out 7. He had a fair amount of base traffic in most of his innings, and gave up a bunch of hits (8), but they were almost exclusively singles that snuck through the gaps between infielders.
Thornton gave up his first run in the third. Andrew Benintendi led off with a single, then one out later, JD Martinez singled him to 3rd. Benintendi scored on a Brock Holt (\o/) sac fly. After a scoreless 6th, Thornton came back out for the 7th and gave up a one-out triple to Mookie Betts, ending his evening. The triple bounced off the edge of the wall on the bullpen triangle, which Teoscar most certainly was not going to catch. Tim Mayza came in and gave up a single to Benintendi, allowing Thornton’s inherited run to score.
This brought in Joe Biagini, who gave up a double to Xander Bogaerts. A wild pitch advanced Bogaerts to 3rd, and a single to JD Martinez cut the Jays’ lead to one run. Biagini got a double play ball from Holt to end the inning.
The Jays gave up the lead in the 8th. David Phelps gave up a one-out triple to Jackie Bradley Jr on a ball that Grichuk had trouble fishing out from under the outfield wall, and a red hot Rafael Devers pinch hit a single to score him. Phelps got the next two outs to keep the game tied.
Jordan Romano was spectacular in the 9th, striking out the side around a walk. Naturally, he was sent back out for the 10th and struck out the first two batters he faced there. However, Romano hit the third batter, Marco Hernandez, with a ball that also hit the umpire. This seemed to really rattle him as the next batter, Christian Vasquez, hit a walk off homer to mercifully end the over four hour affair.
Jays of the Day: Thornton (+.243 WPA), Grichuk (.165), Biggio (.100), Galvis (.092) and let’s give on to Sogard even though his high leverage ground out put him into the suckage territory (-.039)
Suckage: (This may be our longest list of the season *clears throat*) Romano (-.202), Phelps (-.174), Gurriel Jr (-.145), McKinney (-.136), Biagini (-.123) Guerrero Jr (-.115), and Jansen (-.105)
Next up: The Jays will have a bullpen day, which is not a great plan after two extra innings games. The Red Sox will send Brian Johnson and his 10.00 ERA to the mound. If that doesn’t compel you to tune in on a Saturday afternoon at 4pm ET...