It’s probably a good thing that the majority of Toronto sports fans were watching the Leafs and the Raptors, and not looking behind the curtain at this Jays game that ended in a painful and forgettable 5-3 loss.
We had hoped the Red Sox and their struggling starter Ryan Weber would cure the Jays hitting woes, and looked to be the case right off the bat when Cavan Biggio rudely greeted Ryan Weber with a solo homer. Of course, that was the time I chose to go and switch over my laundry so I missed it, but it looked great (way over the green monster) on the replays. Bo Bichette then reached second on two errors by Rafael Devers, but ran into an out trying to make an aggressive play for third on a Tellez ground ball.
The second inning had another strong start. Randal Grichuk walked, but was caught in a strike ‘em out, throw ‘em out double play with Shaw at bat. This was especially painful when Teoscar Hernández (who for some truly bizarre reason, was batting 8th), hit a double.
The Jays scored another run in the 3rd. Biggio singled to lead off (keep him in the lead off spot forever plz) and Bo Bichette drove him home on a double that bounced off of a diving Devers. Two outs later, Vladdy walked but Grichuk grounded out.
Over two hours in, just as I was starting to doze off, the Jays scored a third run in the top of the 6th. Rowdy led off with a walk, and Vlad Guerrero Jr doubled off new pitcher Ryan Brasier. However, par for the course for the evening, Vlad ran into an out at third trying to squeeze an extra base. This proved to be extra painful when Grichuk singled right behind him.
The Jays had their chance to tie it up in the 8th. Tellez took a one-out walk off Matt Barnes, who was replaced by pinch runner Anthony Alford. With Vlad Jr at bat, Alford stole second. Vlad walked, and was replaced by pinch runner Billy McKinney. Alford then stole third but Grichuk grounded into a double play and it was all for naught.
Shaw hit an almost homer in the 9th, but Verdugo, who had a heck of a night, robbed it with a catch a couple feet into the bullpen. The Jays had so many opportunities to score, but somehow eight hits, six walks and two errors only yielded three runs. That’s some sort of skill (or lack of).
Tanner Roark was all over the place. In addition to his velo being down a few notches, he couldn’t find the strike zone. Roark gifted the Red Sox the same help with two walks to start the game, then got a fly out, then two more walks, walking in a run. Thankfully, Christian Vasquez hit into a double play.
Alex Verdugo greeted Roark to start the second by knocking a splitter that didn’t split over the green monster. Roark gave up a two run homer (and the lead) in the 3rd to Mitch Moreland, which would be the last inning he pitched.
Ryan Borucki pitched in the fourth as there were a few lefties coming up, and had a lone walk on a close call fourth pitch.
Jacob Waguespack, who was finally allowed to pitch, was handed the fifth and he retired three out of the four batters he faced. He also started the sixth, only getting one out and giving up a a walk and a single, before he was pulled for AJ Cole. Cole struck out Andrew Benintendi (who is having a super rough start to his season) and Devers to end the threat.
Cole also pitched a scoreless 7th, and turned in the best performance from a Jays pitcher that evening. He also had to throw a bunch of extra pitches when Vlad wasn’t able to catch two popups in a row in foul territory. A big league player needs to be able to make those catches. Rafael Dolis came in for the 8th, and was responsible for Verdugo’s second homer of the evening.
Jays of the Day: AJ Cole (+.141 WPA), Bichette (.104) and Alford came close with (.095)
Suckage: Grichuk (-0.299 WPA, for the GIDP), Roark (-.235 WPA), Jansen (-.188), Gurriel Jr (-.168) and Shaw (-.125). Basically all the GIDP and all the walks.
We had 594 comments in the GameThread. About the same number as minutes in that game. Alan F, like the Leafs, pulled out a victory.
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Up next: Chase Anderson makes his Blue Jays debut against former Blue Jay Zack Godley (it’s okay if you don’t remember that happening) at 7:30ET/4:30PT.