Blue Jays 3 Rays 5
I like this scoring in the first inning thing. Of course, I’d like scoring in every inning, but beggars and choosers and all. But they had 8 innings to add to their total and didn’t. They gotta do better with the bats.
In the first, against opener Brent Honeywell, Cavan Biggio started things off with a hard-hit single. After strikeouts from Bo and Vlad, Rowdy Tellez singled. Then, a freshly shaved Randal Grichuk popped up the first pitch, foul but easily playable. Yandy Diaz had it go off his glove, giving Randal another chance (it wasn’t ruled an error, but it was an error). He hit the next pitch 407 feet.
Honeywell might have been put off his stride by a very long delay in deciding how to rule a popup that hit one of the catwalks at the wonderful place that is Tropicana (a few well-placed sticks of dynamic would do the world of good for that place).
For a long time, it looked like that would be enough.
Through 5 innings, Robbie Ray was terrific. Gave up just 4 hits, no walks. One of the hits was a Mike Zunino home run, but he was looking great, throwing almost all fastballs.
In the sixth, he gave up a hard-hit single to Randy Arzarena and, an out later, a home run to Mike Brosseau, tying the game. It was too bad. Ray was terrific. In total 6 innings, 6 hits, no walks, and 9 strikeouts. Both home runs were on breaking pitches.
We had all sorts of troubles against Rays ‘bulk man’ Ryan Yarbrough. He pitched 5.2, allowed just 3 hits, all singles, 1 walk with 6 strikeouts. And we didn’t have any more luck against the Rays pen.
Jordan Romano had a tough time in his first game back. Back-to-back walks to start the eighth, and really nothing close to a strike and then a rocket of a ground ball, right through the legs of Cavan Biggio (statcast has it at 109.1 mph, Cavan playing in, looking for the bunt, didn’t have much time to move, but called an error. Early in the game, an easy popout goes off the glove of the Rays first baseman wasn’t an error. I don’t understand official scorers). That scored one run, an excellent relay from Gurriel to Bichette to Kirk, got the trailing runner. A ground ball scored one more, and we were down two going into the ninth.
We had a shot in the bottom of the ninth. Cavan Biggio had a one-out double. But Bo ground out, and Vlad, who has been so locked in this year, swung wild at the first two pitches and ground out on the fourth.
We had 9 hits. The big one was Randal’s homer. Tellez had a rocket of a double in the eight (with one out, it would have been nice to score him), and Cavan doubled down the line in the ninth.
Cavan had 3 hits, one a ground ball the opposite way against the shift. Tellez had 2 hits.
0 fors went to Bo, Vlad, and Jonathan Davis (though he was just 0 for 2 with a hit by pitch).
Vlad’s streak of getting on base in every game this season ends. He didn’t look as good as he has, but he’s allowed an off-day now and then.
Tomorrow we have game three of the series with the Rays.
Jays of the Day: Grichuk (.258 WPA).
Suckage: Romano (-.305), Kirk (-.156), Vlad (-.150), and Bo (-.129).
We had 988 comments in the GameThread. DanyYouToHeck led us to crushing defeat.