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Panik and Guerrero homer, Jays beat Astros

Houston Astros v Toronto Blue Jays
Vlad is a big Monty Python fan. Here he is doing the Institute Funny Walks sketch.
Photo by Kevin Hoffman/Getty Images

Astros 2 Blue Jays 6

Lots to like about that game. Joe Panik hit a three-run homer when we really needed one, and Vladimir Guerrero had a two-run shot the next inning. Lourdes Gurriel threw Myles Straw at the plate, on a single to left. Ross Stripling allowed just 1 run in 5 innings (even though he gave up 7 hits and seemed to be in trouble in most of the innings). And the bullpen did a nice job.

If you missed Lourdes throw, I honestly didn’t think he had a chance at getting the out (and by the looks of things, Straw didn’t either).

Stripling had two base runners in the first. Two in the third. Four in the fourth (with the run-scoring against him on a bases-loaded walk, and putting Ross in jeopardy of being pulled early). And one more in the fifth. So he wasn’t totally dominant but he made the pitches when he needed to.

Stripling also hit Aledmys Diaz with a pinch, right on the hand. Diaz left the game, with what appeared to be a broken hand of some sort.

Tim Marza pitched the sixth. With Ross at 74 pitches, we wondered if he should get another inning, but likely best to pull him with a good taste in his mouth, especially since there were a lot of high-pressure moments.

Trent Thornton pitched two very nice innings.

Rafael Dolis came in for the ninth and he wasn’t good. A walk, a single, and a balk didn’t really fill us with joy. He went to a full count with Chas McCormick, before getting the strikeout. A ground out scored a run, but that run wasn’t important, the out was. A popup ended the game.

The Jays had 11 hits.

Vlad had 3, including the homer. Panik had 2, the homer and a single in the second, where he was thrown out at second trying to stretch it. He had his second game-winning hit in three days. I was kind of ok with him trying to get into scoring position with two out, but then, with the bottom of the order up, it is best to try to get around to the top quicker.

Everyone else in the lineup had a hit except for Randal Grichuk and Jonathan Davis (who took a walk).

Vlad had two or three very nice plays at first. One that was a great throw to third, ground ball to Panik at third, hit too slow for an out, but Vlad caught the throw and threw back to Bo, covering third, getting Altuve trying to go first to third on the ground ball. Very heads-up play. Vlad had gone first to third on a ground ball just the other day.

And Bo Bichette had a couple of nice plays at short. But the play of the day was Lourdes’ throw from left. It might have been a different game without that play.

Jays of the Day: Panik (.223 WPA), Gurriel (.109, plus the great throw), Stripling (.138) and Vlad (.095, plus the good defense). I think an honorable mention should go to Mayza and Thornton.

Suckage: Randal (-.102 for the 0 for 4).

Tomorrow is a 1:00 Eastern start. I plan to take a day off, but will likely look in some.

We had 455 comments in the GameThread. I led us to victory.

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