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Jays Win a Wild One

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at Los Angeles Angels Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Blue Jays 6 Angels 5

I loved that game. It had something for everyone.

Wanna watch bad defense, we have it for you.

Wanna question managers, this was the night.

Wanna complain about the mushy baseball, well, stand behind Danny Jansen and Matt Chapman in line.

Umpire bad calls, yeah got those too.

Let’s start is the top of the eighth:

Jays, newly down by a run. Kyle Barraclough into the game. He walks Vlad on four pitches. I thought he was pitching around Vlad, which seemed dumb to put on the tying run, but ok. Then he walked Teoscar Hernandez on five pitches. Ok, maybe not pitching around Vlad. Maybe can’t find the plate.

Danny Jansen crushes one. I’m sure it is well out of the park. Sure. But caught at the wall. Vlad on second was also sure, he didn’t tag up. Should have, but I was on his side, it should have been well out of the park. Have I mentioned I hate mushy balls. I thought we missed our chance.

Barraclough out, Aaron Loup in.

Lourdes Gurriel struke out looking. Not a good at bat.

Matt Chapman gets to 3-0 and pitch 4 is clearly a ball but called a strike. I was slightly upset. I may have woken the neighbours (and my wife). Next pitch Chapman lines it to right. Juan Lagares dives and missed. Then, Trout comes to pick up the ball, but Lagares crawls over and gets it, and bobbles it a bit before picking it up. Always the fielder standing up should get it. Then Lagares misses the cut-off man. Two runs score and we are ahead again.

George Springer in to pinch-hit and he’s intentionally walked. I’m not a fan of IWs, but Raimel Tapia is up next. He is a) not hitting well and b) a lefty and Loup is good against lefties.

Tapia slices one down the left-field line, and Chapman scores. We are up by two. Santiago Espinal stuck out to end the inning but we are happy.

We were less happy in the bottom of the seventh.

Julian Merryweather comes into the game. Not a popular choice.

Shohei Ohtani up first and he gets grazed on the arm by a pitch. Barely touched him, Jays challenged, but the replay showed he was hit. In slow motion, it was easy to see. But I’m ok with using up the challenge in the seventh inning.

Mike Trout is up next and he showed why he’s the best player of this generation. Home run to dead center. Didn’t clear the wall by a lot, but by enough. We went from up by one to down by now in a hurry.

A single by Matt Duffy got Merryweather out and Cimber in.

It is fair to question if Cimber should have been in first, but then the Jays want Merryweather to pitch in high-leverage spots. Giving up a homer to Trout is something that will happen.

Thankfully the aforementioned top of the eighth covered up all the sins.

Before that?

Yusei Kikuchi wasn’t great. He got himself into and out of trouble most every inning until the fifth. But he gave up two in the fifth inning.

His fifth went single. Fly out deep (Ohtani). Single (Trout). RBI Double (Duffy). RBI ground out. Walk and line out.

Kikuchi gave up 9 hits, 1 walk, but just 2 earned in the 5 innings. Lucky or clutch?

David Phelps gave us a scoreless sixth inning.

We talked Merryweather and Cimber in the seventh.

Trevor Richards was terrific in the eighth.

Jordan Romano, working his third game in a row, had troubles in the ninth. He hit Trout. Got a double-play ball from Duffy, but Chapman bobbled it a bit and we only got one out. Jered Walsh flew out. That should have been the end of the inning.

But Max Stassi walked. Brandon Marsh singled one home (I thought Teoscar should have made the catch, he played it very conservatively. A walk, loaded the base.

Charlie took Romano out of the game. In comes Ross Stripling. Ross Stripling??

Stripling went 0-2 on Andrew Velazquez and then got a soft ground ball along the first baseline. I was a bit worried, but Stripling picked it up and tagged Valazquez.

Save for Stripling.

Let’s say that twice. Save for Stripling.

On offense?

We did enough. We talked about the three-run eighth above. We also got:

  • One in the first: One out doubles from Bo and Vlad. We should have scored more. Teoscar singled, so we had runners on the corners with one out, but Jansen popped out and Gurriel flied out.
  • Two in the seventh: Jansen led off with a walk. Two outs later, Jansen on second, Cavan Biggio hits the third ground-rule double of the game. And Alejandro Kirk (pinch-hitting for Bradley Zimmer) singled home Cavan. I wondered why not Springer pinch-hitting, but Charlie picked the right guy.

Chapman and Bichette had two hits each. Espinal, Guerrero, Hernandez, Biggio, Kirk and Tapia had a hit each.

Jansen and Gurriel had 0 fors, but Jansen hit what should have been a home run.

Jays of the Day: Chapman (.508 WPA), Stripling (.264), Vlad (.209), Kirk (.201), Biggio (.157), and Tapia (.120).

Suckage: Merryweather (-.478), Romano (-.181, hardly fair, he volunteered to pitch and didn’t have it), Gurriel (-.230) and Jansen (-.148. also not fair, hit what should have been a home run, and would have given him a JoD) and Espinal (-.114).

That’s four straight wins. Tomorrow it is a 4:00 Eastern start. Berrio (3-2, 4.75) vs. Patrick Sandoval (3-1, 1.79).

There was a very scary moment in the game. Kurk Suzuki, warming up his pitcher before the start of an inning, had a ball bounce up and hit him in the neck (coming up under his mask). He was down on a knee for a bit, then helped off the field, it looked like he passed out in the dugout. They had to carry him into the clubhouse.

We didn’t get an update for a long time. But they are saying a contusion and that he is alert. I would think he’ll be going on the IL, but I’ve very relieved that it isn’t worse. Because it looked very serious at the time.

It’s late, I’m not going to spend time proofing this.

It was a long game. 3:45 minutes. I’ve said I would rather have an exciting long game than a boring short game.