Evil Guys 1 Rebels 2
That was some game.
Let’s start with the good stuff:
- We got to see why the Jays signed Yusei Kikuchi. He went 6 innings, allowed just 3 hits (one a Joey Gallo home run), 1 walk with 7 strikeouts. He was terrific, against a very good batting order. When he was having the bad starts, you could see the pieces were there. Today he put the pieces together. Now I’m not expecting he’s going to continue to be this good in every start, but we got a look at what his potential is. Hopefully, we’ll see more games like this in the future.
- We actually had a hit with RISP. Vlad singled in Bo Bichette from second base. We hit .500 with RISP, unfortunately, that was only 1 for 2, but still, progress is progress.
- Matt Chapman hit a home run. 420 feet. Baseball Savant has it at only a .970 expected batting average, which means 3% of the time that 420-foot fly would have turned into an out. I have no idea what part that would be in. The old joke would be ‘Yellowstone’.
- The bullpen didn’t allow a run in the last three innings. David Phelps did give up 2 walks, getting only 1 out but Tim Mayza got the last two outs of the inning. Yimi Garcia pitched a clean eighth. And Jordan Romano loaded the bases in the ninth but got his 12 save with a ground ball to third that Matt Chapman skipped over to Vlad at first. Vlad made a nice stretch, keeping a foot on the bag. The Evil Empire challenged the play (why not, it was the last out of the game, if you can challenge, you might as well, and they are Evil) but even the review room couldn’t find a way to steal that from us.
- It was nice to see Bo drive a double to right. And he took a walk, just his third of the season. It looks like he is coming out of his slump.
The bad stuff?
- We only had 4 hits on the day. We did have 7 walks, but the offense has to start putting up more than 2 runs in a game.
- My major rant is about Josh Donaldson calling time in the middle of Jordan Romano’s windup (with 2 strikeouts) and the umpire giving it to him. It was a cheap move. And course Jordan ended up giving up a hit. I was yelling at the tv that Jordan should have gone up and in on him after that. There should be some sort of punishment, and backing Josh off the plate would be the closes we would get to punishment. It really bugged me because Josh did it to get Jordan to waste hit best 1-2 pitch. And it put Jordan off. The next pitch he threw off the plate in the dirt. And then grooved one. I know it is gamesmanship, but it is cheap.
Jays of the Day: Kikuchi (.243 WPA, his first JoD), Mayza (.170), Romano (.158, and he got my pulse rate up), Garcia (.118, good to see him have a nice outing), and Chapman (.100).
No Suckage Jays. Heineman had the low mark at -.093, so he could have an honourary Suckage award, but then he seemed to work well with Kikuchi, so I’m not giving him one.
Tomorrow Jose Berrios 2-0, 4.13 ERA goes against the Guardians and Aaron Civale (0-2, 10.67). IF there was a game for the Jays to get the bats going, this is the one. Odds are that Teoscar Hernandez will be back with the team. YAY.
I missed news earlier today. The Jays selected the contract of Casey Lawrence from Buffalo. Andrew Vasquez was optioned to Buffalo and Gosuke Katoh was DFAed. I’m kind of sorry to see Katoh go, he seemed like a fun guy to have on the team. But he will likely clear waivers.
Not that this was a must-win by any stretch of the imagination, but I’m glad Good triumphed over Evil