Blue Jays 7 Royals 0
A delightful game.
Alek Manoah wasn’t his sharpest, but he got the outs when needed. And his defense made some nice plays behind him.
In the second inning, Bo Bichette made a great jump to snag a line drive that should have been a single and run driven home. But, instead, a catch and easy toss to second for a double play.
In the third, one-out and a runner on first, a reasonably hard-hit ball that Vlad grabbed, stepped on first and made a very nice side-arm throw to second, but the runner (Whit Merryweather) turned back to first, and Bo threw it back to Vlad in time for a tag and another unusual double play.
And Matt Chapman seemed to have a ball magnet in his glove. He made several nice plays. His defense has been everything advertised.
Alek had at least one base runner in every inning he worked, except for the fourth. But he didn’t give up a run in his 6 innings, despite 6 hits (all singles) and 3 walks (but no hit batters for his fourth game in a row, which sets a new record for the big man).
Offensively, we had 12 hits and 5 walks, so we likely should have scored more, but 5 runs were plenty.
Most of the damage was done by our fifth (Alejandro Kirk, 4 for 5) and sixth (Santiago Espinal, 3 for 4) hitters.
Bo Bichette had 2 hits and 3 walks (excellent, Bo).
We also had doubles from Chapman (who drove in 2 runs), Raimel Tapia (who drove in one). Tapia hit two balls down the left-field line, which were just foul by about four feet and Teoscar Hernandez (driving home 2 in the ninth).
Not all was great. George Springer was 0 for 4, with a walk. Vlad was also 0 for 4, hitting into two double plays with a walk.
And the bullpen did the job:
- Yimi Garcia, getting three fly outs to Bradley Zimmer in center (one that was a very nice diving catch) in the seventh.
- David Phelps, getting two strikeouts in the eighth.
- Jordan Romano, getting work, pitching in his first June game. He did give up a walk but had a strikeout and two soft ground balls.
Jays of the Day: Manoah (.353 WPA), Bo (.111, plus the rather impressive catch/double play), Espinal (.103) and I’m giving one to Kirk (.069) because if you get 4 hits in a game, you get a JoD. Chapman deserves an honourable mention. He drove in 2 and made several nice plays at third.
Suckage: Vlad had the number (-.119), but he did have a couple of nice plays in the field, so up to you if he deserves it or not.
Tomorrow we will try for a sweep. Yusei Kikuchi (2-2, 3.91) vs. Brady Singer (2-1, 4.15), the once almost Jay. It is a 2:00 pm Eastern start. Which is nice cause I’m playing squash tomorrow night.