Blue Jays 4 Royals 8
That wasn’t fun in a lot of ways.
Yusei Kikuchi had a tough time with the strike zone in the first inning (well, his only inning). He started the inning with a strikeout. And then a four-pitch walk (with none of the pitches coming close). A six-pitch walk (again, none of the balls coming close). And then a strikeout. And then he got a popup, which should have ended the inning, but it fell between Chapman and Gurriel in left field for a “double”. It was in the air for a long time, but no one got there. If that had been caught, it might have been a different game. As it was, 2 runs scored.
Next batter, another walk. This time one of the balls was close, but a ball. Then a ground ball just out of the reach of Bo Bichette. Bad luck, but if you walk a bunch of guys, bad luck costs you. Another walk (this time, one of the balls was a strike, but he missed the target by a lot and didn’t get the call. Kikuchi was out of the game.
Trent Thornton in, and he got a quick ground out.
Kikuchi got two outs, gave up 2 hits (neither hit hard), 3 earned, 4 walks (all well deserved) and 2 strikeouts.
Thornton pitched 2 more scoreless innings. Would have been nice if he went further, but he warmed up three times and pitched Tuesday. We weren’t going to get much more out of him.
Trevor Richards came in and just didn’t have it. He gave up 3 runs on 4 hits, a walk and a strikeout getting just 4 outs.
Matt Gage came into the fifth inning with a runner on second and got the last two outs.
Adam Cimber gave up a run in his inning.
Jullian Merryweather gave up a run in his inning.
Andrew Vasquez got the first two outs of the eighth but turned his ankle on a 3-1 putout at first base. He caught the side of the bag and needed help off the field. Hopefully, it isn’t as bad as it looked, but I’d think he’ll end up on the IL.
Yimi Garcia got the last out of the game (after Raimel Tapia lost a ball in the sun for a double. Outfield was an adventure for Tapia today. He also missed a ball that hit the wall in right and missed the pickup on a ball, costing a base on a single.
On offence, we had 13 hits, so you’d expect more than 4 runs.
We scored on solo homers by Tapia (441 feet, I’d have bet he couldn’t hit a ball over 400 feet if helped by a strong wind) and Zack Collins (who also had a double, so the two produced all our extra-base hits).
We also scored a run after Collin’s home run in the third. Singles by Biggio and Bichette put runners on the corners. Cavan scored on a Guerrero ground out.
And in the ninth, Collins led off with a double and scored on an infield single by Biggio that Royals’ SS Bobby Witt threw over the first baseman’s head.
Collins, Springer, Bichette and Biggio had two hits each. Vlad had a bad game, going 0 for 5 with a strikeout. Ground balls a plenty for Vlad. Not that we deserved to win, but Vlad could have helped us out.
Jay of the Day? Thornton gets the honour with a .125 WPA.
Suckage side? Richards (-.280, seems to be fighting through a rough stretch) and Kikuchi (-.277, after an excellent May has had troubles in his first two June starts).
Also of note, Lourdes Gurriel made a terrific catch going back on a deep fly to left. Super catch, especially considering he couldn’t go back on a ball at all before this year. Maybe he’ll deserve a Gold Glove nomination this year?
And Espinal hit clean up. He was 1 for 5, but left 4 on base. If he and Vlad had better days, it would have helped.
Tomorrow is an off-day, then they are in Detroit for four games.