Royal 5 Blue Jays 6 (10 innings)
A bunch of stuff happened:
- Royals manager Mike Matheny got ejected in the sixth inning. Royals had Edward Olivares on second. After a swinging strike, Danny Jansen threw to second, trying to get Olivares, who wandered a bit off the plate. The batter stepped forward on the swing. Danny double-clutched the ball (likely because he didn’t have a good grip) but plate umpire John Bacon called interference. I didn’t think it was. Matheny didn’t either and complained, but then watched a replay and went right off. He was thrown out while yelling from the bench (but then he came out and listed his objections face to face.
- George Springer didn’t like a strike three call. On the TV box, it was right on the outside edge. George threw his bat and got a cited for that (likely will get a fine) and then got mad. But John Schnieder got out there quick, and Vladimir Guerrero and Devon White got between Springer and the umpire, keeping him in the game.
- George Zimmer pinch ran for Alejandro Kirk after a one-out single in the seventh and quickly got picked off (called safe on the field but out on replay).
But the important stuff happened in the tenth:
In the top of the inning with the Manfred Man on second and two out, Jordan Romano gave up a home run to Vinnie Pasquantino, and we thought that cost us the game.
In the bottom of the inning, with Springer on second, Vlad, at a 2-1 count, got a ball off the plate called a strike. Vlad wasn’t happy, but the next pitch scorched a double to the wall in center (111.2 MPH, hardest hit ball of the game), making it a one-run game again, and putting the tying run at second. I admire Vlad was able to focus again after that call.
Kirk would have been up but was out of the game because of the pinch runner. Raimel Tapia pinch hit and hit a ground ball single, driving in the tying run. Tapia became the winning run at first.
That brought Bo Bichette up. He was 0 for 4, but singled to left, moving the winning run to second.
Teoscar Hernandez got to 0-2 but snuck a ground ball through the hole between third and short (it went off Bobby Witt’s glove). Tapia flew home. It is fun to watch him run the bases.
Max Castillo started and looked good for the two innings but gave up run in the third and two more, without getting an out, in the fourth. In total 3.0 innings, 5 hits, no walks, and 1 strikeout.
He’s earned another start.
The bullpen did an amazing job (until Romano):
- Richards allowed one of the runners he inherited from Castillo to score but got out of the fourth.
- Mayza pitched a scoreless fifth.
- David Phelps walked two but got out of his inning without a run scoring.
- Adam Cimber gave up a hit in his inning.
- Yimi Garcia pitched two perfect innings (with 3 strikeouts).
On offense we had 12 hits but only 3 runs until the tenth inning:
- Vlad had 3 hits and our only extra-base hit, the double in the tenth.
- Kirk and Gurriel had 2 hits.
- Matt Chapman was 0 for 4 with 3 strikeouts. Danny Jansen was also 0 for, but took 2 walks.
Jays of the Day: Vlad (.290 WPA), Tapia (.266, and deserves extra for his sprint from second), Garcia (.247) and Springer (.099, drove in 2 runs). And even though he didn’t get the number, let’s give Teoscar one.
Let’s give Cimber, Phelps and Mayza honourable mentions.
Suckage: Romano (-.299), Castillo (-.184), Chapman (-.137) and Espinal (-.094).
Tomorrow we finish the first half of the season. It is a noon Eastern start.
Kris Bubic starts for the Royals (1-6, 6.63). Jose Berrios (7-4, 5.38) for the Jays.