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Bad Defense and Hitting Gets the Jays a Loss

Los Angeles Angels v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images

Angels 12 Blue Jays 0

That was just a mess.

The Jays' defense let down Mitch White, who didn’t pitch great but was much better than his line suggests.

The mess started in the first inning. After David Fletcher singled to start the game. Then Mike Trout hit a ground ball at Vlad. He made a nice grab on it, but then tried to throw to second from hits knees, over the runner. The throw went into left field. It was a very bad decision, he should have taken the easy out. Instead, two on, no outs.

White got Shohei Ohtani to strike out and got Luis Rengifo to line out to Vlad. Vlad tried to get the liner out of his glove for a quick throw to second but dropped it. We were lucky the umpire called it a catch. A walk loaded the bases, but another strikeout ended the inning with no runs scoring.

We weren’t so lucky in the second:

  • Jo Adell ground one deep into the hole at short. Bo Bichette made a great play getting to it and gave a good effort on the throw. Vlad made a nice stretch, but Adell was clearly safe. Our replay room thought differently and challenged it. It was a very quick review. wasting a review in the second inning is just dumb.
  • After a walk, Andrew Velazquez bunted to Vlad. Vlad looked to third, looked to second and by the time he threw to first, it was too late. Again a bad play (also not called an error, I can’t understand why). Next batter doubles, 2-0.
  • Trout struck out. Then Ohtani hit a hard line drive to right. Teoscar Hernandez went back to the wall, but it seemed like it thought it was a home run. It hit the wall beside him. It wouldn’t have been an easy catch, but a major league outfielder should always make that one. Teoscar had fouled a ball hard off his foot in the bottom of the first, and perhaps the pain of it distracted him. He left the game after the inning.
  • Another single scored Ohtani, and it was 5-0.

Two more runs scored in the third on a Velazquez home run.

White fought his way through 5 innings. He gave up 8 hits, 7 ‘earned’, 3 walks and 5 strikeouts. Really only 2 or 3 of the runs were really earned, and those might have been helped along by the extra pitches he had to throw because of the lousy defense.

White’s ERA went from 3.36 to 4.24 for reasons that largely weren’t his fault.

Yusei Kikuchi got mopup duty. He gave up two home runs (one by Mike Trout. He set a new record for runs scored for the Angels franchise), but he had 6 strikeouts with just 1 walk in 3 innings. It was a good outing. He was just throwing strikes, trying to eat innings for his team.

Merrifield got the honour of pitching the ninth inning. He gave up a two-run homer. After that, he hit a batter just to prove a point. After that, he got out of the inning because none of the Angels batters wanted to dig in. You gotta own the inside of the plate. Ask noted pitcher Cosmo Kramer (You hit Mickey).

Our offense was just as good as our defense.

Vlad singled in the first but tried to steal second. He beat the throw but came off the bag. That started a rant from Buck on the replay, but Vlad came well off the bag. The umpire should have seen it. If you can’t keep in contact with the bag, you shouldn’t try to steal.

We got a walk and a hit after that but no runs. Had Vlad stayed at first, we would have likely scored at least a run.

Espinal singled in the second inning, but we wouldn’t get another hit until the seventh.

We finished with 6 hits. Springer, Guerrero, Gurriel, Kirk, Bichette and Espinal each had a hit. Gurriel and Bichette had doubles.

We did take 6 walks, Chapman had 3, Kirk had 2.

Not that I should pick on him in particular, but Whit Merrifield was 0 for 4, left 7 on base and in the 8th inning, with the bases loaded, after two walks and a double, Merrifield takes a ball, then hits a popup on a pitch above the zone. I mean, it didn’t matter, we weren’t going to win, but wouldn’t you think you’d try to work the count, take a strike, before chasing?

No Jays of the Day. But let's give Kikuchi an honourable mention.

The Other Award goes to Vlad and Teoscar for the errors. Our replay room for the dumb decision to challenge a clear hit. White had the number, but I can’t give him the award. Most of the runs scored weren’t his fault, and he did get us 5 innings.

I hope Teoscar is ok. He’s fouled a couple of balls off his foot this week.

Tomorrow we have Otani (10-8, 2.83) vs. Alek Manoah (12-6, 2.66). And several players from the 1992 World Series team will be at the game. I hope they get a better game to watch than this one.