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Jansen Drives in 4, Jays Beat Cubs

Chicago Cubs v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images

Cub 4 Blue Jays 4 (11 innings)

What a game for Danny Jansen. He was getting beat up behind the plate, taking a pitch off the foot and was hit by a bat on a swing.

So for six and a half innings, this seemed like the usual Jays game of late. Get the occasional guy on base, but manage, against all odds, not to score them.

There were a couple of good moments:

  • George Springer made a rather spectacular diving, rolling catch.
  • We had an unusual double play. A dropped strike three had Danny Jansen needing to throw to first to complete a double play. Nick Madrigal decided to try to score from third, but Vlad threw back to the plate, and Madrigal seemed to slide past the plate without touching it for the out.
  • Raimel Tapia threw out a runner trying to go first to third on a single to right. I kind of thought Tapia was slow coming in to field the ball, but he made a perfect throw.
  • Cavan Biggio had a nice play at second, and Matt Chapman had his usual excellent play at third.

Jose Berrios had one of those days where everything hit off him seemed just out of the reach of our fielders. He gave up 10 hits in 5.2 innings, 9 singles and a double. Nothing hit all that hard, but they found holes. He didn’t seem to have an ‘out pitch’ today, though he did have several swinging strikeouts.

He gave up a run in the third and fourth. Then, in the sixth, he gave up a walk and a single and left with two outs.

Tim Mayza relieved him and gave up a 2-run double. Mayza doesn’t seem 100% just yet.

Anthony Bass, Adam Cimber and Jordan Romano each pitched a scoreless inning of relief.

Until the seventh inning, our offence looked much like it did in the series against the Angels. We got occasional base runners but couldn’t score them.

Then in the seventh, Chapman led off with a walk, and Raimel Tapia singled him to third. I just started to wonder how we were going to manage to strand that runner at third when Jansen hit his 11th home run of the season, making it a 4-3 game.

Biggio doubled in the eighth, with two outs, and Chapman singled him home. We had a tied game. Again nice baserunning from Biggio.

Unfortunately, we couldn’t score in the ninth, and we had to go to extras.

Top of the tenth:

Yimi Garcia into pitch. Nelson Belazquez the Manfred Man, pinch running for Willson Contreras. Yimi went 3-1, before giving up a line drive right up the middle, but Bo Bichette made a great grab and stepped on second for a terrific unassisted double play. A ground out to third ended the inning, giving the Jays a chance to win just by bringing the Manfred Man home.

Bottom of the tenth:

Mark Leiter Jr. pitching. Whit Merrifield, the Manfred Man, pinch-running for Lourdes. The Cubs intentionally walked Kirk to set up a double play. Bichette ground one to third, Christopher Morel fielded it, touched third and then threw to second for another strange double play. Kirk was called safe on the field, but a quick review showed him. Bichette stole second to give us a runner in scoring position again. Jackie Bradley lined one between first and second, but it was caught.

Top of the eleventh:

Garcia is still in the game. Seiya Suzuki the Manfred Man. Franmil Reyes popped a ball up that landed between Santiago Espinal and Jackie Bradley, but Bradley threw to second, getting Reyes trying to stretch it to a double. Suzuki to third with one out. Infield in, Nico Hoerner ground one to short, Bo made a nice pickup, but his throw to first was high, but Vlad got it and touched the base just in time for the out. Hoerner slid into Vlad, and for a moment, it look like Vlad was hurt. After that, an intentional walk and a steal put runners on second and third. I was a little upset they conceded the steal, but Garcia struck out P.J. Higgins to give us another chance to win by driving in the free runner.

Bottom of the eleventh: Bradley Jr. at second (good to have speed there). Leiter still in the game. Cubs intentionally walked Chapman. Espinal up looking to bunt. He took a pitch high and inside, then bunted one off the plate foul. When he got it down, it was a bad bunt. Cubs got the out at third and almost doubled up Espinal at first. Thankfully, hero of the night, Danny Jansen, laced a line drive to left, scoring Chapman.

Jays of the Day: Jansen (.332 WPA), Chapman (.237, plus his fielding and a great dash home scoring the winning run), Garcia (.611, 2 strong innings of relief, both starting with a runner on second), and Romano (.131).

The Other Award: Bo (-.183, though that huge play in the 10th and the nice play in the 11th should gain him points back, even with the high throw), Springer (-.170, but he had that amazing catch), Espinal (-.156, mostly for the poor bunt, Buck acts like no player ‘back in the day’ ever failed to put down a bunt. He’s wrong), Gurriel (-.120), Bradley (-.120, but that throw to second, in the 11th, was huge, so let’s take him off the hook), and Tim Mayza (-.121).

Tomorrow we have Kevin Gausman (9-9, 3.15) vs. Marcus Stroman (3-6, 4.10). There was a very nice video tribute to Marcus before the game.

Even with all our complaining, the Jays are 7-4 in the last 11 games.