Blue Jays 2 Rays 3
Things managers do that make Tom want to drink...
Trent Thornton comes into the game in to start the fifth (it wasn’t like the Rays were crushing Yusei Kikuchi, but whatever). Thornton pitches a 3 up, 3 down inning on 11 pitches. Looks great. He is what we laughingly refer to as a long man, and we don’t let him start the sixth.
Why? Because we have to look for the guy that doesn’t have it today.
We found him. Adam Cimber didn’t look good and gave up the go-ahead run, getting just one out.
Mayza comes in (too late) and gets us out of the inning on 7 pitches. Again looks great. But we have to get someone else for the seventh.
Phelps did a good job. One and done on 14 pitches. Trevor Richards pitched a scoreless eighth.
Anyway....Kikuchi looked really good in the first with 2 strikeouts. And a good second, against 2 strikeouts. He had some troubles in the third, giving up a run on a hit batter, single, walk and sac fly, but held the Twins to a run.
And he gave up one more in the fourth. A line single, and a popup single that fell between Bo Bichett (who made a good effort) and Raimel Tapia. A fly out and a ground scored the run, but if the popup was a little shorter or a little deeper, he would have gotten out of the inning.
In all 4 innings, 3 hits, 2 earned, 1 walk and 5 strikeouts.
I get why John Schneider is a little worried about Kikuchi on the mound, but he was just at 74 pitches. Only gave up 2 runs (one because of a popup not caught). I’d like him to, at least, start the fifth. We are playing every day for a bit. Why use the whole bullpen?
Especially when you have some deep-seated aversion to using a reliever for more than an inning.
None of the would have mattered if we could hit.
Only 4 hits and 2 walks today against 5 Rays pitchers.
The only Blue Jay to have good at-bats was Teoscar Hernandez, who drove in both our runs with a double (only a few feet short of what would have been a three-run homer) in the first, and a solo homer in the fourth.
Other than Teoscar’s two hits, we had a double from Lourdes Gurriel to start the game and a single from Vladimir Guerrero in the eighth. Vlad also stole second to put the tying run at second for Alejandro Kirk (who didn’t have the best at-bat,swinging at a pitch at head level and then swinging at a pitch off the plate).
The four players at bottom of the order went 0 for 12. And Bo went 0 for 4 with 3 strikeouts. It really is time to take him out of the cleanup spot.
Jay of the Day: Teoscar (.201 WPA).
Suckage: Cimber (-.218), Bichette (-.184), Tapia (-.158), Chapman (-.139, he did crush a ball, but foul), and Kirk (-.101).
The Jays are off to Minneapolis for a four-game series against the Twins. Alek Manoah (11-5, 2.43) vs. Sonny Gray (6-3, 3.41) start tomorrow night. It is a weird 7:40 Eastern start.