Any more Apple TV games and we riot. The game itself, if you could see it, was good. The bullpen did their job in what is hopefully the last game this season they have to handle without a starter. The offence came up with the big clutch hits that have so often eluded them this year. Overall it was what you want from a team in the stretch run. Lets do it again tomorrow.
Trevor Richards served as the opener tonight and did his job, striking out the side. It was a little surprising to see him back out there after he got nuked in cleanup duty yesterday afternoon, but nice to see him bounce back.
Julian Merryweather was second on the bill. It took him just five pitches to carve up Baltimore’s 3-4-5 hitters. He had to work a bit harder in the third, battling his command a little in walking Austin Hayes, but he got a double play ball from Jorge Mateo to take care of it.
For some reason, at that point John Schneider called for Yusei Kikuchi. I guess if he’s on the roster he has to pitch, but that just begs the question. I don’t blame the player, Kikuchi’s appears to be a good guy doing his earnest best, and his continued failure is clearly weighing heavily on him. I blame the manager and front office who are burning meaningful games justifying an already lost investment. Anyway, he gave up a triple and a homer to the first two batters he faced, putting the Jays down 2-1. It was clear that, as is sometimes the case with him, he didn’t trust his fastball. The ball that Cederic Mullins tripled on was the sixth consecutive slider he’d seen In the fourth he was better, with the help of a pretty generous low zone, getting two strikeouts and a ground out for a clean inning.
Jordan Lyles got the start for Baltimore. He was able to work around a Vladimir Guerrero jr. single in the first, but the Jays got on the board in the second with a Matt Chapman solo home run. They threatened again in the third with a Danny Jansen double, but weren’t able to cash him in. They did break through in the fifth. Chapman lead off with a single and Raimel Tapia followed by working a walk. The next two batters weren’t able to advance them, but George Springer came up huge with a two out homer to the power alley in left, putting the Jays back out in front 4-2.
After the offence re-took the lead in the bottom of the fifth, Schneider decided it was probably time to try to win the game and called for Tim Mayza. He worked a 1-2-3 inning with a pair of strikeouts.
Baltimore decided that five innings was enough of Lyles and went to Joey Krehbiel. Bo Bichette lead off with a single and stole second. He could have saved himself the effort, though, as two batters later Chapman brought him home with a two run homer, extending the Jays’ lead to 6-2.
Mayza gave way to Adam Cimber in the seventh. He used the whole field, giving up a fly ball to Anthony Santander that Springer had to make a nice running catch on at the wall in centre, and another to Ryan Mountcastle that was only a little shallower, but got out of it without allowing a run. Mike Baumann pitched the bottom half of the inning and it was similarly uneventful, with just a Jansen single.
In the eighth, the Jays called on Anthony Bass. He struck out Roughned Odor flailing, which is always nice, but got himself into a bit of a jam with a walk to Austin Hays and a ground ball single to Mateo, but escaped with a bit of help from Chapman, making a nice running catch on a Mullins pop out, and Bichette, with a catch on an Adley Rutschman liner back up the middle.
Baumann stuck around to finish it off for the Orioles. He got ground outs from Bichette and Hernandez and, after hitting Cavan Biggio (who’d come on defensively for Springer in the seventh) struck out Chapman on an extremely questionable high fastball. The zone was a little improvisational all night, although it didn’t feel like it clearly helped one team or the other.
Yimi Garcia was tapped to close it out. He have up a solo shot to Gunnar Henderson, making it 6-3, but took care of business otherwise.
Jays of the Day: Merryweather (0.105) was the only pitcher who had the number, but he’s really accepting on behalf of the entire bullpen (except the guy below). Springer (0.352) and Chapman (0.275) did the work on offence.
Less So: Kikuchi (-0.168), Bradley (-0.109)
We’re back tomorrow at 3:07pm ET. Jose Berrios (10-5, 5.07) will toe the rubber for Toronto looking to get his ERA back to starting with a four this season. He’ll face off against Kyle Bradish (3-6, 5.01), and hopefully the Jays can get his ERA back to starting with a six.