Jays 3 at Rays 10
It will undoubtedly come as a huge shock that a game against the Rays in Tampa went off the rails as the Blue Jays opened a critical four game set with a total clunker. They combined the run scoring of last night with the run allowing of Tuesday and the plodding pace of both for a 10-3 loss about which the less said the better.
it actually started nicely, as George Springer drove triple leading off the game, scoring when Bo Bichette continued to tear the cover off the ball and yanked a double to left. He advanced no further and that proved to be the highwater mark as Jose Berrios was...not very good, to put it gently.
It took precisely two pitches for them to tie it, as Jonathan Aranda blasted a laser beam down the right field line for a solo shot. A solid single followed, and then a hard RBI double with one out by Arozerena, who ended up scoring on a wild pitch for a 3-1 lead after 1.
To their credit, the bats did their best to rally back. Teoscar Hernandez matched Aranda with a screamer of his own, only to left and just sneaking over the fence further from the pole. Two batters later Whit Merrifield also just snuck one just over to tie the game 3-3. They put another couple on, but again couldn’t really turn it into a huge inning.
It was downhill from there as Berrios simply couldn’t stem the bleeding. He got to two outs with just a walk,, but couldn’t finish it out and put up a zero. To some extent, it was nickel and diming, as Aranda single on a well hit but not smashed ball, Manuel Margot chopped a single against the shift (4-3), Wander Franco blooped a single (5-3), and then Arozarena hit a solid ground ball single (6-3). Berrios was done after two.
By contrast, Trevor Richard was very sharp, setting aside the Rays in order with two strikeouts in the first quick inning of the night. It was surprised to see it actually took 15 pitches, but it didn’t stop him from coming back out in the 4th as the Jays looked to fill innings. Unfortunately, it proved fleeting as he walked the first two batter and going to 3-0 to Margot before clawing back for a strikeout. But Franco crushed a double, a couple singled followed, and at 9-3 it was a boatrace from that point.
Adding insult to injury, the game was moving along painfully slowly, around an hour and a half in the top of the 3rd, not helped when Ryan Yarborough had to exit in the top of the 3rd causing a length delay. From that point the Rays bullpen basically shutdown the Jays lineup, as they didn’t score until Merrifield went yard again for a solo shot in the top of the 9th.
For their part and to their credit, Zach Pop, David Phelps and Foster Griffin (mostly) held the Rays in check to prevent a total embarrassment (and getting the string played out in relatively quick order).
Jays of the Day: Springer (+.103 WPA), Merrifield (+.098), and anyone else who’s enough of a masochist to watch all of that (and because they agreed to mail in a recap of it).
Blow Jay of the Day: Berrios (-.567)
Tomorrow, the Jays will look tp get things back on track with (check notes) TBD taking on Jeffrey Spring and his 2.45 ERA. It’s that spot in the order where they they try to cobble something together every 5th day. That probably means Mitch White, who got shelled on Sunday in Syracuse, so what could possibly go wrong?