Blue Jays 5 Orioles 7
It started well:
- We got a run in the second. Alejandro Kirk led off with a double and then scored on a Matt Chapman single. Pretty gutsy send, but he was in there. Chapman went to second on the throw, but we couldn’t bring him in. Not bringing runners home was one of the stories of the night.
- And two in the third. Springer led off with a double, and Bo Bichette had a home run called a double on the field. Right field is a little weird there at Camden. His ball bounced off the top of the fence but not over the little railing. I didn’t know where the ball had to get to to be a home run. I’m not sure the umpires did either.
Mitch White started well. The first two innings were nice and neat.
The third inning is where it all went sideways. Mitch started it walk, walk, hit batter, double. An out and a single made it 4-3 Baltimore. Another walk was the end of his night.
Julian Merryweather gave up a single and another run but got out of the inning after that.
It all went downhill from there.
We got a run in the fifth from doubles by Bo and Matt Chapman.
One in the seventh, on singles from Bo and Kirk, with Bo scoring on a Teoscar Hernandez double play.
And one in the ninth (kind of the definition of too little too late. Singles from Bo and Kirk again got us the run.
On the bullpen side, there was some good and some bad.
- Merryweather finished the third and pitched a nice quick fourth.
- Anthony Bass had a very nice quick fifth and got the first out of the sixth. He got the four outs on 7 pitches, and likely could have gone longer (remembering he warmed up twice as well), but John wanted to have some high leverage arms tomorrow.
- Yusei Kikuchi got a strikeout but then gave up a triple. Cedric Mullins followed with a soft ‘line drive’ (we need a better term, it wasn’t a line drive, but wasn’t a fly ball either) that was just beyond Santiago Espinal. Unlucky there, but then when you give up a triple, you are setting yourself up for some bad luck.
- Yimi Garcia came in for the seventh. I didn’t understand. I figured we needed more out of Kikuchi, in case there were extras. Garcia pitched around a Bichette error.
- Trevor Richards had troubles in the eighth. Rougned Odor doubled. The play at second was close, and Odor almost over slid the bag. Ruled safe on the field and remained safe after the Jays' challenge. I have no problem with the challenge. We don’t lose anything in the eighth, and Odor was barely touching the bag. After a popout, for out number two, Richards gave up a single walk (to load the bases) and another walk to bring in a run. Then Ryan Mountcastle singled, one more in and then Lourdes Gurriel’s throw home seemed to get Adley Rutschman. But, on challenge, it was decided that Kirk didn’t give Rutschman a lane. It seemed to me that Kirk did give him a lane, but apparently, it wasn’t the right lane. He gave him the driving lane when he had to give the passing lane (or something equally stupid). That made the game 9-5.
- Tim Mayza came in to get the last out. They really didn’t want to bring in Mayza (and I wouldn’t have).
There was a lot of other stuff.
Most importantly, we didn’t bring home runs when we should have. We were 4 for 16 with RISP. We left a runner on third way too often.
Sometimes we hit the ball hard, and it found a glove, but more often, we had bad at-bats in big moments.
We had 13 hits, so should have scored more.
Bo and Kirk had 4 hits each. Springer and Chapman had 2 each.
0 fors came from Vlad (who hit a couple to the track and lost a ground ball single to a very nice play), Teoscar Hernandez (0 for 5, 3 strikeouts, 1 ground ball double play) and Merrifield (0 for 4).
- We had the benches clear. After Teoscar’s double play, Orioles pitcher Bryan Baker (who was a Jay for a moment last year) yapped a bit at our dugout. Teoscar and Vlad were particularly upset. But no punches, and no one was thrown out. I would have preferred the Jays turn the other cheek there, but such is life.
- After the inning, plate umpire Jeff Nelson warned both benches, not wanting any hit batters. John Schneider was unhappy with the warning, and with Nelson’s creative strike zone and seven other things, I’m sure and was tossed later in the inning after commenting on a ball/strike call. I’m sure he very politely asked if Nelson was sure he was right. After being tossed, John got his money’s worth. Likely there was some pent-up stuff on Nelson’s balk call from yesterday.
- I felt Nelson had a pretty good handle on the zone early in the game. But later, he seemed to call anything low a strike if it didn’t bounce more than three times. He wasn’t as awful as that game early in the year, but he wasn’t good either.
Jays of the Day: Bo (.255, second JoD in a row, and really should be given one for holding Gausman back from Nelson in the first game yesterday), Chapman (.184), and Kirk (.173).
Other Award: White (-.389), Richards (.116), Kikuchi (-.100), Hernandez (-.257), Merrifield (-.167), Vlad (-.123) and Espinal (-.099, he did hit a ball hard but there was a nice play in the outfield).
I’m ok with losing one of four. I’m less ok with losing and using Garcia and Bass out of the pen, but such is life. I know people were calling it ‘the most important game of the year’, but of course, it isn’t. If it was, then we might as quit now. Jays are still 3.5 games up on the O’s. It would have been great to win, but it isn’t the end of the world that we didn’t.
Tomorrow it is Alek Manoah (13-7, 2.48) vs. Dean Kremer (6-4, 3.22). Alek in a game that’s likely to be emotionally charged? Could be interesting. I worry a little that he’ll hit a bat and get ejected. We don’t have enough innings left in the pen for a short outing from him.
I know they are trying to tell us that the catcher can only catch the ball in front of the plate, but that makes it seem like the people who wrote the rule know nothing about baseball. Kirk was not in the way of the runner. This is the side I’m on: