Blue Jays 4 Orioles 1
Taking 3 of 4 from the Orioles was pretty much what I was hoping for. A sweep seemed to be asking a lot but leaving there with the O’s 4.5 games back of the Jays is excellent.
We got maybe Alek Manoah’s best start of the season. 8 innings, just 1 earned 3 hits, 1 walk and 5 strikeouts. Not a lot of strikeouts, but the Orioles didn’t seem to hit anything hard all game. After all the emotion of yesterday's game, I wondered how he would do today. I shouldn’t have worried.
It would have been just 2 hits, but plate umpire Malachi Moore called a strike three pitch, right on the inside edge of the zone, a ball. After that, Adley Rutschman doubled. Other than that, I thought Moore had a pretty good game.
The O’s had a couple of hard-hit balls, Gunnar Henderson had a ground-out hit at 109.1 MPH, and Anthony Santander had a single-hit at 105.6 MLB, but the Jays had 9 of the 11 hardest-hit balls of the game.
Alek likely could have started the ninth, but with Jordan Romano rested and an off day tomorrow, there was no reason to push it.
We need to have an Alek Manoah appreciation thread.
Offensively, we did enough. 9 hits and 4 walks.
Alejandro Kirk had 3 hits (he looks back to where he was before the All-Star break, it is great to see). Raimel Tapia and Santiago Espinal had 2 hits each.
- One in the second: Kirk singled, Matt Chapman walked, and Tapia singled to load the bases with no outs. Lourdes Gurriel hit into a 6-4 force at second that scored Kirk. It was almost a double play, but Lourdes was just safe. Unfortunately, he took a tumble over the back at first and immediately grabbed his thigh. He left the game with left hamstring discomfort. Hopefully, it isn’t serious. The off day tomorrow is a good thing. Unfortunately, we didn’t score with runners on the corners and one out.
- Three in the fifth: Espinal started it off with a single. Jackie Bradley Jr. also singles. A George Springer liner to left got Espinal to third, and he scored on a Vlad ground-out. Bo Bichette walked (no home runs from Bo today). A Kirk single drove in Bradley Jr. And then a weird play. Kirk took off from first, stopped and turned back, but Adley Rutschman tried to throw behind him, and it went into right field, letting Bo get our fourth run. Kirk’s speed gets us more runs than anyone who can actually run.
Vlad had one of the more amazing-looking plays you are going to see:
But beyond that, our defense didn’t have to make any difficult plays. Alek was just that good.
Jays of the Day: Manoah (.299 WPA), Kirk (.154) and Espinal (.097).
The Other Award: Springer (-.145, for an 0 for 5, with a strikeout). He did have a couple of hard-hit balls (including a 106.8 MPH line out).
Tomorrow is an off day, and then the Rangers come to town for a weekend series.
And, after the weekend, I’m going on holiday for the rest of September. Bad timing, I know, but travel hasn’t happened for a couple of years, and we still have places we want to see. Of course, the last time we had a holiday the world changed. But I’m hoping this one goes better.