Jays 10 Cardinals 9
Jordan Romano is my favorite human being on the planet right now. A drama free, 3 up 3 down ninth. The only drama-free inning since the bottom of the fifth inning.
Things that managers do that drive Tom crazy....
Our starter comes out of the game early (3.1 innings, not a great day for Manoah but we’ll return to that). The reliever (Pop) comes in, gets a double play ball to end the inning, and gets the first two batters of the next inning. And we pull him. On 13 pitches. Why??
But the next reliever (Swanson) does equally well. Three batters in, he has three out and two strikeouts. 17 pitches and two outs. But we pull him two.
If I had a cheese doodle for every time I’ve said, ‘if you keep changing pitches, you are going to come to the one that doesn’t have it, my skin would be orange. And John Schneider found him. Tim Mayza gave up three straight singles, turning a 5-5 game 6-5. None hit hard (well, one was 105 mph, the other two 85 and 82), but why overmanage?
Anthony Bass came in and got the third out of the sixth inning but then gave up a single and a walk to start the seventh and the merry-go-round.
Adam Cimber into the game with two on and no outs. And he gave up a walk to load the bases. He got a ground ball to Bo at short, who, far too slowing, tried to start a double play. He only got the out at first, but he really should have been playing in and should have gone home with the ball.
Next ground ball, Vlad made a terrific play and got the runner at the plate. A pop-out ended the inning.
But we were down 7-6.
We got two runs in the top of the eight, but Yimi Garcia had a tough time too. Two hits, two walks two runs and we were down again, going into the ninth, but
The bats did the job today. 19 hits, 10 runs. The two guys at the top of the order (Bo and George) had 9 hits (and 6 runs). The next three (Vlad, Daulton and Alejandro) had 7 RBI between them. Matt Chapman was 3 for 5. The only Jay not to get a hit was Whit Merrifield, but he had 2 walks and scored the tying run in the ninth.
- 3 in the first: Bo and George singled. Springer went to third on Guerrero’s fly ball. Varsho double home two. And Kirk singled home Varsho.
- 1 in the second: Springer singled, Bichette doubled him home.
- 1 in the fourth: Singles from Springer and Guerrero and a sac fly from Varsho.
- 1 in the seventh: Brandon Belt doubled and Chapman drove pinch runner Nathan Lukes home with a single. Chapman was caught stealing right after on a botched hit and run. We are being aggressive on the bases, if you haven’t heard.
- 2 in the eighth: Once again, Springer and Bichette started things off with singles. Vlad singles them home (with Bo running through a stop sign at third.
- 2 in the ninth: Down a run. Whit Merrifield started us off with a walk. Kevin Kiermaier, after a dropped strike three, pulled a single to right, moving Merrifield to third. Springer blooped his fifth hit of the way just over second, scoring Merrifield. Kiermaier read it very well and got to third. Tie game. A Bichette ground out (he only had 4 hits on the day, we can forgive), Vlad drove a fly ball into centerfield, scoring the winning run.
Manoah didn’t have a good day (but then few pitchers did in that game). He went just 3.1, allowed 9 hits, 5 earned, with 2 walks and 3 strikeouts. There were several soft-contact hits against him (and two home runs). And he got robbed on a call that would have been strike three, and two runs were scored after that.
There was some nice defense (Vlad and Chapman had nice plays). And some bad defense (Bo had a rough day with the glove but then a terrific day with the bat).
There were some bad manager moves (on both sides), but good guys win, so I’ll forgive John, but I hope he learns something. Running through all the guys in your bullpen my seem like fun while you are doing it, but that game could have gone to extra innings, and John would have been out of pitchers if it had.
And the plate umpire was terrible at calling balls and strikes. He started things with a very small zone, then it got big, and then it just went random.
This recap could get very long, but we have an off-day tomorrow to talk about it, and I need to eat.
Jays of the Day: Springer (.529 WPA), Vlad (.396), Kiermaier (.268), Bo (.173), Romano (.141) and Pop (.110). And I’m giving Swanson one (.070, but it wasn’t his fault his manage didn’t let him continue. And one to Merrifield (.083, getting on to lead off the ninth was huge).
The Other Award: Schneider, you gotta do better. Garcia (-.565), Manoah (-.423), and Mayza (-.237).
The Jays and Cards play again on April Fool's day. It is a 2:00 PM Eastern start.