Blue Jays 3 Royals 0
Back to .500. It would be nice to be better, but we’ll take it.
Alek Manoah had a much better start than in the season opener. He went 7 complete, and allowed just 1 hit, 4 walks and 5 strikeouts. He gave up some fly balls, 7 to 4 ground outs, and maybe was helped out a bit by the wind blowing in and by the size of the park, but he didn’t give up all that many hard-hit balls. Baseball Savant had the hardest hit ball off him at 102.1 mph, which turned into a double play.
Maybe he gave out a couple more walks than we would have liked, and he hit a batter, but I’ll take 7 innings of 1 hit ball any day.
We didn’t do a heck of a lot on offense, though 10 hits aren’t bad.
The first run didn’t come until the sixth inning. Vladimir Guerrero and Daulton Varsho had back-to-back one-out singles, giving us runners on the corners. Matt Chapman hit into what should have been an inning-ending double play, but Royals SS Bobby Witt made a poor throw to first after getting the force, and Vlad scored on the ‘not error’ (because of reasons), even though we all know it was an error.
And we got two more in the eighth. Vlad led off the inning with his first home run of the season (opposite field), hit at 107.9 mph. Varsho followed with a double and scored on Chapman’s single. It was pretty amazing Varsho scored. As the line drive passed, he moved back towards second and then started running. I thought he would be stopped at third, but I don’t think he even looked at Luis Rivera. But the relay from left field was very slow.
Guerrero and Varsho had 3 hits each. Springer, Chapman, Kirk and Merrifield each had one hit.
Varsho had a very nice day with the glove too. It is nice to have guys in the outfield who you trust to make catches and throws.
And Erik Swanson and Jordan Romano pitched a quick eight and ninth, getting their second hold and third save, respectively.
Jays of the Day: Manoah (.478 WPA), Varsho (.125) and Guerrero (.109).
The Other Award: Bichette had a -.116, but he also saved Vlad an error on a throw that was more than a bit wide of second. Belt (-.103) earns his award fairly.
The game was only 2 hours and 17 minutes. To compare, the Flames/Jets game started at about the same time, and it is still going on as I type this, several minutes after this game ended.
Tomorrow is an afternoon game. A 2:00 Eastern start.