Blue Jays 5 @ Angels 9
José Berríos gave us a little scare by giving up a deep fly out to Taylor Ward to start the game but when he ended the first frame with a three-pitch strikeout of Shohei Ohtani, we all breathed collective a sigh of relief, thinking that this could be a good Berríos start.
Tyler Anderson started getting into trouble on the second round through the Blue Jays order. In the third, George Springer had a one-out single and was brought home by Bo Bichette’s third home run of the year. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. lined a single two pitches later and then he was driven in by Matt Chapman’s first pitch homer. Four pitches, four runs. Life comes at you fast.
Alas, while Bo giveth, he also taketh at times: Gio Urshela led off the next inning and hit a four-hopper up the middle and Bichette kicked it into right-centre field as went over to field it. By the time Daulton Varsho, who was shaded left, got to the loose ball, Urshela was pretty much at third. It was initially scored a triple then corrected to be an infield single and an E-6.
A Luis Rengifo grounder brought in Urshela for the Angels’ first run, but Berríos struck out Matt Thaiss and Ward to come out of the third with no further damage. The fourth inning started a little more rocky for the Berríos. He gave up a leadoff walk to Mike Trout, then Ohtani hit a changeup down and out of the zone for a double, and both were brought into score to make it a 4-3 game.
Leading off the next inning, Springer homered just out of the reach of Mike Trout. Anderson got two outs between walks to Bichette and Daulton Varsho before he was taken out for the night. Jaime Barría cleaned up the mess by inducing Alejandro Kirk to ground out to third.
Rengifo then cancelled out Springer’s run with a leadoff homer of his own in the fifth. Number nine hitter Thaiss hit a bouncer back to Berríos who let it go between his legs. He scrambled off the mound to field it but his throw nicked the glove of Guerrero and Thaiss reached safely. Ward then hit a 103-mph single to drive Berríos out of the game ahead of Trout and Ohtani.
Adam Cimber was brought in and Trout slammed a letter-high 84-mph fastball out of the park to give the Angels a 7-5 lead. That closed the books on Berríos: 4.0 IP, 6 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 5 K. This game did not end up featuring a good Berríos start but the optimist in me thinks this was a step forward from his first start. I will not divulge what the pessimist in me thinks of him.
In the seventh, Bichette recorded his third hit of the game with a single to right against former Blue Jay Ryan Tepera, but then got caught stealing even though the red-hot Chapman was at bat. Of course, shortly after that, Chappy doubled down the left field line which could have brought the game within one run but the Jays ended up not scoring that inning. Whether that steal attempt was called from the dugout or Bo running on his own it was a poor decision. That call would be made moot in the eighth when Anthony Bass allowed a two-run home run to Hunter Renfroe to bring the Angels’ lead to the final score of 9-5.
Vlad Jr. did something that hasn't been done since "Socks Seybold" of the Philly Athletics since 1901 as the Blue Jays lost 9-5 to the Angels https://t.co/kI5iF9A1Dn— Ty Berry (@tberry3) April 9, 2023
The pitching staff giving up nine runs was certainly the main cause for this loss but the Blue Jays also got nothing from their lineup’s fifth to ninth slots, going a collective 0-for-18 with seven strikeouts. Popping out of the boxscore is Brandon Belt, who has been as cold as the other BB, Bo Bichette, has been hot. The newly-signed free agent hasn’t even been to Toronto yet and is already 1-for-23 with 15 strikeouts in 25 plate appearances. In his brief tenure with the 2017 Blue Jays, Jarrod Saltalamacchia went 1-for-25 with 16 strikeouts over 26 plate appearances.
Jays of the Day! Bo Bichette (+.241 WPA), Matt Chapman (+.107)
Suckage Jays: José Berríos (-.342 WPA), Adam Cimber (-.237), Brandon Belt (-.115), Santiago Espinal (-.113)
The Blue Jays will finish off their series in Anaheim with a 4:07 pm EDT game that will see a battle of the southpaws with Yusei Kikuchi facing Reid Detmers.