Braves 5 Blue Jays 6
What a great ninth inning:
- Vlad hit one deep off the top of the wall in right. He thought he had a home run (I thought so, too), but he didn’t run out of the box. It should have been a double, but it was only a single. That could have been a big moment. Getting the tying run to second to start the ninth inning is important.
- Daulton Varsho popped out.
- Matt Chapman walked, moving the tying run to second.
- Whit Merrifield popped one out to left.
- Brandon Belt reached on an infield single to short. Belt also reached on a bunt single earlier in the game. Bases loaded.
- And Danny Jansen singled to left, and the tying and winning runs scored.
Not a good start from Yusei Kikuchi, but the ninth inning comeback keeps him perfect on the season, 4 innings, 9 hits, 5 runs, 4 earned, 0 walks and 7 strikeouts. Normally, if Yusei gives up no walks with 7 strikeouts, I’d think he had a good day. Today? Ronald Acuna hit the third pitch of the game, 421 feet. In the second inning, a Marcell Ozuna double and Michael Harris single made it 2-0.
In the third, a Matt Chapman error, a throw that just sailed on him and an Ozzie Albies home run brought in two more. And a Kevin Pillar home run in the fourth gave the Braves their fifth run. A singled to start the fifth ended Kikuchi’s day.
After that, the bullpen shut things down, giving the Jays a chance to earn the sweep. Anthony Bass stranded the inherited runner in the fifth. Jay Jackson gave up a walk but got three flyouts in the sixth. Trevor Richards pitched the seventh and eighth, giving up a single and a walk but getting 3 strikeouts. And Nate Pearson pitched a quick ninth, despite a walk.
We did get 3 runs in the second inning:
Whit Merrifield reached on a two-base error by Albies at second base (Albies and Acuna collided, the first of two times Braves ran into each other) (errors were a theme of the day). Belt singled him home. Danny Jansen and Santiago Espinal singled to load the bases. George Springer hit into a 1-2-3 double play. But Bo Bichette walked, and Vladimir Guerrero singled, and we were up 3-2
We got one more in the fourth. George Springer homered to lead off the inning.
There were other chances. In the seventh, Matt Chapman reached on a two-base error when Kevin Pillar and Michael Harris collided with no one out. But we couldn’t score him.
It was a day of errors.
Matt Chapman made two errors today.
As well as Vlad not running out the ball hit off the wall, Bo Bichette was thrown out at second after first baseman Matt Olson dropped a popup (Acuna was coming in hard, likely Olson heard the footsteps), but Bo was kind of slow out of the box, but still decided to go for second he was out.
The Braves had 3 ‘official errors but had 5 or 6 real errors.
And, as always with the Laz Diaz-led umpiring crew, there were some poor calls at the plate. Vlad was called out on strikes on a low and outside pitch, with runners on first and second and one out in the sixth.
Jays of the Day: Jansen (.637 WPA), Vlad (.196, you might want to adjust that a bit for the slow start to on the ball in the ninth), and Trevor Richards (.101). Chapman had the number (-.150), but the two errors aren’t factored into that).
The Other Award: Kikuchi (-.420, hurt some by the bad defense), Varsho (-.150 on a 1 for 4 with a walk), and Springer (-.122, despite a home run and a single).
Tomorrow the Yankees come to town for four games. Alek Manoah (1-3, 4.83) gets the start for the non-evil guys. The evil ones have TBD listed (if I had a middle name that started with B, I could be starting, but my parents were too poor for middle names, my first name was a hand-me-down).