Blue Jays 4 Rays 6
Well, that was an interesting (or terrible) game.
Our ‘Gold Glove’ (there have been many poor Gold Glove choices) first baseman made two errors (could almost be three). One on a throw that he stretched for but couldn’t hold onto, and one that a ground ball that he missed hit his body (it was a tough play, I can’t blame him for just knocking it down). Then Chris Bassitt made the play on and tossed it to Vlad, but he missed it. A lot was going on, but Vlad, instead of getting his foot on the side of the bag, had his foot in the middle of the bag, and the runner likely stepped on his foot about the time the ball got there. Those two errors cost us four runs.
So Bassitt gave up 6 runs, but only 2 were earned. Chris gave up three home runs, 7 hits, and 1 walk with 4 strikeouts. With a little more help from his defense, his line would have been so much better.
And once again, we had troubles with runners in scoring position, but then we didn’t have many chances. We were 1 for 4, the one being Whit Merrifield’s 2-run homer.
We got one more run in the ninth, a Daulton Varsho home run. Good to see him make hard contact.
The Jays actually got the tying run to the plate in the ninth. After Varsho’s homer, Kirk and Merrifield had singles. Jansen popped out to left, but then Brandon Belt pinch-hitting for Kiermaier (??) singled, and Kirk scored. George Springer walked, bringing the go-ahead run to the plate. But Bo Bichette tapped one back to the pitch to end the game.
There was a kind of weird play in the second inning. Merrifield hit a two-out single, went to second on a wild pitch, and then Danny Jansen dribbled one up the third base line. With two outs, Merrifield took off with contact, but the ball got to third as Merrifield got there. Normally the 3B would go to first and take the force, but instead, he tagged Whit coming into the bag. It was a very close play, called out. You see things like that fairly often, and the third baseman always throws to first because a force is easier than a tag.
We had some good defense too. George Springer made a very nice catch in right. And Kiermaier made a terrific throw to the plate to get Wander Franco trying to score on a fly ball to medium center. I didn’t think Kevin had a chance at getting him, but even with a Rays’challenge, we got the call.
Anthony Bass got the last two outs of the seventh, and Thomas Hatch got 3 strikeouts in the ninth.
We had a couple of moments where we got unlucky. Vlad hit a double in the first, and Chapman followed with a liner (107 mph), but right at the first baseman. And in the third, Bo was on first, and Vlad ground one down the third base line, it looked like a double, but Brandon Lowe made a great play on and got Vlad at first.
Merrifield had 4 hits today. no one else had more than one. Whit’s been in a slump, so good to see him get some hits. The Jays were 2 for 7 with RISP.
Jay of the Day: Merrifield (.207 WPA, maybe minus a bit for the play at third) and let’s give one to Springer, .089 WPA, plus the catch in right.
The Other Award: Bichette (-.239, for a 1 for 5 day, but the big one was the out in the ninth), and Jansen (-.114). And let’s give one to Vlad for the two errors. Bassitte had a -.281, but much of that was because of the errors.
Tomorrow it is Berrios (3-4, 4.61) vs Taj Bradley (3-0, 3.54). We are going to win again someday. It might as well be tomorrow.