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Good Pitching and Defense, Jays Beat Twins

Toronto Blue Jays v Minnesota Twins Photo by David Berding/Getty Images

Blue Jays 3 Twins 0

We can’t stop ourselves from making outs on the basepaths:

  • In the first, not outs George Springer on first to start off the game, and he tries to steal, and he’s out. It is possible it was a hit-and-run that didn’t work, but still a free out.
  • In the seventh, Matt Chapman was on first after being hit by pitch. Whit Merrifield has a swinging bunt, out at first, but Chapman tries to go to third, out easily. I’d love to see this stuff get fixed.

Beyond that:

Jose Berrios was terrific. Maybe too many walks (though the plate umpire had a very shaky grasp on the strike zone today). 5.2 innings, 4 hits, 5 walks and 5 strikeouts, and no runs. He did get some help from some good defense (and some poor baserunning by the Twins).

And the pen did the job:

  • Trevor Richards came into the sixth with one on and two out and got out of the inning. He started the seventh with a walk but got two strikeouts, and then.....
  • Erik Swanson came in to face lefty Joey Gallo. I wasn’t thrilled, as Richards was doing well, but Swanson does well against lefties (despite having a bit of trouble the last few times out there). Swanson struck out Gallo. And then got through the eight with two more strikeouts.
  • Jordan Romano got the ninth with the three-run lead. He got 2 strikeouts around a single for the save.

On offense we did just enough. 7 hits in all and only 1 extra base hit, Springer’s double.

We scored:

  • Two in the second: With one out, Chapman walked. An out later, Daulton Varsho single. And then Alejandro Kirk drove them home with a bloop single that just fell in front of the Twins left fielder. Great runner by Varsho to score from first.
  • One in the eighth: With two out, Springer walked. Then Bo singled to left, but Willie Castro had the ball go off the outside of his glove when he tried to grab it on a bounce. Other teams can mess up too. Springer came all the way around from first.

4 of our 7 hits came from Bo and George.

Vlad, Belt, and Merrifield had terrible days at the plate. Biggio was 0 for too, but at least he had some good at-bats.

Daulton Varsho had a terrific day in the field, throwing out a runner trying to go from first to third on a single (great throw, great tag/block of the plate by Chapman. And he made a terrific catch at the wall in center (after having misadventures at the wall yesterday). That and scoring from first on that single made him the star of the game to me.

Bo also started a double play nicely with a glove flip to Biggio (I thought he could have taken it to second himself. Vlad made a couple of nice plays at first.

Jays of the Day: Berrios (.313 WPA), Kirk (.167, on a bloop single), and I’m giving one to Varsho for the wheels and glove. Richards and Swanson deserve an honorary mention.

The Other Award: Vlad (-.118) and Merrifield (-.091).

Tomorrow is an off day. And then I’m taking a couple of days in Banff, as I’ve been overly grumpy lately, likely due to bad play. Relaxing and unwinding will be good. But the rest of the band will be here for your dining and dancing pleasure.