The Blue Jays’ hitters did not walk tonight, and neither did they strike out or hit any home runs. 34 men came to the plate, and all of them put the ball in play. It was the anti three true outcomes game. Unfortunately, only 7 of those went for hits, including three doubles and a triple. It all added up to two frustrating runs.
On the other side, the Brewers did walk, four times, and added in a home run, which is how they won 4-2 with only four hits.
The Jays have lost all kinds of ways in 2023, but tonight was unfamiliar given the makeup of Jays offences the past few years.
It was a grind for Alek Manoah tonight. He walked the leadoff batter in three of the four innings he pitched, putting him pretty much constantly in jams. To his credit, he worked out of most of them, only allowing two runs on an Abraham Toro homer in the second. He battled his command and struggled to get swings and misses, though, striking out just two batters all night. It took him 89 pitches to make it through those two innings. It was a gutsy effort not to give up more than he did and at least keep the Jays in touch, but there were no signs of progress in his season long issues with stuff and command.
Trevor Richards took over in the fifth, and worked pretty easily around an Owen Miller ground ball single. He got some help from an unorthodox play by Vlad Guerrero jr, who fielded a Christian Yelich grounder but had the ball wedge in the laces of his glove and was forced to fling the whole thing at Richards covering first for the out. He didn’t need any help in the sixth, striking out a pair and inducing a weak fly out.
Tim Mayza got the call in the seventh and got slapped around. He got Victor Caratini t to ground out, but then allowed line drive singles to the next two batters, allowed a double steal with a very slow move to the plate, and gave up a line double to Owen Miller that scored both runners, making it 4-1. He got Rowdy Tellez to ground out before being lifted for Adam Cimber, who got a pop up to end the inning.
Cimber would return for a 1-2-3 eighth inning, including a strikeout of Toro.
Anthony Bass came in, to a loud chorus of boos, for mop up duty in the ninth. He walked the leadoff man, prompting Schneider to rush Yimi Garcia to get warmed up. He recovered, though, getting a pop up, a strikeout, and a ground out.
Julio Teheran, in his second start with Milwaukee after a year in the independent leagues and a month with the Padres’ AAA team, wasn’t fooling the Jays at all, but also didn’t yield much. He scattered three hits over the first four innings, including doubles by Matt Chapman and Cavan Biggio. He induced just two swinging strikes across those innings but also avoided issuing any walks, allowing the Jays’ offence to beat itself.
They did start to square him up in the fourth, with a Vlad line out to tue track in centre and a couple of otuer relatively well struck fly outs.
Finally, in the fifth, they managed to get on the board. Whit Merrifield reached on a Toro throwing error, and scored on a Kevin Kiermaier jam shot fly up the first base line that Brian Anderson misplayed into a triple.
The sixth was like the fourth, with three fairly well struck balls from Bichette, Guerrero and Daulton Varsho that all found outfield gloves.
They’d get one more in the seventh, facing reliever and former Jay Joe Payamps. Matt Chapman lead off with his second ground ball double of the night, this one nicking off third baseman Toro’s glove and into the corner. He moved to third on a Merrifield infield single and scored on a hard Cavan Biggio ground out.
That was all they’d manage, though. Peter Strzelecki worked a clean eighth. They had a chance against Devin Williams in the ninth, when Varsho hooked a grounder around the first base bag for a leadoff double. It wasn’t to be, though. Chapman just missed a middle middle fastball he could have hit out, Merrifield hit a hard ground out to third, and Alejandro Kirk slapped a line drive right back at Williams’ head that the pitcher was able to catch for the final out.
Jays of the Day: Nobody, although Richards (.090) did a great job keeping them in it.
We’re not Mad, We’re just Disappointed: Mayza (-.197), Springer (-.185), Kirk (-.141), Vlad (-.121)
It’s a day game to decide the series tomorrow. Freddy Peralta (5-4, 4.64) faces Kevin Gausman (3-3, 3.03) at 1:07pm ET