Blue Jays 4 at Pirates 0
Mercifully having departed Fenway park, the Jays found the hospitality at the friendly confines of picteresuqe PNC Park much more to their liking. For the first time in almost a full week, the Jays were able to hold the other teams bats in check.
Despite the shutout, Chris Bassitt was not exactly at his sharpest as he allowed at least one runner in every inning but the 5th. He got some help managing that traffic with three outs on the bathpaths:
- Ji Hwan Bae stole second but was (barely) nabbed at third after a walk leading things off for the Pirates.
- After Bassitt appeared to have restored order putting down four straight, with two out in the second he walked Rodolfo Castro and gave up a single to put runners on the corners. On a slider that squirted away from Danny Jansen, Castro tried to score but misjudged it and was out
- Finally, after Carlos Santana walked leading off the fourth, he tried to go first to third on a two out single by Castro to left-centre that was right in front of him. A true TOOTBLAN.
With this help, Bassitt navigated the early innings to go 7 shutout inning on 105 pitches, giving up 4 hits and 4 walks against 5 strikeouts. Frankly, it was an outing that could have easily gone sideways and against a better might well have. As it was, with the way the Jays were going one was just waiting for the bottom to fall out, but it never did.
Likewise, the bats were not exactly firing on all cylinders, in fact the output was the weaker than any game in the losing streak. It was a distributed attack, with each of the top 7 in the batting order getting a hit but not stringing much together and only Whit Merrifield more than one, Nonetheless, they managed to punch four runs across in first half of the game, which proved to not only be enough but provide a comfortable cushion:
- In the first, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. singled in Bo Bichette after he doubled with one out.
- In the 4th Daulton Varsho lined a two out double to cash Whit Merrifield after he had done the same with one out
- George Springer ambushed a Rich Hill mistake curveball on 0-2 and drove it sharply over the CF wall after Santiago Espional walked leading off the inning
Erik Swanson and Jordan Romano finished things off after Bassitt with clean innings in the 8th and 9th respectively.
Jays of the Day: Bassitt (+.333 WPA)
Tomorrow, the Jays will look to secure the series and get a real winning streak going with Jose Berrios taking on Johan Oviedo at the same 6:35 EDT start time.