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Jays Sweep Diamondbacks

Arizona Diamondbacks v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images

Diamondbacks 5 Blue Jays 7

So, two things before we get to the recap.

One. We can release Mitch White today, tomorrow, or early Tuesday. But no later than that.

Two. I hate pick-off plays at second base.

Let’s start with Two. First inning, Lourdes Gurriel on second, Christian Walker on first, Yusei Kikuchi spins and fires to second, missing the mark by a fair bit. And Gurriel scores when Kevin Kiermaier bobbled the ball picking it up in center. We started the game down 1-0 for no real reason.

And One. Mitch White comes in in the ninth inning with the Jays up 7-2 and can’t get out of the inning, forcing John to bring in Erik Swanson in what should have been a blowout. Mitch walked three while getting just two outs. Swanson gave up a double to bring the tying run to the plate. Thankfully a fly out to center ended the game (just after Vlad came close to making a terrific catch on a ball hit down the right-field line).

It was a day of spectacular plays and spectacular mistakes:

  • In the bottom of the first, Lourdes Gurriel (Gurriel seemed to be making it his mission to stop his former team from getting the sweep) made an amazing catch on a line drive to the left-field corner.
  • Kikuchi had a rough second inning, giving up a walk, hitting a batter and giving up a double to put us behind 2-0.
  • We got the two runs back in the bottom of the inning. Whit Merrifield started the inning with a walk. Two outs later, Santigo Espinal doubled him home. Then Kevin Kiermaier singled home Santiago. Springer followed with a double, but Bo Bichette struck out, ending the fun.
  • In the fourth, Espinal singled but was thrown out trying to stretch it to a double on a great throw by Gurriel (he showed all the good parts of his game today).
  • Kikuchi came out of the game with two outs in the fourth after a walk. He was at 89 pitches. It wasn’t a bad start. If it wasn’t for the bad throw on the pickoff it would have been quite too. In all 4.2 innings, 2 hits, 3 walks and 4 strikeouts, 2 hit batters and a wild pitch. One earned, one unearned.
  • Jay Jackson got the last out of the fifth and the first two outs of the sixth. He got credited with the win.
  • We took the lead in the fifth. Kiermaier singled. An out later, Bichette singled Kevin to third. Vlad hit a fly deep enough to score him.
  • Tim Mayza got the last out of the sixth. He only faced one batter. I hate when we try to run through all our high-leverage pitchers in a one-run game.
  • Trevor Richards pitched the seventh. He wasn’t sharp, giving out two walks. He got out of the inning when Danny Jansen picked Jake McCarthy off first base. Bad baseball on McCarthy’s fault. They had the tying run on second, and Richards had a lot of trouble. He should have to write on the blackboard, ‘Don’t give the other team a free out when you are down a run’. 100 time.
  • Yimi Garcia pitched a quick eighth.
  • We broke the game open in the bottom of the eighth. Vlad hit a one-out double with a pretty terrific slide into second:
  • Matt Chapman walked. Whit Merrifield singled to load the bases (Vlad looked like he wanted to go home on the play, but Lourdes had already thrown a runner out on the bases). And Danny Jansen doubled, unloading the bases. An out later, Daulton Varsho singled home Jansen, which made it 7-2.

We had 12 hits on the day, 4 of them doubles. And we were 4 for 7 with RISP.

Everyone in the lineup had a hit except for Chapman (who had the walk) and Kirk (0 for 4). There were two hits each for Springer, Jansen (now hitting .233), Espinal (now .228) and Kiermaier.

Jays of the Day: Kiermaier (.138 WPA), Garcia (.118), Richards (.094, helped a lot by the pick-off by Jansen) and Jackson (.093). And I’m giving on to Jansen, even though he was at .026 WPA, because the pickoff was a big moment, and the double was also big.

The Other Award: Kirk (-.098).

Since the loss in the first game of the series against Oakland (when we were told if we couldn’t sweep the A’s, we couldn’t make the playoffs), we are 11-5, and FanGraphs has us at a 77.8% chance of making the playoffs.