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Kirk and Guerrero Homer, Jays Beat Padres

MLB: JUL 20 Padres at Blue Jays Photo by Gerry Angus/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Padres 0 Blue Jays 4

All’s well that ends well, but this was a frustrating game until the late innings:

  • First inning, two outs: Vladimir Guerrero walks and then is picked off first, catcher to first baseman. There is no reason for Vlad to get that far off first. He isn’t stealing. Plus, he didn’t dive back to the bag, he stepped to the bag. Called safe on the field but was easily out.
  • Actually, before that, Springer walks. Bo gets 1-0 and then bounces into an easy double play. Maybe look for a pitch you can hit hard?
  • Top of the second, one out. Xander Bogaerts on first, an easy ground ball up the middle, right at Santiago Espinal, and it goes through him. Easy double-play. Dan thought that maybe it hit the bag at second and bounced funny. It isn’t. It was just a whiff. Thankfully Chris Bassitt worked out of it.
  • Bottom of the second. Whit Merrifield singled and stole second. Then he tried to steal third. Out easily. I looked at the boxscores. Whit has stolen third 8 times and caught 4 times. He should stop trying. After that, Espinal walked, and Alejandro Kirk singled. Jordan Luplow singled in Espinal. Kevin Kiermaier lined one to left. If all had gone the same without the steal, we would have scored three, and Bo would have been up.
  • Bottom of the fourth: Bases loaded, one out. Kiermiaer strikes out on 4 pitches, but none of them strikes.
  • Bottom of the fifth. Bo and Vlad each walked (Bo, for the second time this game, Vlad on four pitches, none of them close. I said, ‘if Matt swings at the first pitch, it better be a home run’. He swung at the first pitch, off the plate, missing and then struck out. Maybe one of the pitches was a strike. Then Merrifield stuck out, swinging at pitches well out of the zone.
  • Top of the sixth: One out, runner on first, single to center. Keirmaier throws to third way late to get the runner going first to third, allowing the batter to go to second, taking us out of the double play chance. But Bassitt pitched out of it.

Now there were some good moments.

In the seventh, with Trent Grisham on first, Ha-Seong Kim popped one behind first. Vlad made a very nice over-the-shoulder (tough catch), then turned and saw Tim Mayza had come to cover first, and Grisham took off. Vlad threw back to Tim, who got the force, but also tagged the runner (why not practice).

Espinal also made a nice play at second, going to his right to get a ball and throwing from his knees to get the out.

We got a great start from Bassitt. 6 innings, 4 hits, 1 walk and 5 strikeouts. When he was in trouble, he worked his way out of it.

Tim Mayza gave up a walk in the seventh but was part of that great play, helping him put up a scoreless inning.

Erik Swanson had a hard time if it in the eighth, starting the inning with a hit and a walk. But he got a big strikeout of Manny Machado. Then he got Xander Bogaerts to ground to Chapman, who touched third and threw to first to end the inning. He was facing the best of the Padres' order.

Jordan Romano pitched the ninth, even with the big lead. It has been a while since we’ve seen him on the mound.

On offense. Well, we had some very good at-bats. We took 8 walks. And yet only scored two runs. The one mentioned above (which should have been a big inning) and a Vladdy home run in the seventh (right after the great defensive play).

And Kirk hit a two-run homer in the eighth to put us up by four.

We had 8 walks, and 9 hits should have added up to more than four runs.

Vlad walked twice and homered. Merrifield had two hits. Bo walked twice (three walks in two days for Bo), the first time he’s walked in back-to-back games this season and the third time he’s had 2 walks in a game. Kirk had three hits, including the homer, and a walk. And Jordan Luplow, in his first game since being called up, had two hits and a walk.

The only Jay not to reach base was Kiermaier.

Jays of the Day: Bassitt (.362 WPA), Luplow (.135), Kirk (.129), Vlad (.119, plus the great defensive play, making up for being picked off first), and Mayza (.094). I will give one to Swanson (.072) for battling after the first two got on base.

The Other Award: Kiermaier (-.138 for his 0 for 4).

Tomorrow the Jays will be in Toronto West to start a three game series with the Mariners in front of 20,000+ Jays fans (and we are pretty obnoxious at those games). Yusei Kikuchi (7-3, 4.13) and Bryce Miller (6-3, 3.66) are the starters in a late game for those of you in the East (10:00 Eastern start).