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Late Inning Loss for Blue Jays

Toronto Blue Jays v Seattle Mariners Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images

Blue Jays 2 Mariners 3

Of course, Teoscar Hernandez would drive in the winning run.

I will start with my complaint, and then we’ll get on with the recap.

Yusei Kikuchi was terrific. Through 5 innings, he allowed 4 hits (2 of them infield hits)1 walk with 7 strikeouts. I don’t know that he’s ever looked better. And then, in the sixth, he gets a strikeout (number 8 on the day) and gives up his third infield hit. Truly unlucky. He got so much such soft contact that he couldn’t get there in time to make the out. And John takes him out of the game.

I don’t know. He was at 78 pitches and looked great. But we seem under the impression that all the ‘high-leverage’ relievers should pitch in every game. I’d like us to trust the guy who looks lights out for a bit longer.

But then Trevor Richards got two strikeouts and got of us out of the inning.

Unfortunately, Richards started the seventh with a walk and a double, and he’s out of the game. Erik Swanson gets really weak contact from Mike Ford, but the popup fell just in front of Whit Merrifield in left. Suddenly it was a one-run game with runners on first and third. Swanson then gets a 3-2 force at the plate—excellent job by Brandon Belt and Danny Jansen. A flyout, a walk and a strikeout got Swanson out of the inning, and the good guys were still up by a run.

I don’t like using every reliever because sooner or later, you will find the one that doesn’t have it. And we did. Yimi Garcia came in for the eighth, got the first out, and then gave up a single and game-tying double. Thankfully he got out of the inning after that.

Jordan Romano entered the game in the ninth and walked the first batter. A bunt moved the potential winning run to second. A fly ball followed an intentional walk to Julio Rodriguez to the track to move up the runners (nice catch by Springer. Then Teoscar Hernandez hit a fly ball off the right field wall, and we lose.

Earlier in the game, we pulled Kikuchi because we didn’t want him facing Teoscar. In the ninth, we could have walked Teoscar. Instead, we pitch to him.

We didn’t exactly impress with the bats. Just 6 hits and 6 walks.

One of the hits was a Danny Jansen home run. And another was an infield hit for Daulton Varsho, who stole second, went to third on a 5-3 ground out, taking off from second after the third baseman threw to first.

We should have scored in the seventh. We loaded the bases with one out. John decided to pinch hit for Daulton Varsho with Alejandro Kirk. Kirk went to a full count (with help from plate umpire Vic Carapazza, before hitting into a double play.

Jays of the Day: Kikuchi (.269 WPA), Swanson (.223), Jansen (.141) and Varsho (.125).

The Other Award: Romano (-.375), Garcia (-.220), Richards (-.176), Bichette (-.135, for an 0 for 5 with 3 strikeouts), Kirk (-.129 for the double play ball) and Espinal (-.109, for a bad strikeout pinch-hitting).

Tomorrow we have a 4:00 Eastern start time. Kevin Gausman (7-5, 3.03), who will have to pitch deep into the game, goes against Logan Gilbert (8-5, 3.65).

Pulling Kikuchi early when you know you have Gausman starting tomorrow coming off soreness and Manoah pitching Sunday when you know he’s not going more than 5 unless some miracle happens, is unexplainable.