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Vlad Homers, Jays Win

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at Chicago White Sox Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Blue Jays 4 White Sox 3

I think I must start with George Springer’s play with one out in the eighth. Jays up a run, a fly ball, slicing down the right field line. Springer ran a long way to have the ball clank off his glove. It should have been caught. But the bad part was that George sat on the fence for a moment, thinking the ball was foul (it wasn’t). That allowed Tim Anderson to get to third (and Springer’s rushed throw almost got away, which would have tied the game). No error on awarded on the play, but there really should have been. No way Anderson would have made it to third if Springer didn’t take a break.

Springer owes Erik Swanson big time for getting a couple of popups to strand the runner at third.

The big moment for the Jays was in the seventh. Brandon Belt worked a walk, and then Vladimir Guerrero homered to left.

We could have had a big moment in the seventh. Whit Merrifield started the inning with a single. After an out, Whit stole second and went to third on a wild pitch, bringing the tying run to third. Kevin Kiermaier walked, bringing up the top of the order. But Springer lined out, and Bo Bichette ground out. That seemed like a very big moment.

Our other runs scored in the fourth. With one out, Belt walked (his walks were big today). Vlad singled, and Matt Chapman walked to load the bases. After a Daulton Varsho strikeout (he was robbed on two pitches at bat), Whit Merrifield hit a two-run double.

Chris Bassitt was great through five innings.

Unfortunately, he pitched six innings. In the sixth, Andrew Benintendi lined a single to right. Then Anderson ground one at Bo (who was having a great game in the field), took a couple of steps back to get a bounce, and had it go through him. It would have been an easy double play, but then it was a tough hop (hit at 89.7 mph). The inning could have been over, but Luis Robert hit a three-run homer, making the game 3-2 White Sox.

Bassitt went 6 innings, 6 hits, 3 earned, 1 walk and 5 strikeouts. A quality start.

Nate Pearson pitched a great seventh inning. I wasn’t happy when John brought Swanson in for the eighth. Erik’s had a few bad outings lately, and Pearson was terrific in the seventh. I’m a fan of leaving in one doing great instead of looking for the pitcher who doesn’t have it. But Swanson proved me wrong—an amazing job after the mess Springer made.

Jordan Romano got three strikeouts in the ninth for his 25th save.

We only had six hits on the day. Vlad and Whit had two each. Bo and Belt had one each. Belt also had the two walks.

Springer had a bad night. There was the play above, he went 0 for 5 and took a ball off the side of the face. A fly ball, foul, he jumped for it off the netting, missed, and the ball hit the netting and found his face. He stayed down for a moment, but the trainer looked at him, and he stayed in.

Bo made a couple of great plays, one with a spinning throw to first, and Vlad did a nice stretch to make the catch.

Jays of the Day: Vlad (.454 WPA), Merrifield (.348), Romano (.197), Swanson (.140, sorry I doubted you), and Belt (.112).

The Other Award: Springer (-.194, which doesn’t count the play in the eighth), Bassitt (-.167, not totally fair), Bo (-169, but he made a couple of just amazing plays so that you might discount this, but then there was that missed ground ball), Kirk (-.152, 0 for 4, he did do a good job with Bassitt), and Varsho (-131, 0 for 4, 2 k).

Tomorrow we have Jose Berrios (8-6, 3.74) vs. Lance Lynn (5-8, 6.47). Another 8:00 Eastern start.