Blue Jays 6 Orioles 3 (10 innings)
I love Brandon Belt. In the tenth inning, runner starts at second and Belt homers. Man, that was great. And that wasn’t the end of the scoring. Vlad followed with a double. A deep fly and a wild pitch scored him, and we were up by three.
Bottom of the inning Jordan Romano (who still hasn’t allowed a hit in extra innings this year), gets a flyout, strikeout and strikeout. Save number 31.
It was a terrific game—lots of moves to argue with. Good moments, bad moments. One of those really fun games.
Yusei Kikuchi wasn’t his best self tonight. He had moments, but he was pitching in trouble a lot of the time. He went 4.2, allowed 7 hits, 1 walk and 6 strikeouts. He gave up a run in the first off a two-out single, steal and double. In the third, he gave up a one-out double. In the fourth, there were a pair of one-out singles.
The fifth started with back-to-back singles. Both hit on pitches below the strike zone, but both should have been further in, and both hit well. Then a Ryan Mountcastle hard-hit line out to left. That one scored me the best contact of the three. Gunnar Henderson struck out, but the Orioles pulled the double steal and Danny Jansen’s throw to second short-hopped Bo at second. I would have been all for not throwing. That scored a run. Kikuchi seemed to pitch around Austin Hays, which ended the game for him.
That is an interesting one to argue. I liked to move cause Yusei was hit hard that inning, and we wanted the win.
Some thought maybe let him try for the last out to get the W. I’m not a fan of managing to players' stats. I thought he was having a tough time, and we had a right-handed batter coming to the plate. I don’t care about starting pitcher wins. Team wins are the only thing that matters.
Yimi Garcia in. He gave up a double, making the run, scoring on the throwing error earned and tying the game. Then he hit a batter (it was close, went off the nub of the bat and the hand) and got a fly out. Tie game.
Trevor Richards threw a perfect sixth.
Jordan Hicks did the same in the seventh.
And Erik Swanson continued it in the eighth.
Tim Mayza had some trouble in the ninth. An infield single to start the inning. Then a pop out. A ground ball that Bo Bichette made an amazing play on. An Intention walk. And a terrific play by Merrifield. Not a ball out of the infield, and yet a ton of drama.
And then Romano.
There were a lot of complaints about how John ran his pen, but it worked out great, and everyone should be available tomorrow. I’m good with guys going more than an inning, but I can understand how John felt about making sure he had a strong pen for tomorrow’s game too.
We got two runs in the second:
George Springer led off with a walk, and Daulton Varsho homered. We got back-to-back singles after that, but Kevin Kiermaier lined one up the third base line that Ryan Mountcastle made a great diving catch on, leading him to the bag for a double play. Merrifield ground out to end the inning.
And one more in the fourth:
Matt Chapman had a one-out single, he moved to second on a ground out, and Kiermaier doubled him home.
But that was the end of the scoring until the tenth.
We had 12 hits on the day. Vlad had three (two singles and a double). Varsho, Chapman and Kiermaier each had two.
The only Jays not to get a hit were Merrifield (0 for 5) and Springer (0 for 4 and a walk).
2 for 9 with RISP, but then Varsho’s home run came with the runner on first.
Jays of the Day: Belt (.395 WPA), Varsho (.148). Mayza (.135) and Swanson (.105). Honourable mention to Hicks and Swanson. And Bo’s glove gets an honourable mention.
The Other Award: Merrifield (-.183), Garcia (-.100).
Bo’s bat (-.096) had a rough time, but the play in the ninth (amazing throw) saves him from the award.
A win over the Orioles! They said it couldn’t be done.
Tomorrow Kevin Gausman (9-7, 3.24) faces his old team. Jack Flaherty (8-8, 4.73) pitches for the O’s.