The Jays lost this one the way they lose most of them, with bad hitting (especially with men on base). We joked in the game thread that it’s getting so predictable that an AI could write the recap. At the risk of giving SB Nation ideas, I’ve decided to ask ChatGPT to write this one up for us, in the style of Grantland Rice. Take it away, robot:
Upon the grand stage of the diamond, a saga unfolded as the Cleveland Guardians clashed with the Toronto Blue Jays in a ballet of might and finesse. The Guardians, like mythic heroes, emerged triumphant, scripting a 5-2 victory that shall reverberate through the echelons of sport.
The drama commenced with a sense of anticipation, the Blue Jays gallantly notching an early run in the second inning, a stroke of elegance in motion. Yet, destiny had a different narrative in store. With a crack of the bat akin to a thunderclap, the Guardians answered in the fourth, restoring equilibrium with a commanding home run.
Amidst the unfolding spectacle, the Guardians’ impervious defense emerged as a colossus, thwarting the Blue Jays’ fervent advances. But it was the seventh inning that cast the Guardians in their true light—a symphony of strategic brilliance. Hits, steals, and a sacrifice fly wove an intricate tapestry, yielding three runs that adorned the scoreboard.
As shadows lengthened and the Blue Jays summoned their mettle, their spirit remained unbroken. Alas, the Guardians’ strategy was an enigma too perplexing, as they scored once more in the late innings, sealing their dominance at 5-2. The Blue Jays displayed valor, yet the final verse was penned by the Guardians, their tale of victory now etched in the annals of time—a resounding testament to their skill and resolve.
Stirring. Not what happened, but stirring. What actually occurred, in my more workmanlike but more accurate prose, below.
Bassitt got off to a good start, sitting down the first seven Guardians to come to the plate and striking out three of them.
Things went downhill from there, though. Josh Naylor hit a solo shot to tie the game at one. It could have gotten worse immediately, as Steven Kwan lined a single and Jose Ramirez doubled on a grounder up the first base line that Vlad should have gotten his glove on. Kwan came home, beating the throw, and was initially called safe. The Blue Jays challenged, though, and on review he missed the plate in his slide and Alejandro Kirk alertly tagged him out after the play to end the inning.
Cleveland succeeded in the lead in the top of the fourth. Oscar Gonzalez reached on a soft line single that Whit Merrifield got the tip of his glove on but couldn’t quite bring it in. One batter later, Ramon Laureano hit a two run shot to left centre to put the Guardians in front 3-1.
He managed to work around a leadoff walk by Josh Naylor in the fifth without giving up a run, but a pair of doubles by Gonzalez and Laureano knocked him out of the game in the sixth. He went 5.2 innings, allowing 4 runs on 7 hits and 2 walks, striking out 5.
Genesis Cabrera was brought in to try to limit the damage. He got Naylor to fly out.
Erik Swanson pitched a 1-2-3 seventh. Jordan Hicks followed in the eighth and retired the first two batters but gave up a line drive home run to Andres Gimenez to extend Cleveland’s lead to 5-2. Finally, Bowden Francis completed the mop up by striking out the side in the top of the ninth.
The offence struggled yet again. Tanner Bibbee gave up an opposite field chip shot to George Springer in the second to stake Toronto to an early 1-0 lead, but that was it
They had a chance to cut into Cleveland’s lead in the fourth. Vlad lead off with a ground ball single, and after the next two batters were retired Matt Chapman lined a double into the left field corner. Third base coach Luis Rivera gambled trying to send Vlad home, but good throws from Kwan and Arias combined to gun him down at the plate. It was close, and with the way they’re hitting I see the case for gambling, but Vlad is very slow and I hate giving away outs on the bases.
Another chance came and went in the fifth. Kirk won a 10 pitch battle with Bibbee by dumping a pop up down the left field line for a double. Kevin Kiermaier advanced him to third with a ground out, but neither Merrifield no Bo Bichette could put the ball in play and he was left stranded.
They managed to draw a little closer in the bottom of the sixth. Vlad finally, finally, got a hold of one, launching a hung Bibbee change up 422 feet into the left field bleachers.
Enyel De Los Santos relieved Bibbee in the seventh and sat the Jays down in order. Trevor Stephan allowed a walk to Belt in the eighth but also managed to preserve the lead.
Emmanuel Clase was brought in for the save. Daulton Varsho reached on a hard line drive that went off Kole Calhoun’s glove at first. Second baseman Gimenez fielded it but his throw to the bag was in the dirt. The Jays couldn’t capitalize on the error, though, and 5-2 would be the final.
Jays of the Day: Nobody got there.
A Chatbot could do better: Bassitt (-0.203), Merrifield (-0.145), Bichette (-0.095)
We’ll do it again tomorrow at 3:07pm ET. Hyun Jin Ryu (2-1, 1.89) looks to continue his run of strong play since his comeback, while the offence will deal with yet another excellent Guardians rookie in Logan Allen (6-6, 3.31)