Nationals 5 Blue Jays 4
Off the top, I hated the send of Kirk in the eighth inning. It wasn’t a deep fly. It did take a pretty good throw, and it was close. And normally I’d say with two outs, it is worth the shot. But Kirk isn’t fast, and we still would have been down a run if he scored. Keep him at third, and hope the next guy up continues things.
You could have pinch run, but it seems that Brandon Belt might not have been available. But 8th inning, who knows if Kirk’s spot in the lineup would come around again.
Jose Berrios didn’t have his best start. He gave up two home runs. A two-run shot by Carter Kieboom in the second. And a three-run homer by Keibert Ruiz in the fifth.
Berrios went 6 innings, allowing 6 hits and 2 walks, but the home runs came at bad moments.
Bowden Francis threw 3 very good innings of relief. He gave the team a chance to come back.
On offense, we had 11 hits and 3 walks. MacKenzie Gore was not good, but we didn’t take advantage of his wildness early enough. We only managed one run against him in 5 innings, a Davis Sncheider home run.
There was a run in the seventh. Cavan Biggio walked (pinch-hitting), and he stole second. Schneider doubled him home.
And one more in the eighth. Danny Jansen singled. Whit Merrifield replaced him with a force at second. Alejandro Kirk doubled him home. A wild pitch moved Kirk to third. But, well see above.
We had the shot in the ninth. Cavan Biggio and Kevin Kiermaier singled to start the inning. George Springer walked to load the bases and move the tying run to second for Davis Schneider. A time count violation on pitcher Kyle Kinnegan helped Springer’s walk along.
Davis struck out chasing. Vlad up. He’s been good in high-leverage moments this year, but a bouncer down the line wasn’t good enough. A run scored by we needed more up to Danny Jansen. He’s had big moments in the ninth a few times this season. He got to a full count. But a popup ended the game.
Jays of the Day: Biggio (.132 WPA), Springer (.119) and I’m giving one to Francis. Schneider gets an honourable mention, but the out in the ninth cost him a lot of WPA points (he finished at a -.061, we needed contact).
The Other Award: Berrios (-.263), Jansen (-.206), Vlad (-.155) and Varsho (-.139, all on one pitch hit at bat).
Tomorrow is a day game, 3:00 Eastern.