I am so happy that the Blue Jays are leaving Colorado. The Rockies have a home-field advantage, especially against AL teams that rarely visit. I can’t imagine how hard it would be for pitchers trying to figure out how their pitches work in the thin, mile-high air.
Anyway, yesterday, it was Kevin Gausman who had a rough time figuring out how to make his pitches work. It didn’t go well: 4 innings, 6 hits, 3 earned, 2 walks and 5 strikeouts.
A lengthy rain delay after the fourth inning saved John Schneider from deciding if he should let Gausman try to get through five innings.
After four innings, we were down 3-2. We scored one in the third, Vladimir Guerrero. It left the bat at 109.4 mph. In the fourth inning, Spencer Horwitz (who only has one o in his name, Tom), hit his first MLB home run. It was an impressive swing. He took a curve outside the zone and then got a fastball on the inside of the zone about belt high, and he turned on it perfectly. 103.5 mph, 442 feet. It was a beautiful left-hand swing. He’s not a power hitter, but if he gets that pitch a bunch, he’ll look like one.
After the rain ended, the Jays got 3 runs in the fifth. With two out, Cavan Biggio walked. Then Vlad lined one hard ott the left field wall (110.0 mph), and Biggio scored. Vlad thought it was out and admired it (I thought it was out) and only made it to first (it got to the wall so quickly. I’m not sure he would have made it to second if he ran hard; Nolan Jones played it well off the wall. But Jones’ throw avoided the Rockies infielders, and Vlad went to second. I thought that was a mistake, but the Rockies shortstop, waiting for the throw, for some reason, was standing 10-15 feet on the first base side of second. By the time he got the ball, Vlad was past him. Had he been waiting on second, he would have had the out.
Either Vlad saw he was off the bag and saw he would get past him, or Vlad was very lucky.
Davis Schneider followed with an RBI double and Horwitz an RBI single, and the Jays were up 5-3. All was good.
Trevor Richards came in for the bottom of the fifth and got two quick strikeouts. He followed that with back-to-back walks (one to Elehuris Montero, who makes me happy I just type. I have no idea how to pronounce his first name), and a Hunter Goodman double drove him in. We were tied again and depressed.
Richards finished the inning and got the first out of the sixth. Tim Mayza got the last two outs of the sixth and the first of the seventh. Jordan Hicks got the last two outs of the seventh. I figured he would get the eighth, too.
But Chad Green came out for the eighth, too much, what’s the polite word, let’s us worry, from Jays fans who saw his terrible outing. But Green got through the eighth on seven pitches.
The game was tied until the top of the ninth. Santiago Espinal started the inning with a single. We were surprised when John decided to pinch-run with Mason McCoy. McCoy went to second on a Vlad ground out. Davis Schnieder struckout. But Horwitz walked, and Whit Merrifield singled, and McCoy scored. I don’t know if Espinal would have scored on that, but McCoy is fast. Ernie Clement singles, and we were up by two. Daulton Varsho hit a soft liner that I was sure would fall, but Rockies second baseman Brendan Rogers made the nicest jumping catch you will ever see. If we hadn’t scored two runs in the inning, I would have been really pissed off.
Jordan Romano picked up his 32nd save on 12 pitches.
Jays of the Day: Vlad (.253 WPA, 2 for 3, home run, 2 RBI, 2 runs, and a walk), Horwitz (.229, 3 for 3, 2 RBI, 2 runs, walk, home run), Ernie Clement (.180, 3 for 5, 1 RBI (but it was a big one)), Romano (.126), Green (.125) and Mayza (.091).
The Other Award: Varsho (-.184, 0 for 4, walk, k), Richards (-.131), and Springer (-.117).
I hate games in Denver, but good guys win. That’s good. Any win is a good win.
Today, we have an afternoon game, which I should have noticed before planning my day. I’m going to miss the first couple of innings. It is a 4:00 Eastern start. Jose Berrios (9-10, 3.70) vs. Ken Waldichuk (2-7, 5.92).
Tuesday is at 9:40 Eastern. Chris Bassitt (13-7, 3.81) vs. TBD.
Wednesday starts at 3:30. Ryu (3-1, 2.48) vs. JP Sears (3-11, 4.60).