Blue Jays 7 A’s 1
Back into a Wild Card spot. I’ve been told so many times over the last couple of weeks that the season is over that this feels good.
Chris Bassitt went 8 innings for the second start in a row. He gave up just 1 run on 7 hits, no walks and 7 strikeouts. It looks like he was having a problem with a blister or something on a finger, but he just seemed to throw slower and slower curves and continued to have an easy time.
On offense, we didn’t score until the seventh inning, but then putting up six in the ending spoiled any drama there might have been over the last few innings. The Jays had trouble against Ken Waldichuk, who threw six scoreless.
But the A’s bullpen made life easy for us. Zack Neal started the seventh, walking Alejandro Kirk, Cavan Biggio and Santiago Espinal (with a strikeout of Spencer Horwitz mixed in. Then Sam Long took over on the mound. Kevin Kiermaier greeted him with a single, scoring our first run. George Springer followed with a two-run single. Davis Schneider doubled, bringing in another. After an intentional walk to Vladimir Guerrero, Whit Merrifield hit a sac fly. Kirk walked for the second time in the inning, loading the bases. And Cavan Biggio walked to bring in our sixth run. Horwitz popped out to end the inning. He didn’t get to enjoy all the scoring, making the first and third outs of the inning.
There was a lot of talk about pinch-running for Kirk that inning, but Kirk was working so well with Bassitt that I was happy to keep him in the game. I know John was setting himself up to a bunch of complaining again, but it is tough to take the catcher out when your starter is pitching a shutout.
We got one more in the eighth. Kevin Kiermaier singled, and Springer drove him home with a double.
As always, we could have scored more:
- Kirk had a one-out double in the second, but we couldn’t score him.
- Espinal started the third with a double, and Kiermaier followed with a single. But Kevin was caught stealing. A shallow fly out (it might have been deep enough to try to score out, but it wasn’t a sure thing), and Schneider struck out.
- Biggio had a leadoff walk in the fifth, but we couldn’t move him around.
- Schneider walked,
- and Vlad singled in the sixth, but Merrifield hit into a double play.
Beyond that, Bowden Francis threw a very quick ninth.
It was a bit of a battle of double plays. The Jays hit into 3, the A’s into 2. But the Jays were 5 for 13 with RISP.
Jays of the Day: Bassitt (.346 WPA), Espinal (.132, 1 for 3, double, walk), Biggio (.117, 3 walks), Keirmaier (.105, 3 for 4) and Kirk (.093, 2 for 3, 2 doubles, 2 walks). Let’s give Springer an honourable mention for a 2 for 4, with a walk and 3 RBI (.067 WPA).
The Other Award: Merrifield (-.163, 0 for 4), Horwitz (-.089, for the two outs in the seventh) and Clement (-.083, 0 for 2, k).
Tomorrow, we have a 3:30 Eastern start. Ryu (3-1, 2.48) vs. Sears (3-11, 4.60).