Blue Jays Recap

Blue Jays Fill in the Blanks, Shut Out Phils 4-0

Anthony Kay and four relievers kept the Philadelphia hitters swinging and missing while Toronto bats got the hits when it mattered most. The Blue Jays beat another opposing staff ace and is poised for a series win against their Spring Training neighbors.


Featured Image Courtesy Of DaveMe Images. Prints Available For Purchase

 


 

 

Anthony Kay was next man up on Saturday night, being handed the ball to start the second game of the weekend series against the Phillies at TD Ballpark. While his 10.24 ERA and opponents batting average of .350 0ver his 9.2 innings in 2021 pinned him as a desperation choice, the 26 year-old earned himself a rotation audition with a solid 4 inning relief stint against Houston last Sunday. Kay showed why he can be a potential rotation solution by striking out 6 Phillies and allowing only 1 hit over his 4 inning outing.

 

A lack of aggressiveness late in counts forced his pitch count to rise to 79 over 4 innings, but a knack for getting outs and missing bats have Blue Jays fans hoping for more in his next start. While the “length” start was not in the cards, Travis Bergen (W, 2-0), A.J. Cole, Tyler Chatwood and Jordan Romano helped preserve the shutout and the win. Th five-man pitching combo struck out 14 Philadelphia batters and stranded baserunners in every inning.

 

When you pitching staff delivers a shutout performance, your lineup only needs to find a way to score one run. Vladimir Guerrero, Jr. took matters into his own hands in the first, launching his 10th home run of the year into the West Jet Flight Deck lounge area in right field. Guerrero continued his torrid pace at the plate is now tied with Boston’s J.D. Martinez for the major league lead in opposite field homers with 5.

 

The scoring continued in the bottom of the 2nd inning. Cavan Biggio, who has seemed to have found his plate discipline, took an Aaron Nola fastball up the middle for a base hit. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. then drilled a grounder down the line and into the leftfield corner. Andrew McCutchen made a fine relay throw, but rookie shortstop Nick Maton mishandled the throw. This allowed Biggio to score from first and Gurriel to take second and move into scoring position. The error would prove costly as Reese McGuire handled a Nola changeup and stroked it into right field that drove in Gurriel to make it 3-0.

 

Nola (L, 3-3) proved why he is the Phillies #1 starter, wiling his way though six and two/thirds innings and multiple long t-bats. Toronto hitters curbed their trademark first pitch aggressiveness and resisted chasing Nola’s changeup down in the zone. Given the similar arm angle Nola throws his signature pitch and fastballs, the Blue Jays patience at the plate proved as valuable as the timely hits- a positive sign moving forward.

 

The final run of the game was plated in the home half of the 8th inning. Grichuk, happy to see Nola out of the game, legged out a hustle double to left. Gurriel lofted what appeared to be an easy out fly to shallow left, but miscommunication between Maton and the outfielers resulted in the ball dropping between them, scoring Grichuk. The Phillies defense led to 3 of the 4 Toronto runs and made for an even longer night for the two Philadelphia pitchers.

 

It will be Robbie Ray (1-1, 3.38 41K) versus former Jay Chase Anderson (2-3 5.23) in the deciding game of the three game series Sunday afternoon at 1:07 ET.

 

BLUE JAYS DROPPINGS

The Phillies and Blue Jays starting rotations offered a stark contrast. Entering Saturday’s contest, Philadelphia was tied with the Dodgers with 220 innings pitched by their starters. Toronto was 29th in MLB with 167.

 

Vladimir Guerrero Jr.is 5th in MLB with a .387 average on fastballs. His uncanny ability to drive the ball to the opposite field continues to make him a dangerous at bat for any pitcher (as evidenced by the 409 ft, 107.8 exit velocity shot in tonight’s game.

 

The two teams left a combined 18 baserunners stranded (Phillies 11, Blue Jays 7). Philadelphia left a man stranded in every inning, many of them the hitters who led off the innings.

 

 

*Featured Image Courtesy Of DaveMe Images. Prints Available For Purchase.

*****
HEAD ON OVER TO THE JAYS FROM THE COUCH VS ALS STORE AND GET SOME GREAT SWAG THAT YOU WILL LOOK GREAT IN AND YOU CAN FEEL GREAT ABOUT.
YOU CAN ALSO HEAD TO OUR JAYS FROM THE COUCH VS ALS FUNDRAISING PAGE TO MAKE A TAX DEDUCTIBLE DONATION DIRECTLY TO ALS CANADA.
*****

THANK YOU FOR VISITING JAYS FROM THE COUCH! CHECK US OUT ON TWITTER @JAYSFROMCOUCH AND LIKE US FACEBOOK. BE SURE TO CATCH THE LATEST FROM JAYS FROM THE COUCH RADIO

* * * * *

Don’t Miss The LIVE Streaming Of Our Podcast Every Monday At 6pmET. Tune In On YouTube Or Facebook.

* * * * *

 

 

Fek

Jersey born, Pittsburgh resident, baseball lifer. Staff Writer jaysfromthecouch.com. Host THE ON FEK CIRCLE on JFtC YouTube Channel. Regular guest on Jays From the couch Radio Podcast. Established WPPJ Rock-a-thon benefit, which has been broadcast annually since 1981 and has raised for than $500,000 for the Early Learning Institute of Pittsburgh. IBWAA member.