The Blue Jays had a chance to move into first place in the AL East, but fell behind early and lost to Boston
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The Toronto Blue Jays went in to Wednesday’s game with the chance to take over first place in the AL East. They’d been on a bit of a hot streak, one that saw them shut out the Red Sox the night before. It didn’t quite go the way you’d have hoped.
Things didn’t start so well for Mr Stripling. After Kike Hernandez dropped a single in front of the ‘blinded by the sun’ Lourdes Gurriel Jr. Alex Verdugo yanked a home run well out of TD Ballpark. J.D. followed suit with a line drive bomb to CF for his 11th dinger. The broadcast blamed it on the jet stream, which isn’t crazy since the wind was humming, but Stripling was fooling no one. When Stripling tried the fastball, he would miss the strike zone by a lot, which allowed the Red Sox to jump on the offspeed stuff. And they did: five batters in, 5 hits. When Stripling left the mound, he had given up 4 extra base hits and given his team a 5-0 deficit.
— Keegan Matheson (@KeeganMatheson) May 19, 2021
Leadoff walk for Marcus Semien. Bo Bichette hit a double to right center, Semien rounded third with a full head of steam, but ran through the stop sign and he was out trying to retreat to third. On the replay, it looked as though Semien never looked up to see the sign until it was too late. Vladimir Guerrero Jr.drove a double off the CF wall, Bichette scores. It could have been 2 RBI, but… 5-1 Boston.
Stripling would surrender a solo shot to Kike Hernandez and nothing more into the top of the 4th. With two outs, Lourdes Gurriel Jr.made some kind of somewhat baffling leaping, rolling attempt at a ball hit to left. It went off his glove (it wasn’t ruled an error…somehow) and that knocked Stripling out of the game. His line: 3.2 IP, 8 H, 6 ER, 3 K, 3HR, 76 pitches. Trent Thornton came on in relief.
Thornton did his job well, tossing 2.1 innings and keeping the Red Sox off the scoreboard. It looks as though the Blue Jays have found the perfect role for Thornton. Pitching two to three innings out of the bullpen allows him to just relax and pitch whereas starting required more of a specific approach. His line: 2.1 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 2 K. Jeremy Beasley was next up in the top of the 7th and he struck out 2 of the first three batters he faced. He would surrender a home run to Christian Vazquez. 7-3 Boston.
Toronto’s bats could not solve Garrett Richards Wednesday night. They managed to get the leadoff man aboard multiple times, but could not bring those runners around to score. The Blue Jays collected 7 hits and walked 4 times, but had the lone run to show for it against Richards. The next Garrett, though was a slightly different story.
Garrett Whitlock allowed a 7th inning single by Reese McGuire, who had already bunted for a single earlier, and Semien followed him with a home run to left field to bring the score to 6-3 and (almost) make up for his baserunning error from the beginning of the game.
Despite Toronto’s inability to bring runners across the plate, they continued to show their improved ability to hit against the shift. McGuire’s bunt single was the more prominent example, but Randal Grichuk, Teoscar Hernandez and others were perfectly happy to take a single when given the room to do so, which is something we have not seen with any consistency over the last number of years. So that’s something.
Boston Red Sox: 7 R, 13 H, 0 E
Toronto Blue Jays: 3 R, 9 H, 0 E
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Shaun Doyle is a long time Blue Jays fan and writer! He decided to put those things together and create Jays From the Couch. Shaun is the host of Jays From the Couch Radio, which is highly ranked in iTunes, and he has appeared on TV and radio spots.