The Toronto Blue Jays showed some serious fortitude, come back against the Red Sox, only to lose late
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The Toronto Blue Jays took the field Thursday night looking to win the final game of the series against the Boston Red Sox. With the American League East looking rather tight, every game is important, as is every series.
In the bottom of the first, the Blue Jays used their home stadium to their advantage. Bo Bichette one armed a ball to right field that the wind kept carrying and went off the wall. Vladimir Guerrero Jr.followed him by hitting a rope to LF but Alex Verdugo didn’t have a chance as the sun blinded him. After a walk to Teoscar Hernandez, Randal Grichuk stroked a double of his own to left field to put the home team up 2-0.
But, home field giveth and home field taketh. After two singles, Bobby Dalbec took a two strike curveball to the opposite field foul pole for a three run knock. At that point, it seemed as though the Red Sox hitters, especially righties, focused on the outside offerings and tried to take them th eother way with some loft, knowing full well the wind would do the bulk of the work. Michael Chavis followed with a double with that very approach. He was driven in by Kike Hernandez. 4-2 Boston.
But, they weren’t done there. Matz kept catching too much of the strike zone and became very hittable as evidenced by the 7 hits in a row in the second inning. Matz threw 11 pitches in the first inning and by the time the 7 hits and a walk were removed from the basepaths, Matz had given up 5 runs and he saw his pitch count rise to 48. 5-2 Boston.
After a Marcus Semien blooper, Bichette gets in on the opposite field action with his second double of the night. Semien scored. Bo has become quite adept at using the entire field, seemingly every night he collects hits by going the other way. He’s become such a dangerous hitter. 5-3 Boston.
Despite giving up a 5 spot in the second, Matz didn’t have a terrible outing. In fact, if you take away that 2nd inning, Matz had 3 hits and 0 ER through 5 innings. Of course, at that point, he was up to 85 pitches. At the end of the day, the scorecard won’t show you that Matz pitched well enough to give his team a chance to overcome the deficit he created for them. It won’t show the battle he went through to keep the game within reach. His final line: 6 IP, 10 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, HR.
The bottom of the 5th saw Semien work a walk and Vlad, who spent the entire at bat trying to hit a ball to right, put together a solid at bat and hit a grounder to right after Semien broke for second. The disruption to the infield allowed the ball to travel to the outfield and Semien to go to third. Hernandez then hit a grounder to third, but Rafael Devers booted it and Semien scored. Cavan Biggio took advantage of the shift, singled up the middle and drove in Vlad to tie the game. This inning saw Toronto put together excellent at bats and use strategic hitting. If they continue like this, they truly will never be out of any game. 5-5 game.
Tonight's game is one of those "character" games.
The #BlueJays are working tonight. I love it.
— Shaun Doyle ⚾👨💻🎙️ (@DoyleJFtC) May 21, 2021
Danny Jansen led off the 6th inning against Hirokazu Sawamura with a double to center that was booted and allowed him to go to third. Jonathan Davis singled in the next at bat and the Blue Jays took the lead back again. 6-5 Blue Jays. Bichette walked and after a Vladdy K, Teoscar hit a grounder that was bobbled at second, which loaded the bases for Randal Grichuk. Grich went the other way and dropped an RBI single. 7-5 Blue Jays.
Tyler Chatwood, Jordan Romano and Rafael Dolis pitched the 7th, 8th, 9th respectively in an attempt to maintain the lead their team fought so hard to get. The 9th wasn’t without its drama, of course. After Chatwood and Romano did their jobs (and led me to believe the game would be over promptly, thus the recap could be published soon, thus I could go to bed), Dolis allowed two singles and a wild pitch, which put runners on second and third with one out. A grounder to first allowed a run to score. 7-6 Blue Jays. J.D. Martinez took Dolis deep to CF to drive in two. 8-7 Boston.
The Toronto Blue Jays definitely had to grind tonight. They needed Matz to get over his bad inning and hold the Red Sox close enough for the bats to catch up. The bats needed to work extra hard to put together good at bats and collect those smart hits, rather than waiting for the long ball. In case you’re wondering, there were no home runs hit by Toronto. One or two in the bottom of the 9th would have bee nice, but alas. All the hard work and grinding went for naught.
Boston Red Sox: 8 R, 14 H, 3 E
Toronto Blue Jays: 7 R, 11 H, 0 E
*Featured Image Courtesy Of DaveMe Images. Prints Available For Purchase.
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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.