It took a while for them to get there, but the bats finally showed up in the 10th inning last night. Better late than never.
Things worth mentioning…
- Taijuan Walker got the start on Thursday night looking to build on the excellent Blue Jays debut he put together last weekend. Walker’s stuff was a little bit different this time out than it was with the adrenaline of his debut. He was sitting around 92 miles-per-hour on his fastball, which is a slight tick down from the 94 mph he was hitting against Baltimore. Still, Walker tossed five-and-two-thirds innings, allowing two runs on six hits and one walk while striking out four. If he can keep doing that for the rest of the season, it would be huge.
- In the sixth inning, Walker allowed a couple of hits and then walked Christian Vasquez to load the bases. Charlie Montoyo pulled him in favour of Anthony Kay, a lefty, and Walker wasn’t happy with it at all. I know the general sentiment is you don’t want to see a pitcher “show up” a manager on the mound like that, but you have to love the passion you see from Walker here. The guy wants to win.
- Kay would issue a walk to allow one run to come in but escaped the jam after that. Kay, Thomas Hatch, Ryan Borucki, and Rafael Dolis would combine to toss four shutout innings after that, giving the bats a chance to finally wake themselves up.
- On the other side, Martin Perez completely baffled the Blue Jays’ offence. They couldn’t muster a single hit off of him until the seventh inning when Teoscar Hernandez led off with a single. Lourdes Gurriel followed that up with a single of his own and then Joe Panik drove in the team’s first run. In the eighth, the Jays managed to tie the game when Ryan Braiser balked runners over to second and third and then threw a wild pitch. Finally, in the 10th, the bats really arrived. Hernandez hit a three-run bomb and then Gurriel smacked a solo shot of his own to give the team a 6-2 lead.
THE CORNER 3 IS…GOOD! 💣 pic.twitter.com/QdQSKvUXSz
— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) September 4, 2020
- The stars of the day offensively were, of course, Hernandez and Gurriel. Hernandez’s home run was his 13th on the season and he now sits in a tie with Nelson Cruz, Fernando Tatis Jr., Luke Voit, and Mike Trout for the league lead. Meanwhile, Gurriel has quietly been on fire over the past couple of weeks. Since the beginning of that season-changing series in Baltimore, Gurriel has slashed a .316/.394/.632 line with five homers and six doubles. He’s raised his OPS from .580 to .820 in that 17-game stretch.
- But it also wouldn’t be a Blue Jays game without an absurd gaffe on the bases. This time, it was Vladdy. Gurriel hit an easy pop-up that Michael Chavis somehow couldn’t catch and it should have given the Jays runners on first and third. Instead, Vladdy inexplicably broke for home and the Sox threw him out easily.
Vlad Guerrero Jr. with one of the worst base running decisions I've ever seen pic.twitter.com/FC9CeaWbU5
— Ben Porter (@Ben13Porter) September 4, 2020