In a series where Jays fans were hoping to face Tigers pitchers who will be Blue Jays in the near future, it was the performance against former Blue Jays that stole the headlines in today’s 5-3 win over Detroit.
The Tigers sent former Jays starter Drew Hutchison to the mound, and with the exception of the first inning, he was in total command. Hutchison threw 5 innings in all, allowing only two hits, one run, three walks, and three strikeouts. After Hutchison, it was Derek Law, who was a Blue Jay in 2019. Some Jays fans may not remember Law, but he was part of the return in the Kevin Pillar trade. Law served as a set-up man/closer for the team for the majority of the season.
Lourdes Gurriel Jr. got the scoring started in the 1st inning, driving in Vladimir Guerrero Jr. with an RBI single. The beneficiary of the RBI was Guerrero stealing second base during Gurriel’s at-bat. Aggressiveness on the base paths is something we have seen a lot more of during John Scnheider’s short tenure as the Blue Jays skipper, and it has been paying off as the Jays are adding a run here or there with good baserunning.
As mentioned earlier, Hutchison kept the bats quiet, but Law lost control by loading the bases in the 6th inning. With one out, and the score sitting at 3-1, Bo Bichette hit a sacrifice fly, driving in George Springer.
With two on and two out, Teoscar Hernandez hit a 3-run nuke to right-center field to put Toronto in front for good. Hernandez has had some dramatic late-inning homers that also feature a bat drop and a stare in the opposing team’s dugout. Whether it was this afternoon, opening night against the Rangers, or the June 19th comeback win over the Yankees, it’s been the Hernandez bat drop that has stolen the show.
— MLB (@MLB) July 30, 2022
While the home run by Hernandez was clearly the play of the game, the underlying impact of that home run was that it kept the Tigers from using their big arms in their bullpen. Gregory Soto, Will Vest, Joe Jimenez, and Michael Fulmer all watched the final three innings from the bullpen.
Ross Stripling got the start today for the Blue Jays, and for the second straight start, Stripling failed to complete five innings. He threw 4 and 1/3 innings, allowing five hits, two runs, and five strikeouts. Stripling was solid in the first three innings, but he ran into a jam in the 4th. While he was able to escape that inning unscathed, he gave up two hits, a HBP, and a sac fly in the 5th. With the wheels coming off a little, Schneider went to Adam Cimber, who immediately gave up a RBI double to Riley Greene.
Cimber gave up another run in the 6th, but the combination of Trevor Richards, Yimi Garcia, and Jordan Romano finished the game cleanly to secure the win.
Toronto will go for the series win tomorrow afternoon with Jose Berrios pitching, looking to continue his string of consistent starts. Righty Garrett Hill will start for Detroit. It will be interesting to see if George Springer will play tomorrow; he was seen wincing on multiple occasions during today’s game, favoring his right elbow still.