As our old friend John Gibbons tweeted tonight, the Phillies are glad they play in the NL East and not the AL East.
Phillies glad they play in NL East and not AL East #BlueJays
— John Gibbons (@johngibbons05) September 21, 2022
The Blue Jays continued their September success against quality opponents as they posted a football-esque score in a win over the Phillies 18-11 tonight behind their potent offense. The Phillies are in a very similar position as the Blue Jays; they currently sit in the final Wild Card spot in the NL. These games still mean a lot to Philly, so the Blue Jays going in there and running up the numbers is a big statement against another playoff-level team.
Bo Bichette started the month carrying this offense on his shoulders, and now we’re seeing the lineup turn more complete, as all facets of the offense have found ways to contribute. All nine starters in the lineup recorded at lease one hit, and the Jays had a base runner in every inning.
For the night, Toronto had ten extra-base hits. Five of those came from the first batter of the inning, and better yet, all five of those leadoff hits came around to score. The bottom line is that the Blue Jays attacked early and often on whichever Phillies pitcher stood on the mound, and they didn’t strand many runners as has been the case many times this season.
It was all Jays from the start, as Matt Chapman put Toronto ahead 3-0 with a 3-run home run the 1st inning. The Jays were aided heavily by the first of two errors from Phillies SS Bryson Stott. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. was inevitably going to reach first base on a slow grounder up the middle, but Stott still tried to make the play and instead threw the ball into the pulpit of cameramen, hitting one of the Sportsnet camera guys.
Matt Chapman 3-run bomb for the early lead! pic.twitter.com/FpQta0zWUv
— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) September 20, 2022
Toronto tacked on two more in the second inning, once again being helped by the Phillies defense. Kyle Schwarber lost a Danny Jansen fly ball in the lights, allowing the ball to drop and be scored as a double. Three more hits in the inning pushed the score to 5-0.
The Blue Jays got the lead out to 7-1 in the 5th inning, but the Phillies were able to make some adjustments against Ross Stripling and get back in the ball game. The Phillies opened up the bottom of the frame with six consecutive hits, translating to four runs. Stripling wouldn’t record an out in the inning, closing his night only going four innings and allowing five runs. It marked Stripling’s shortest appearance since July 30th against Detroit, and it also marked the most amount of runs he had given up in an outing all season.
Zach Pop replaced Stripling and didn’t allow any more runs, including a really nice double play on a ball lined to George Springer, who doubled off Bryce Harper back at second base.
The Blue Jays brushed the Philly comeback off and proceeded to score seven more runs over the course of the next four innings, eventually leading 14-5. While it would take a while to break down each individual run, it’s more helpful to note the performances of a couple Blue Jays batters.
- Danny Jansen: 3-for-6, 2 RBIs
- Alejandro Kirk: 3-for-5, 2 RBIs (first game September 13th)
- Teoscar Hernandez: 4-for-5, 1 RBI, 3 R
- Matt Chapman: 2-for-4, 3 RBIs, 3 R
Unfortunately, the game wasn’t fun for Julian Merryweather, who allowed five runs in the 8th, making the score 14-10. Not only did this let Philadelphia back in the game, but it forced John Schneider to warm up Jordan Romano in a game in which they once led by nine runs.
Nonetheless, the Blue Jays continued to prove relentless as they scored four more runs in the 9th, capitalized by a three-run home run from Jackie Bradley Jr., his first as a Blue Jay. The pitcher? Former Jays trade deadline steal, Brad Hand.
As much fun as this was to watch, it’s fascinating to note that this Blue Jays offense once scored ten more runs than they did tonight on July 22nd at Boston.
If Philly scores one more we can refer to this game as The War of 18-12
— Blue Jays Nation (@thejaysnation) September 21, 2022
The Blue Jays will look to sweep this mini two-game set tomorrow evening as Kevin Gausman is slated to face Zach Wheeler. The Blue Jays faced Wheeler on July 13th, tagging him with six earned runs. It’ll be Wheeler’s first start since August 20th, after spending some time on the IL. That said, his pitch count will probably be limited.