Blue Jays squander a chance to win in the eighth inning, as they fall 6-5 to the Baltimore Orioles
Photo credit:The Simpsons
17 days ago
Well, that’s not what you like to see.
The Jays have now lost five of their last six games, as well as losing 12 of their last 19 games. Not what you want to see in the ultra competitive American League East.
With that being said, let’s look at the Blue Jays Nation’s Player of the Game, as well as things worth mentioning.
Blue Jays Nation’s Player of the Game: Santiago Espinal
As you may know, Santiago Espinal has had a rough start to the 2023 season. Coming into Saturday’s game, he was slashing .171/.237/.229 with one homer and a wRC+ of 31. He also had a -0.4 fWAR, down from a 2.3 fWAR in 2022.
Saturday’s game was a good start to righting his season, as he went three for three in the game, along with a stolen base. After the game, he raised his slash line to .205/.266/.274, along with a 52 wRC+.
Sadly, he was pulled from the game while stealing second due to right hamstring discomfort. It’s too be seen if Espinal will land on the injured list, but it sucks to see someone who was struggling to have a good game, just to end up injured.
Things worth mentioning:
Alek Manoah had his first good start in a while. The 25-year-old had a line of 5.2 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 5 K, 1 BB. However, both earned runs were rather lucky, as a line drive was hit to George Springer, who missed the ball, giving the batter a triple with no outs. The second earned run came on a wall scraping homer, which barely went out, as the Blue Jays were messing around with the roof, thus the wind currents. Either way, it’s nice to see Manoah pitch well (and beefing with batters again).
John Schneider had a tough game. In the sixth inning, Manoah had thrown 86 pitches and was having his best start in a while. The team got Tim Mayza to start warming up, and Pete Walker went and visited Manoah. No problem there. However, after striking out Adam Fraizer, John Schneider wanted to talk strategy, but you can’t visit the pitcher more than once without making a move to the bullpen. Thus, Manoah was pulled from the game early despite the great start. The Jays hired Schneider for his attention to detail, and he just lacked it in this specific instance.
Jordan Romano is a great closer, but when he struggles, teams score runs. He came into the game with runners on first and second with two outs. The first batter he faced, Ryan O’Hearn, took him deep to tie the game. He allowed a single before getting the final out of the inning. He got two outs in the ninth while allowing a single, but man, had he gotten O’Hearn out, we could be talking about a Blue Jays win.
Danny Jansen has been hitting the ball a lot better as of late. On Saturday afternoon, he hit his fifth homer of the season which gave the Jays a 3-2 lead at the time. In reality, it should have been the game-winning run, but alas, things went differently. The Jays have been carried by Matt Chapman, Bo Bichette, Vladimir Guerrero Jr, and Kevin Kiermaier to start the season, so it’s good to see one of the catchers start to hit.
George Springer also went deep, which tied the game for the Jays in the bottom of the fifth. Springer finished the game 2-4, with three RBIs. The other one came on a single, which scored pinch runner Whit Merrifield. He also ended up with a stolen base in this game. If he and Jansen can continue to hit as they did on Saturday, the Blue Jays offence may just turn it around.
All in all, it was a disappointing end to a game the Blue Jays led in the bottom of the eighth. With just four outs remaining before the win, Romano gave up a game-tying homer, and the Blue Jays failed to cash in runners on first and second with no outs in the bottom of the ninth.
The Jays will have a chance to salvage a game of the series on Sunday at 1:37 PM EST. Kevin Gausman takes the mound facing Dean Kremer. They need a win to avoid the sweep.
As always, you can follow me on Twitter and Instagram @Brennan_L_D.
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