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Instant Reaction: Blue Jays get no-hit in Houston as Astros win their first game of the season

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Photo credit:© Troy Taormina - USA Today
Ryley Delaney
3 months ago
One may think there’s nothing worse than watching José Berríos being pulled after 47 pitches… and then you watch this game.
On Monday evening, the Blue Jays strolled into Houston to play the winless Astros, and well, they aren’t winless anymore as they defeated Toronto 10-0.
It was Bowden Francis’ first career start and the Astros got to him early with Kyle Tucker’s home runs to give the 2017 and 2022 World Series winners a 2-0 lead. It’s all they would need.
In the same inning, Yainer Díaz hit a home run to make it 3-0, and Jeremy Peña hit a home run to put the Astros up 4-0. In total, Francis allowed seven earned runs, 10 hits, while striking out seven and walking just a batter. Not a great performance for his first career start, but it can only get better from here.
The Astros tacked on a few more runs later in the game, with both Tucker and Díaz hitting their second home runs of the game off Génesis Cabrera, but by this point, everyone was in “no-hitter” watch mode.
There is usually a defining defensive play in a no-hitter, and José Abreu made that play as he dove to his right, snagged the ball, and threw over to the covering Ronel Blanco to record the second out of the ninth inning. Of course, Blanco would get that final out to record his first career no-hitter.

Things worth mentioning…

Bowden Francis didn’t have a great game, but the seven strikeouts were an encouraging sign. He averaged 94.4 mph on the fastball, maxing out at 96.1 mph. Moreover, his curveball generated eight whiffs on 17 total strikes, while his splitter had two swings and misses on the only two swings it generated. In total, he had a 30 whiff% which is another encouraging sign.
Isiah Kiner-Falefa is the league’s first position player pitching for the 2024 season. Baseball Savant tagged the seven pitches he threw as fastballs, averaging 66.2 mph and maxing out at 72.4 mph. Clean inning, which is nice to see from a position player pitching.
Trevor Richards came in for Génesis Cabrera who was being hit hard and struck out one batter in the two thirds of an inning pitched. Interestingly, he only has two strikeouts in his 2.2 innings pitched, but expect those numbers to rise soon enough.
George Springer had a good game all things considered, as he walked twice to be Toronto’s only base runner. If he hadn’t drawn a lead off walk in the game’s first plate appearance, we would’ve been on perfect game watch until he walked for the second time in the bottom of the ninth.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. didn’t have a great game, as he struck out three times in his four plate appearances. Daulton Varsho also struck out twice, with Cavan Biggio and Justin Turner each picking up a strikeout as well.
Up next: The Blue Jays return to action on Tuesday, ast they’ll play the second game of a three-game series against the Astros. José Berríos is set to start his second game of the season, and hopefully the Jays can muster at least one hit this game.

As always, you can follow me on Twitter @Brenann_L_D.

ARTICLE PRESENTED BY BETANO

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