Toronto Blue Jays cough up 5-0 lead, fail to mount successful comeback in 8-7 loss to Colorado Rockies
Photo credit:Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
By Zach Laing2 months ago
That was most certainly a baseball game, and one that Toronto Blue Jays fans won’t feel great about.
On Friday, the club struggled to get to Colorado Rockies starter Chris Flexen until the sixth inning, but Saturday night fared much better with Ty Blach on their mound driving in four runs in the first and another in the fifth.
Their 5-0 lead, however, wouldn’t last as rare rough outings from Yusei Kikuchi and Yimy Garcia cost the Jays after allowing eight combined runs through five innings. Kikcuhi issued four free passes and six hits to batters coughing up six of those runs — just two earned — and was yanked after four and two-thirds innings and 100 pitches.
Garcia would enter the game allowing three of four batters faced to reach base — one by way of walk, and two by way of hits — while coughing up two runs.
The sixth, seventh and eighth innings would see the Jays reach base three times, but only one runner would reach second base in thanks to two walks.
Sep 2, 2023; Denver, Colorado, USA; Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Yusei Kikuchi (16) reacts after a pitch in the first inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
The Jays made it interesting in the top of the ninth with a Davis Schneider triple driving in Springer to make it 8-6, and the former of the two would himself reach home by scoring on a wild pitch.
With the bench depleted after Brandon Belt pinch-hit for Santiago Espinal in the top of the 8th resulting in Mason McCoy entering to field, the final batter to hit for the Jays was none other than Spencer Horwitz — the minor league prospect and roster expansion call-up. His 10th career at-bat could arguably be one of the bigger moments in his young career given the fact that the bases were loaded in front of him.
Rockies pitcher Justin Lawrence, who issued three walks and a hit allowing the Jays to get back in the game that inning, was pulled in favour of Tyler Kinley who only needed four pitches to strike out Horwitz and end the game.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr., who has driven in 25 runs with a .888 OPS and 141 wRC+ in high-leverage situations, failed to make the most of similar opportunities for the Jays Saturday night. Far from trying to single his poor performance out amid a night where there multiple, issues at the plate were noticeable for him again.
In the top of the first with runners on first and second, he grounded into a double play swinging on a changeup well off and away from the plate giving the Rockies their first two outs of the night. In the top of the fourth with the bases loaded and one out, he swung on the first pitch he saw, a low-and-away sinker that remained in the zone, driving it -17 degrees into the ground and into an inning-ending double play.
Entering this series Guerrero Jr. had excelled at Coors Field going 5-for-12 at the plate with two doubles, a home run and a 1.295 OPS. So far in this series? 1-for-10 with a double and two grounded into double plays.
Meanwhile, the Mariners beat the Mets to gain further ground in the wild-card race, but the New York Yankees and Minnesota Twins would beat the Houston Astros and Texas Rangers, respectively, meaning nobody gained any ground on Toronto. That right there is the silver lining and that’s about all it is.
Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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