Never in doubt, eh?
The Toronto Blue Jays defeated the Minnesota Twins 3-2 on Sunday afternoon in a game that seemingly lasted all day. It had a little bit of everything, including a controversial call in the top of the 10th inning that will be talked about for the next few days. It’ll be a great time for Twitter umps to get their opinions out there. Let’s go ahead and break this down:
With Whit Merrifield as the ghost runner on second base, Santiago Espinal moved him to third with a fly out to right center. The next batter, Cavan Biggio, aggressively swung at the first pitch, lifting the ball to shallow left field. Merrifield tagged up and ran, but Tim Beckham’s throw gunned down Merrifield at the plate. It was close, but Merrifield’s lead foot ran straight into Twins catcher Gary Sanchez before he was able to touch home plate. While the call on the field was “out”, it was evident that Sanchez did not allow a sliding lane for Merrifield. The umpires reviewed it upon John Schneider’s request, and they ruled that Merrifield was safe.
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Twins manager Rocco Baldelli was infuriated, as was the rest of the Twins crowd. It ruined an opportunity for his team to win the game, and as Dan Shulman pointed out on the broadcast, had it been the other way around, John Schneider would’ve been angry as well. The Jays led 3-2, and Schneider gave Romano another chance to shut it down. Romano retired the side, and the Jays escaped with the win.
*exhale* So how did we get there?
Kevin Gausman got the start this afternoon. Gausman’s last start against the Twins was in June back at the Rogers Center, and it was not exciting, to say the least. The Jays’ defense didn’t help him out with some fielding errors, but the Twins pounced on him for 9 hits and five runs (3 earned).
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Today, Gausman rewrote the narrative. He put up zeros across the board. He threw six innings, giving up five hits, no runs, no walks, and five strikeouts.
As good as Gausman was, this is the 2022 Blue Jays! Yimi Garcia gave up a run in the 8th, and Jordan Romano gave up a run in the 9th to tie the game. Adding to the point of the length of the game, Romano faced nine batters in two innings. How he only gave up one run was incredible.
Luis Arráez and Jorge Polanco continued to be pains in the side, going 5-for-10 today between the two, including Arraez’s game-tying hit in the 9th.
Bo Bichette continued his tear to start the month of August. He smacked an RBI double in the second inning to score Teoscar Hernandez in the 2nd inning. Bichette was 7-for-18 for the series, in which he was moved down to the 5-spot in the lineup. A productive Bichette is exactly what the Jays need this time of year, so if that spot in the lineup serves him well, he should stay there.
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Lourdes Gurriel Jr. added on to the lead with an RBI single in the 3rd, but the Twins pitching held the Jays in check the rest of the way until the 10th.
It was a win the Jays really needed, considering that the Yankees have been on a slide the past few weeks, and the last two losses for the Jays have both been unbearable to watch. They’ll look to kick their next series off the right way tomorrow, as they begin a face-off with the Trash Birds. Yusei Kikuchi gets the nod against Jordan Lyles.
One final note: going back to your closer who just blew a save is a big move. Schneider deserves some credit for instilling that confidence in Romano to send him back out in the 10th.
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