HomeTeamsBlue JaysToronto Beats Pittsburgh To Take Their Second Straight Series

Toronto Beats Pittsburgh To Take Their Second Straight Series

After every Blue Jays series, this Canadian will sum up his five stars of the set and throw in my two cents (worth .015 US).

Like the San Diego Padres, I have always had a soft spot for the Pittsburgh Pirates, albeit for completely different reasons.  I admire the Pittsburgh fans of all their sports.  Isn’t that the case with all of the rust belt?  They are devoted, loyal, and blue-collar, and when their teams win, it means more to them than it does in affluent and/or warm-weather cities where the local populace has plenty to do, as do its visitors. 

Pittsburgh, I am telling you that I respect you:

But I still want your Pirates to lose to my Blue Jays, and the forces of good did exactly that, winning their second in a row.

Before I get there, congratulations to the Pirates, who announced that Barry Bonds, Jim Leyland, and Manny Sanguillen will be inducted into their franchise Hall of Fame this year.  Kudos to whomever the powers that be decided that Bonds and Leyland should go in together, as I am sure I am not the only one who thought of this when they read the news:

Now, on to that series.

The opener was a throwback to days when games were more likely to go 14 innings, as this was Friday’s frame duration.  It started as a pitcher’s duel with Jose Berrios (7 IP, 1ER), on the wrong end of a pitcher’s duel with Pittsburgh’s Bailey Falter (6 IP, 0 ER), but the Jays tied it up with a seventh-inning RBI double by Daniel Vogelbach off of Colin Holderman.  Neither side could get a run in the next two frames and the first two in the extra ones.  The Pirates struck with a run on a Bryan Reynolds sacrifice fly, which the Jays countered with an RBI single from George Springer.  The 12th was much of the same.  Ke’Bryan Hayes collected a run via a sacrifice fly for Pittsburgh, and Kevin Kiermaier did the same for the forces of good.  After a scoreless 13th, the hero of the night was the moustache of Davis Schneider, who walked it off with a two-run blast in the 14th inning.  Of note, Genesis Cabrera picked up the win with his best outing of the year, retiring all five of his batters on 19 pitches.  Toronto won 5-3.

Pittsburgh struck back on Saturday with a convincing 8-1 win.  Pirates starter Mitch Keller allowed one run in six innings, and Luis Ortiz got his first save of the year by throwing three quality innings in relief.  Toronto starter Yusei Kikuchi was rocked in his start, surrendering nine hits and five earned runs in 5.1 innings of work.  This included a two-run homer to Ke’Bryan Hayes in the first.  The recently called-up Brendon Little, was tagged by Bryan Reynolds for the game’s second two-run blast in the ninth.  Ryan Burr, who the Jays just traded for from Philadelphia, was pitching in AAA for the Phillies, he made his first MLB appearance since 2022 (with the ChiSox) and had five outs in relief.

The Blue Jays won the series with a 5-4 win on Sunday.  Chris Bassitt (6-6) gained his sixth win of the year and constantly pitched out of jams through the game.  He allowed three runs and eight hits over five runs, but that was enough as the Blue Jays who got to the recalled Quinn Priester in the fifth inning from a one-run Vladimir Guerrero Jr single and a two-run double from Daniel Vogelbach to give Toronto a 4-2 lead.  Davis Schneider doubled another run in the sixth, and this was enough. The tinkering of the Jays lineup continued, with Guerrero Jr playing at third base for the first time since his rookie year, and Justin Turner took to the field at first.

Here are my five Blue Jays stars of the series:

Jose Berrios, 1 G, 7.0 IP, 1.29 ERA, 5 SO, 0.857 WHIP:  Berrios would have had the loss had no more batters crossed the plate, but one did, and Berrios kept his team in the game.

Davis Schneider. 2 R, 3 H, 2 XBH, 1 HR, 3 RBI, .214/.267/.500/.767:  Schneider had the only long ball of the series for the Jays, and it was of the walk-off variety in the opener. 

Daniel Vogelbach, 0 R, 4 H, 2 XBH, 0 HR, 4 RBI, .556/.556/.778/1.333:  Voelbach had a hit in every game, with two doubles and four RBIs.

George Springer, 1 R, 5 H, 2 XBH, 1 HR, 2 RBI .182/.357/.182/.539:  Springer is not here for his offence but for his spectacular defence in the series that saw the right fielder make three leaping catches.  His glove was on another level in this series.

Genesis Cabrera, 1 W, 1.2 IP, 0.00 ERA, 3 SO, 0.000 WHIP:  Davis Schneider got all the accolades for the series-opening win, but Cabrera’s performance put Schneider in that position.

Honourable mentions for Vladimir Guerrero Jr. 2 R, 3 H, 0 XBH, 0 HR, 1 RBI .250/.357/.250/.607, Chris Bassitt. 1 W, 5.0 IP, 5.40 ERA, 7 SO, 1.800 WHIP, Nate Pearson. 2 G, 1 H, 3.0 IP, 0.00 ERA, 2 SO, 0.333 WHIP

Next, the Jays stay home, welcoming their division rival, the Baltimore Orioles, for four games starting Monday.  At present, Toronto is 9.5 behind the O’s, which will be a great test for the improving Jays. 

Until then, touch them all!

Kirk Buchner
Kirk Buchner
Owner/Operator at the Notinhalloffame.com network @notinhalloffame


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here