Game Recap: Great pitching beat our good hitting


7. 0. 39. Final. 5

Game 1 in Kansas City put Marco Estrada vs Edinson Volquez.  Two solid pitchers that have to face epic offenses.  The Blue Jays juggernaut versus the contact hitting of the Royals.  The match up has plenty of history this season due to some bad blood that showed during the season series.  Josh Donaldson was thrown at regularly and Tulo and a few others were also plunked.  After the benches cleared due to the umpires at the time failing to put a stop to the shenanigans everything reached a boiling point.  The Blue Jays would however get the last laugh in the season as they won the 4 out of 3 games.  

Volquez retired the Jays in the first after a walk and 24 pitches.  Alcides Escobar jumped all over the first pitch from Estrada which he hit for a hard line drive down the left field line.  The double to got the Royals going.  Estrada then recorded the next 3 outs to leave a runner stranded at second.  Pitching appeared to have the upper hand as Estrada and Volquez went toe to toe.  Each team only had 1 base runner through the first 2 innings.  The trend was shaken up as Kevin Pillar led off the 3rd inning with a walk and Ryan Goins bunted Pillar into scoring position.  Volquez was able to work his way out of the situation however as he retired Ben Revere and Josh Donaldson.  

Alex Gordon drilled a double down the right field line to lead off the 3rd inning for the Royals.  Alcides Escobar took the first pitch of his at bat to the opposite field for his second double of the game and drove in Gordon to break open the scoring.  Alcides Escobar had 2 doubles and only saw 2 pitches from Estrada.  After recording the second out of the inning Lorenzo Cain hit a single to right which drove in Escobar who had advanced to 3rd on the previous play.  Cain advanced to 2nd on a wild pitch but he would leave him stranded as Estrada recorded the final out of the inning.  The Royal were now leading 2 – 0 as the game moved into the 4th inning.  The Royals continued to collect runs as Salvador Perez drove a ball over the left field wall to extend the Royals lead to 3 – 0.  

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Josh Donaldson and Jose Bautista led off the 6th inning with walks.  Volquez appeared to have lost the good pace that he had through the early part of the game.  He was holding the ball on the mound longer and did not appear to have the confidence in the fastball that had gotten him to this point.  Volquez managed to slip out of the trouble he created and retired the next 3 batters he faced.  Volquez threw 37 pitches and managed to not allow a run in the 6th inning.  In the bottom of the 6th Estrada allowed a few base runners and with 1 out and runners on 1st and 3rd Aaron Loup came on looking for a double play.  Ryan Goins made a great grab on a dribbler up the middle and tossed the ball to Tulo who barehanded and tossed to first to complete the double play.  Find the highlight it is one of the better ones I have seen in a while and it saved a run.

Now that the Jays chased Volquez from the game they would have to face the Royals greatest strength which is their bullpen.  Kelvin Herrera was the first one out of the pen and proceeded to show 100 MPH type stuff and struck out 2 Blue Jays in his inning of work.  In the Bottom of the inning Mark Lowe came on and tossed a great inning.  He was able record 3 consecutive outs including a strike out.  Ryan Madson would be the second Royals ace relief pitch to come out and he gave up a single to Donaldson after recording an out and then walked Bautista.  With runners on 1st and 2nd and 1 out Justin Smoak would pinch hit for Edwin Encarnacion.  Encarnacion appeared to leave the game with a hand injury from the previous at bat.  Smoak would pop out to first base for the second out of the inning and Colabello would ground out to second to end the inning.  

LaTroy Hawkins came in to the game in the 8th and hit Alcides Escobar with a pitch to lead off the inning and then gave up an infield single to Ben Zobrist.  Eric Hosmer would pop a ball that just missed being a home run which plated Escobar to make the score 4-0.  Now with runners on 2nd and 3rd Kendrys Morales hit a sac fly to left field to score Zobrist.  The inning would end at a score of 5-0 Royals.  Luke Hochevar came on in the 9th and shut down the Jays to finish the game.  

Games Notes

  • The Blue Jays were able to push Volquez for 24 pitches in the first inning.
  • Each team only had 1 base runner through the first 2 innings.
  • Estrada struck out the first batters of the 2nd inning in a row.
  • Alcides Escobar recorded 2 doubles on just 2 pitches from Estrada in his first 2 at bats.
  • All 3 hits in the bottom of the 3rd were to the opposite field.  The Royal used this to stay on top of Estrada’s change up.
  • Chris Colabello recorded the first Blue Jays hit in the top of the 4th with 2 outs.
  • The Blue Jays left 7 runners in scoring position.
  • The Blue Jays were only shut out 5 times during the regular season

STARTING PITCHER . B-. A battle in every sense of the word.  Estrada fought through 5.1 innings and kept the Jays in the game.  He did allow 3 runs but was able to minimize the damage throughout his time on the mound.  He would finish with 3 earned runs 6 hits while striking out 6.. Game Ball. Marco Estrada

OFFENSE . D-. The Royals pitching seemed to find away out of trouble every time something just started to get cooking.   Donaldson and Bautista were on base 2 times each but the rest of the team just could not take advantage of base runners.  The Jays were unable to bury Volquez when they had him pushed against the ropes.. Game Ball. Josh Donaldson, Jose Bautista

B. Loup recorded a crucial double play that kept the score at 3-0 to end the 6th inning.  Mark Lowe was able record 3 consecutive outs including a strike out in the 7th inning.  LaTroy Hawkins let the Royals build a nice buffer in the 8th which put the nail in the coffin.. Game Ball. Aaron Loup, Mark Lowe. BULLPEN

Next: 5 Reasons the Blue Jays may have issues with the Royals

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