Asher Wojciechowski, who had been surprisingly competent over his last two starts for the Orioles, ran out of mojo tonight. He never looked particularly sharp and only lasted two outs into the fifth inning.
The first three batters in the Blue Jays’ line up have familiar last names to those of us who have been watching baseball for awhile. And those three batters, Bo Bichette, Cavan Biggio, and Vladimir Guerrero, Jr., did their fathers proud tonight.
Scoring started off in the third inning with Biggio singling ahead of Guerrero, who launched the first of his two homers of the night into center field. I gotta say, Vlad Jr. is a lot of fun to watch but I don’t look forward to seeing him play in the A.L. East for years to come.
In the next inning the Blue Jays extended their lead on an RBI single from Bichette, then added another in the fifth thanks to a solo home run from Randal Grichuk. Grichuk may not have a famous dad but he has always been an Oriole killer. Grichuk came into tonight with a cool 1.203 OPS in 22 games. At any rate, that gave the Jays a 4-0 lead and knocked Wojciechowski out of the game. His final pitching line: 4.2 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 3 BB, 5 K.
As an aside, Grichuk fouled a ball into his face in the ninth inning and had to leave the game. I sure hope he’s not injured, even if he does destroy the O’s pitchers.
Jimmy Yacabonis relieved Wojciechowski and aside from getting out of the fifth inning without trouble, the less said about his night the better. Man, he looked bad. The first three batters he faced in the sixth inning reached base, the last hitting a three-run homer. Two batters later, Guerrero doubled in a run. He was pulled from the inning with two outs and two runners on. Dillon Tate replaced him and got the final out.
I want to talk about Dillon Tate. If a person were just to check the box score, they would not get the full story on Tate. He did have his troubles, for sure, but overall I thought he looked good. His pitches had good movement and he retired the first six batters he faced. Unfortunately the seventh batter was Vlad Jr, who absolutely murdered a ball for a home run to left field.
But Tate rebounded, getting a line out to end the eighth and then getting the first two batters he faced in the ninth out. I was a little surprised that he started the ninth inning, but when he needed just one more out to finish the game, it made sense to keep him in. But unfortunately that’s when things fell apart.
A pitch ran up and in to just barely hit Teoscar Hernandez, then Billy McKinney homered to put the nail in Tate’s coffin. It got out of hand very quickly, although Richard Bleier was warming in the pen before that happened. Bleier relieved him and got the last out despite some typical 2019 Richard Bleier shenanigans.
It ended badly, but I liked what I saw from Dillon Tate tonight. That’s about the only thing I liked in tonight’s game, honestly.
As for the offense, it stunk. When the Orioles were down by only two runs in the third inning, they loaded the bases with no outs on singles from Hanser Alberto, Chris Davis, and Stevie Wilkerson. But a pop up and a double play later and the inning was over. Their only scoring came on an RBI single from Villar in the fifth inning, and a home run by Trey Mancini in the eighth.
That’s not going going to be enough runs on most days, and it definitely wasn’t enough tonight when the pitching staff gave up 11 runs.