TORONTO – Last week, the injury list strained Yimi Garcia’s back and because the Toronto Blue Jays didn’t make a very close and late advantage in his subsequent games, his loss didn’t have an immediate effect.
Then came Tuesday night, when Ross Stripling handed a 4-2 lead to protection after keeping the Boston Red Sox in check for five innings, and manager Charlie Montoyo struck himself nine outs before passing the ball to Jordan Romano. felt the need.
Minus Garcia, bridging that gap is suddenly a lot more complicated for the Blue Jays, as they managed to blow their lead in the RBI singles before rallying in ninth for a 6-5 walk-off win by Bo Bichette and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. was discovered.
The thrilling rally, sending the crowd of 27,140 into frenzy, was started by a pinch-hit single by Alejandro Kirk off Tyler Danish. George Springer followed with a walk and after Hansel Robles took over, Bichette sent a chopper from the right to tie the game. Guerrero then closed it with a base hit, a comeback that erased the earlier disappointment.
The Blue Jays took an early 4–2 lead to take control of the game, and once Stripling was gone, Adam Simber, the most stable of the club’s current set-up men, was replaced by the Red Sox lineup in sixth. Used and put against the heart. one zero up. But Trent Thornton surrendered a two-run homer to Rob Refsneider in the seventh, but Christian Vazquez carried an RBI single from Tim Maiza in the eighth.
The damage could very well have been worse, if not for a jump on a Christian Arroyo line drive from Matt Gage by Santiago Espinal, a double play with loaded bases. It proved crucial in the ninth.
Still, the end result is that Romano never got the lead, scoring ninth, and nearly slipped a game against a divisional opponent in the Blue Jays’ fistfight.
As a one-off, such relief blips are disappointing but they do happen, no matter how impressive a bullpen is. But rather than an aberration, the absence of prominent relief arms makes it a soft spot more vulnerable whenever a game is tight late in the day.
The Blue Jays envisioned greater stability in their bullpen built around García, Cimber, Maiza and Trevor Richards, who struggled before hitting the injured list with a neck strain. Hopefully Julian Merryweather’s left abdominal strain for velocity injections, and Nate Pearson, stopped over the next 3-4 weeks with a lat strain, didn’t bulge out and caused the core to be hollowed out due to a pending joint Sergio Romo, 39-year-old Wright released by the Seattle Mariners. He had to go physically on Tuesday night to finalize his signature.
Romo will not crumble in leverage, but whether he has enough stuff left to be dominant again is another matter. Even if the turnaround prospects aren’t particularly high, it’s a dice-roll, with Thornton shifting from mop-up duty to leverage work and Mayazza in his last five outings. Four of them have suffered damage.
David Phelps, who pitched in back-to-back days and was unavailable on Tuesday, has also remained steady, but it can’t be just him and Simber. Gage, the rookie lefty, has the big stuff but needs more runway to earn confidence in leverage, while Max Castillo and Shaun Anderson are on the roster to absorb the innings when starting sideways.
As long as crime can dominate those issues, no problem. But a comeback like a Tuesday won’t always happen.