The Toronto Blue Jays outslugged the Philadelphia Phillies 18-11 on Tuesday night in what saw the Jays scoring in every inning but one. The game saw fans chanting “Let’s go, Blue Jays!” and interim manager John Schneider walking out of the clubhouse praising his team’s remarkable performance.
The night was filled with non-stop action that started with Matt Chapman hitting a three-run homer in the first inning, three batters later, with Danny Janson on second, George Springer knocked hits a two-run homer to make it 5-0 for the Jays.
The ninth inning saw Jackie Bradley Jr. adding a three-run homer after the Jays continued to rack up the runs leading up to their 18-11 victory. In what many are calling a matchup of teams in opposite directions, the Jays clearly showed after winning five of seven that they are in better shape and have a firm grip on earning a wild-card spot in the American League division.
The loss for the Phillies was their fifth straight loss after suffering a three-game sweep last weekend in Atlanta. However, the Phillies managed to keep a 2.5-game lead over the Brewers for the last wild card spot in the National League.
On the plus side, Philadelphia outfielder Kyle Schwarber scored his fortieth home of the season in the eighth. Schwarber became the first Philadelphia slugger since Ryan Howard achieved the same feat in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009. Also putting in a special day after going 5 for 5, was J.T. Realmuto, who hit his twentieth homer of the season. Realmuto drove in two runs and scored twice,
Toronto’s Danny Jansen, who struck out against catcher Garrett Stubbs in the ninth, scored three RBIs, as did Raimel Tapia. The Phillies now have fifteen games remaining in the regular season, with five of those at home and ten on the road, while the Jays have fourteen, with six of those being on the road.
After the recent losses the Phillies have accumulated in the last five games, the loss was felt by 2021 National League MVP Bryce Harper, who said, “You go through lulls in the season and this isn’t the greatest spot to go in, right?”
“We lost but I think it’s a stepping stone into tomorrow and hopefully the offense can show up, defense can show up and pitching, as well. We’re going to need that down the stretch and into the postseason.”
The postseason talk struck an optimistic tone with the Phillies, but the team is determined not to go there, nor will they last long if they, especially after their performance against the Jays. The biggest mistakes for the Phillies came during the middle innings.
The first was when Harper was doubled up in the fifth to end a rally, and then s two-base error by Bryson Stott cost the Phillies an unearned run. Down 7-1 by the fifth, Philadelphia didn’t break through Toronto’s defences until Dalton Guthrie hit a single-run homer to make it 7-2, and Rhys Hoskins added to that after he had a double run and JT. Realmuto made it 7.5.
With things looking better for the Phillies, the Jays reliever Zach Pop managed to get them out of the inning after retiring Bryson Scott on a fly ball to centre field and Springer taking out Harper at second to end the inning.
“We just have to get back to winning, said Phillies interim manager Rob Thomson, and if we keep playing the way we’re playing, we’re going to do that.”
Blue Jays starting pitcher Ross Stripling gave up five runs, and nine hits in four innings ending sixteen back-to-back starts with three or fewer earned runs, a feat that saw him one shy of matching a franchise record. Which is good news for punters wanting to sign up with Canadian-friendly baseball bookies and back the Jays in the lead-up to the post-season.
“It wasn’t a good day to be a pitcher on either team, for sure,” said Stripling. “But we kind of showed our strength today which is the ability to pour it on at times. We really showed that off today.”
Unfortunate for the Phillies, starter Kyle Gibson was unable to get the job done, giving up twelve hits and seven runs in five innings. The trouble for Gibson started when Chapman hit a three-run homer to put the Jays up 3-0. The trouble continued with the Jays scoring two more runs in the second and a single in the third.
The Blue Jays, who were one hit shy of their record scored against the Red Sox in July, will next head to Tampa for a three-game series against the Rays, while the Phillies will welcome the Atlanta Braves for a triple header before celebrating Fan Appreciation Day on the 25th.