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One bad inning spoils the bunch

The Blue Jays scored 5 runs off Logan Webb in the 1st inning and, yeah...that was the game.

MLB: San Francisco Giants at Toronto Blue Jays Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

Logan Webb started the day with an 0-2 count to lead-off man George Springer. Good way to start the day: ahead in the count, early leverage, attacking the zone...

But his next 3 pitches were non-competitive and uncompelling and set-up a clone sinker to the first pitch of the at-bat. Springer recognized it and, similar to how yesterday’s game started, poked it into right for a lead-off double.

That’s where today’s road diverged from yesterday’s.

On Tuesday, Ryan Walker worked 3 consecutive strikeouts to strand two runners in the 1st and set-up a 9-inning masterpiece penned by Alex Wood and accompanying arms.

Every team gets dealt a shutout, but a top-10 offense doesn’t make a habit of it. I’m sure George Springer went to bed snuggled up to his bat, Bo Bichette probably brushed his teeth wearing batting gloves, and the entire Toronto line-up rolled up to the Rogers Centre with their eye black on, itching to prove what they were capable of after Tuesday’s loss.

Their bats wasted no time blowing off some accumulated steam by lacing 6 hits and scoring 5 runs before Webb had thrown 25 pitches.

Across 9-innings yesterday, Toronto hit 5 doubles and went 1 for 12 with runners in scoring position with nothing to show for it.

The Blue Jays hit 4 doubles, going 4 for 6 with RISP in just the 1st inning, effectively securing their win before most Giants players had a chance to hit.

I’m sure Brandon Belt’s gorgeous inside-out swing (which I miss dearly) that lofted a double to the warning track didn’t feel great based off of Webb’s reaction to the location, the sound of the ball off the bat and the gamesmanship between old teammates (Belt: “I don’t want to hurt his feelings, I just want to embarrass his whole family.”)

But the hit that ruined the night and really kicked Webb in the shins was Daulton Varsho’s two-out, RBI turf double.

Varsho slammed the 1-0 sinker directly into the clay in front of home plate before landing in the outfield in one gigantic bound that scored Belt for Toronto’s third run. Varsho would then score on Whit Merrifield’s double, and Whit Merrifield would score on Danny Jansen’s single before Cavan Biggio mercilessly grounded out to end the inning.

The 5-runs allowed was a career high for Webb in the 1st inning.

For an extra twist of the knife, all four doubles logged a sub-100 exit velocity which doesn’t happen that often apparently—at least not since 2015 BSC (Before StatCast).

What did we do in that cold, dark period of history without exit velocity? How ever did we maintain interest in sport? How ever did we tweet?

To add more injury to insult, one of the outs recorded in the 1st cost the Giants a right fielder when Michael Conforto collided with the low wall in foul territory. Austin Slater hit for him in the 2nd and announced the outfielder had exited with hamstring tightness, which is really cool, awesome, really great, totally cool.

But call mulligan on that 1st inning though and we got ourselves a ballgame!

Webb found his footing and threw four more innings, allowing only 2 more hits while striking out 5.

Ross Stripling in his return from the IL looked comfortable on his old home mound, allowing 1-run in 3 innings with 3 K. An elevated walk rate had been a concern for him in outings before he left for the IL, but he showed better command of his arsenal, throwing 35 of 50 pitches went for strikes with 0 walks.

The Giants were definitely knocked down early but the way this team has been playing it’s hard to rule them out of any game. In this recent run of success, you can never completely tear yourself away from the broadcast and fully commit to straightening up the living room, or washing some dishes, or cleaning the cat’s litter box (which I so desperately want to do) because this team has been so darn good at staying in games and building comebacks. They demand your attention, and I don’t put up much of a fight.

The pitching held the line in the middle innings, and the bats had opportunities to chip away at the Blue Jays’ lead, but any potential hullabaloo was quieted by Toronto’s pitching.

Trevor Richards threw 3 innings allowing 1 hit and striking out 5 effectively working a 1-2 fastball-change-up combo to incredible effect, and Bowden Francis, who allowed 1-run over 4 innings pitched, took home the win.

Austin Slater led off the 5th with a solo shot to right-center, and leadoff hitters reached base in the 1st, 4th, 6th & 7th innings—none of them scored.

Both J.D. Davis and Patrick Bailey ricocheted hits off the outfield wall that would’ve been homers in the teensy-tiniest sampling of other big league parks, but alas, geography! Circumstance! Davis was quickly eliminated in a double-play after his loud single, and Bailey could only advance 90 feet after his double.

The San Francisco Giants historic road winning streak comes to an end in the Great White North. 6 - 1 Blue Jays. Rubber match tomorrow.