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Teoscar Hernandez Grand Slam Helps Jays Beat Angels – Bluebird Banter

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Blue Jays 10 Angels 2

The game changed in the top of the fifth. Lourdes Gurriel started the inning with a double. Then, right here, the Angels took out starter Dylan (don’t call me Ted) Bundy. The move confused us, Bundy hadn’t been bad, but the Angels had Sam Selman throwing before the inning started. It had me thinking that they had planned to pull Bundy. But Bundy didn’t look happy.

After an out, Santiago Espinal singled Gurriel home, and Espinal went to second on the throw home. Walks to George Springer and Marcus Semien loaded the bases for Vlad, which had us hoping Vlad would choose this moment to come out of his little slump. He didn’t. But Teoscar Hernandez followed up with a grand slam, and we were suddenly up by five.

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Before that.

Lourdes Gurriel made a terrific play at first base to end the second inning and then homered to start the third inning. The pitch he hit out was up and in, and he got it all. The play at first was a nicely hit ground ball, right down the right-field line.

And George Springer also hit one out in the third.


There were some interesting defensive plays in the early going. Shohei Ohtani lined the game’s second pitch hard, but Teoscar Hernandez made a very nice catch, going back to get it.

On the bad side, Marcus Semien, playing short in place of the hurting Bo Bichette, threw wide of first on what should have been an easy ground out. Lourdes did well to catch it but was pulled well off the bag. I think the throw was a homage to his fallen middle-infield partner.

And Alek Manoah made a ridiculous play on a broken-bat ground ball hit to his right. The bat kind of went by him on the left. He managed to ignore it, slid to the ball, up and then. I guess his grip wasn’t right, but he bounced the ball to first, and Lourdes made a nice grab.


Manoah was as good as we have seen him. He gave up a home run to Shohei Ohtani, but then he hit many home runs. He ended up going 6.2 innings, allowing 5 hits, 2 earned 1 walk and had 11 strikeouts. It seemed to be almost all fastballs for Alek. He threw a 97 MPH fastball in the seventh inning. He could have been out of the game several pitches sooner, but David Fletcher worked a 12-pitch walk that ended his day at 114 pitches.

It is one of the best starts we’ve seen this season.

Tayler Saucedo took over for Alek with 2 on and got a ground ball to end the inning. He ended up getting 4 outs without giving up a baserunner.

Brad Hand threw a nice quick ninth.


We scored an extra two runs in the eighth. With one out, Teoscar singled (really should have been an error on the shortstop. Corey Dickerson also singled, giving us runners on the corners. Alejandro Kirk hit into what should have been an easy double play, but Angels 3B Phil Gosselin dribbled it, turning it into a 5-3 out (not an error for stupid baseball reasons (can’t assume a double play, Ummm sorry, but you could on that one with Kirk running) and allowing the runner on third to score. Lourdes got his third hit of the night, a single, bringing in Dickerson.

And George Springer hit his second home run of the day in the ninth, getting us to double digits in runs.

We had 10 hits, but 4 were home runs (and one of them should have been an error) and just the 2 walks (back-to-back before Teoscar’s home run.

Lourdes had 3 (needed a triple for the cycle), and Teoscar had 2 (and 4 RBI).

Vlad had a frustrating night, going 0 for 4. Kirk and Breyvic Valera also had 0 for 4s.


Jays of the Day: Teoscar (.218 WPA), Lourdes (.195), Espinal (.115), and Springer (.102), and I’m giving one to Alek who’s .044 is so low because we scored so many runs.

Suckage: Vlad had the number (-.116).


We finish up the series with the Angels tomorrow. Berrios vs. Ohtani (that should be fun).

We had 525 comments in the GameThread. EMK19 led us to a very satisfying victory.

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Canada coach John Herdman disputes Croatian counterpart's account of skipped post-match handshake – The Globe and Mail

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Canada head coach John Herdman during a World Cup match against Croatia, at the Khalifa International Stadium, in Doha, Qatar, on Nov. 27.The Associated Press

Canada coach John Herdman is disputing his Croatian counterpart’s account of why there was no handshake after their World Cup game.

Herdman had antagonized the Croatian camp with a heated postgame message to his players after Canada’s opening 1-0 loss to Belgium at the soccer showcase. Asked in a pitch-side interview what he had said in a postgame huddle to his players, Herdman replied: “I told them they belong here and we’re going to go and eff – Croatia. That’s as simple as it gets.”

That prompted a stern lecture from Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic on the need for respect. And after Croatia beat the Canadians 4-1 Sunday, Dalic was asked if he had a chance to shake hands with Herdman following the final whistle.

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“I did not see the other head coach after the match,” he said through an interpreter. “When I lose I always congratulate the winner. He was not there and that’s his way of doing things. He’s obviously mad. He is a good coach. He is a high-quality professional. But it will take some time for him to learn some things.”

Herdman, whose postgame news conference preceded Dalic’s on Sunday, disputed that account Wednesday when asked about it.

“Look, we shook hands before the game. So that happened,” he said. “At the end of the game, the usual process – no different than [with Belgium coach] Roberto Martinez. You shake hands with the coach, then you go shake hands with the referee.

“When I turned round, [Dalic] was already off down the touchline, which is his right to do. He’s celebrating. He’s just beaten Canada. It was a big celebration for him. He was off and I couldn’t get to shake his hand. I went into the field, shook the ref’s hand, shook players’ hands. And didn’t get to see him.

“That moment’s gone. We’re into process now – team huddle, see your fans, flash interviews, calm yourself down so you don’t say anything and move on.”

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Argentina coast past Poland 2-0 to top World Cup Group C – Al Jazeera English

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Second-half goals from Alexis Mac Allister and Julian Alvarez cap a return to form for the South American giants.

Argentina coasted past Poland in a 2-0 victory on Wednesday night to top Group C and confirm their place in the last 16 of the World Cup, signalling a return to form for the South American giants after a poor start to this year’s tournament.

Alexis Mac Allister and Julian Alvarez’s second-half goals capped a dominant display by coach Lionel Scaloni’s charges at Stadium 974 – which was packed to the rafters with tens of thousands of raucous Argentinian supporters – to set up a clash with Australia on Saturday.

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After a goalless first 45 minutes, Mac Allister got on the end of Nahuel Molina’s cross just one minute into the second period and, despite making weak contact, he saw his shot creep over the line with Polish keeper Wojciech Szczesny beaten.

The second goal was the result of patient buildup play which saw Argentina shift the ball around before Enzo Fernandez made a defence-splitting pass for Julian Alvarez, who found space in the box and smashed it into the top corner to effectively kill the game in the 67th minute.

Poland were lifeless throughout but managed to also squeeze through to the knockout phase on goal difference at the expense of Mexico, who beat Saudi Arabia 2-1 in Group C’s other match.

They will meet defending champions France in the last 16 on Sunday.

Argentina's Alexis Mac Allister scores their first goal
Mac Allister opened the scoring for Argentina immediately after half-time [Issei Kato/Reuters]

Messi misses from the penalty spot

The first half’s defining moment came in the 39th minute when Argentina captain and talisman Lionel Messi failed to convert from the penalty spot on his record-breaking 22nd World Cup match, one more than the late Diego Maradona managed for La Albiceleste.

Poland were up in arms when Argentina were awarded the penalty after a VAR check for a foul on Messi when Szczesny’s glove brushed his face as the Paris St Germain forward rose up for a header at the far post.

But Szczesny was up to the task and despite the Argentina fans raising the decibel levels inside the arena, he kept his composure and guessed correctly, diving to his left and using one hand to swat aside Messi’s effort.

Not to be deterred, Messi never stopped surging forward and he was a menace to Poland all throughout the game with his dribbling ability and vision.

His glittering performance stood in stark contrast to that of Poland’s star striker Robert Lewandowski, who was deprived of service and virtually anonymous for the duration of the match.

Messi, 35, has admitted this will likely be his last World Cup outing while Lewandoski, 34, has said he is unsure if he will make it to the 2026 edition in North America but would like to do so.

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Maple Leafs extend win streak to five games as Marner enters record book – Sportsnet.ca

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