Friday, August 17, 2018

Game #121 Toronto Blue Jays (55-66) @ Kansas City Royals (37-84) - game recap

Ryan O'Hearn drove in what would be the winning run in the 4th as the Royals knocked off the Blue Jays 6-2 to earn the series split

Two hard fought wins in a row. Last night, the Blue Jays hung on after nearly blowing a four run lead. Ken Giles has proven to be lights out in a save situation and a completely different pitcher when the game is not on the line. Tonight, we saw a pitcher in Sam Gaviglio who has really been Jekyll and Hyde this season. His two starts in August, he pitched into the 6th inning. However, his last start in July he could not get out of the 3rd inning. After a day off yesterday, rookie catcher Danny Jansen was right back in the lineup. Russell Martin has held his own defensively at 3rd base but it is not his natural position. He should be focusing on grooming Jansen and also catching the odd game so Jansen can see how he frames pitches and handles the pitchers. He had the night off today after playing the previous three games. The weather has caused delays in three of the games this series. Here is tonight's game recap.

Game Highlights
  • The Blue Jays took the lead in the top of the 2nd as Teoscar Hernandez scored on a sac fly by Danny Jansen
  • The Royals tied it in the bottom of the 2nd on Lucas Duda solo HR to right
  • The Blue Jays took the lead in the top of the 4th as Kendrys Morales singled home Justin Smoak
  • The Royals tied it in the bottom of the 4th as Jorge Bonifacio triple, scoring Rosell Herrera
  • A batter later, Ryan O'Hearn singled home Bonifacio
  • A batter later, Hunter Dozier double home O'Hearn
  • Glenn Sparkman pitching line: 4IP 4H 2R (both earned) 1BB 3K 75 pitches (43 for strikes)
  • The Royals added a run in the bottom of the 5th as Herrera doubled to score Alex Gordon
  • Sam Gaviglio pitching line: 4.1IP 8H 5R (all earned) 1BB 2K 72 pitches (42 for strikes)
  • The Royals tacked on a run in the bottom of the 6th as Whit Merrifield singled home Dozier 
  • Final score: Royals 6 Blue Jays 2
My Take

  • Sammy G had a rough go again today giving up 5 runs on 8 hits and a walk. In a span of 4 batters in the 4th, Gaviglio gave up two singles, a double and a triple to plate three runs. He also committed a balk to allow a runner to get into scoring position. Gaviglio has not won since May 19, partly due to an inability to make it through the requisite 5 innings to qualify for a win.
  • Sorry MK, no epic comeback to report tonight in the recap. In fact, the Blue Jays went quietly into the night as the final 5 batters of the game were outs for our embattled warriors. Kendrys Morales was the last batter to reach base on a walk and Richard Urena had the last Blue Jay hit, singling to lead off the 7th
  • The Blue Jays may have split this four game series but they took the season series 5-2 thanks to an earlier 3 game sweep back in April, including a rare double header at the Roger's Center
  • I really like how well Danny Jansen has done his first 3 games in the bigs. Tonight, he threw out a base runner at first thanks to cat-like quickness to grab the ball before it got too far away. He also had an infield hit of his own, hustling down the base path. Jansen drove in the first run of the game on a sac fly.
  • Kevin Pillar was the only Blue Jay with multiple hits today.
  • Up next, the Blue Jays catch a red eye to the Big Apple where they will face former teammate JA Happ on Sunday. But first, tomorrow's match-up features Marcus Stroman, who can be hot/cold on a given day, against righty Lance Lynn, who the Yankees acquired at the deadline and has been having a rough season. After a late start to the game tonight, it will certainly be interesting to see how well the team can perform on a lack of sleep.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

no. 121 2018: Blue Jays (55-65) at Royals (36-84)

Thursday, August 16, 8:15 PM ET, Kauffman Stadium
Sam Gaviglio (RHP  2-5  4.86 ERA  83.1 IP  81 K 1.42 WHIP)
Glenn Sparkman (RHP 0-1  5.06 ERA  16 IP  14 K  1.63 WHIP)

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Game #120 Toronto Blue Jays (55-65) @ Kansas City Royals (36-84) - game recap

Curtis Granderson hit a bases clearing grand slam in the 4th to lead the Blue Jays to a 6-5 victory over the Royals 

After a hard fought win last night, the Blue Jays turned to "ace" Marco Estrada, who could be making his final start in a Blue Jays uniform as teams like the Brewers might want starting pitch for the stretch drive. Danny Jansen received the night off after catching his two battery mates from Buffalo the last two nights. The Blue Jays also swapped lefties, recalling Tim Mayza and demoting Thomas Pannone. Here is tonight's game recap.

no. 120 2018: Blue Jays (54-65) at Royals (36-83)

Wednesday, August 15, 8:15 PM ET, Kauffman Stadium
Marco Estrada (RHP  5-9  4.84 ERA  106.0 IP  80 K  1.28 WHIP)
vs Jorge López (RHP  0-1  2.75 ERA  19.2 IP  15 K  1.47 WHIP)

Game #119 Toronto Blue Jays (54-65) @ Kansas City Royals (36-83) - game recap

Kevin Pillar was 2-4 with 3 RBI and a run scored as the Blue Jays edged the Royals 6-5

After battery mates, Sean Reid-Foley and Danny Jansen made their major league debuts last night, battery mates Jansen and Ryan Borucki re-united tonight. Jansen had a great start to his MLB career with a 2-3 night at the plate and throwing out a base runner. Borucki has also done very well against difficult opponents such as the Yankees, Red Sox and Astros. Tonight, he faced an inferior opponent (at least on paper). Here is tonight's game recap.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

no. 119 2018: Blue Jays (53-65) at Royals (36-82)

Tuesday, August 14, 8:15 PM ET, Kauffman Stadium
Ryan Borucki (LHP 2-2  2.81 ERA  48.0 IP  32 K  1.38 WHIP)
vs Heath Fillmyer (1-1  3.13 ERA  37.1 IP  21 K  1.29 WHIP)

Monday, August 13, 2018

Game #118 Toronto Blue Jays (53-65) @ Kansas City Royals (36-82) - game recap

Royals DH drove in all three Royals runs this evening, including a 2-run HR as the Royals knocked off the struggling Blue Jays 3-1

It was an exciting day to be a Blue Jays fan as two highly touted prospects made their major league debuts tonight in pitcher Sean Reid Foley and catcher Danny Jansen. It was also my birthday game. Did I bring the team good luck today? How did our shiny rookies so tonight? Here is today's game recap.

no. 118 2018: Blue Jays (53-64) at Royals (35-82)

Monday, August 13, 8:15 PM ET, Kauffman Stadium
Sean Reid-Foley (RHP - no stats because it's his MLB debut!)
vs  Brad Keller (RHP 4-5  3.57 ERA  88.1 IP  58 K  1.38 WHIP)

ten weekly random thoughts: week 19 August 6-12

Here we are, just seven week left in the baseball season. Playoff races are heating up with tight races for the 2nd wild card spot in the AL with the Mariners and A's duking it out. The two eams face each other ten more games, starting with a three game set tonight in Oakland. In the NL East, there is a three way race for the division title between the Nationals, Braves and Phillies. The NL Central title is a two-way race between the Cubs and Brewers (the two teams are tied in wins but the Cubs have a few games in hand). Virtually every team in the NL West, except the Padres still have a legit chance of winning the division title. Heading into play Sunday, the Diamondbacks and Dodgers were tied, the Rockies were 1.5 games back and the Giants had an outside chance being 6 games back. The NL West race should go down to the final days of the season, with a one game showdown potentially needed to decide the winner. Don't worry Jays fans, in a few years the Blue Jays will be involved in playoff races. Here are ten random thoughts from week 19 of the MLB.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Game #117 Tampa Bay Rays (60-58) @ Toronto Blue Jays (53-64) - game recap

Kevin Pillar scored the game-winning run on a heads-up base running move touching the plate just ahead of the tag as the Blue Jays edged the Rays 2-1 to avoid the series sweep.

Welp, the first 2 game of this series went sub-optimally. Today, the Blue Blue recalled their top catching prospect Danny Jansen, who will likely be behind the plate for Sean Reid-Foley's MLB debut Monday in Kansas City. Marcus Stroman made the scheduled start, despite a blister problem that is affecting him when he throws a slider. How long did Stroman last today and did he get any run support? Here is today's game recap.

no. 117 2018: Rays (60-57) at Blue Jays (52-64)

Sunday August 12, 2018 | 1:07 pm EDT | Rogers Centre Skydome, Toronto
Tyler Glasnow (RHP 1-2  4.14 ERA  63.0 IP  86 K  1.37 WHIP) 
vs Marcus Stroman (RHP 4-8  5.20 ERA  91.2 IP  72 K 1.43 WHIP)

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Saturday Night Spanish Guitar aka WTFJITH

Hello All,

It's time once again to break out your best (or worst) music choices to share with the class.

no. 116 2018: Rays (59-57) at Blue Jays (52-63)

Saturday August 11, 2018 | 4:07 pm EDT | Rogers Centre Skydome, Toronto
Ryne Stanek (RHP 1-3  2.56 ERA  45.2 IP  60 K 1.01 WHIP)
vs Sam Gaviglio (RHP 2-4  5.08 ERA  78.0 IP  74 K 1.44 WHIP)

Friday, August 10, 2018

Game #115 Tampa Bay Rays (59-57) @ Toronto Blue Jays (52-63) - game recap

Michael Perez was 2-4 with a pair of RBI and a pair of runs scored as the Rays shutout the Blue Jays 7-0

The Blue Jays arch nemesis, the TB Rays are in town for a weekend series. The Blue Jays have all but one win against the AL East division rivals (although the first 2 series of the season were in TB where the Blue Jays never win). Tonight, they turned to the current staff ace Marco Estrada, who could be making his final start in a Blue Jays uniform, as he is a candidate to be traded in August. Here is today's game recap.

Game Highlights
  • The Rays took the lead in the top of the 3rd as Michael Perez hit a 2 run HR to right also scoring Willy Adames
  • The Rays added a run in the top of the 5th as Mallex Smith tripled home Adames
  • The next batter, Joey Wendle, hit a sac fly to score Smith
  • Ji-Man Choi hit a solo HR leading off the 6th to make it a 5-run lead
  • Marco Estrada pitching line: 5.1IP 5H 5R (all earned) 2BB 6K 91 pitches (64 for strikes)
  • Blake Snell pitching line: 5IP 0H 0R 0BB 0K 47 pitches (33 for strikes)
  • The Rays added a pair of runs in the top of the 7th as Wendle doubled home Perez and Adames
  • Final score: Rays 7 Blue Jays 0
My Take

  • Rough outing for Marco Estrada. He was forced to through a lot of pitches early, 60 through two innings. He gave up five runs on five hits and a pair of walks.
  • Blue Jays pitchers were victimized by the bottom two in the Rays lineup tonight. Michael Perez and Willy Adames combined too acute five of the seven Rays runs and five of the nine Rays hits.
  • In an odd move, Blake Snell was removed after five innings despite throwing a perfect game. He was hit by a Kendrys Morales line drive in the fifth inning. Apparently the plan was to remove him after that time. His replacement, Jake Faria, promptly gave up a lead off single to Luke Maile to break up the perfect game.
  • The Blue Jays offence was none-existent tonight. They had a measly three hits and did not get a runner past second base. Had Blake Snell not been pulled after five perfect innings, the Blue Jays might have been looking at their second straight no-hitter or even second career perfect game.
  • Up next, the Blue Jays look to even the three-game series. Sam Gaviglio will be starting against a Rays reliever. In fact, the next two games will be bullpen days for the Rays, who only have Snell as a traditional starter

no. 115 2018: Rays (58-57) at Blue Jays (52-62)

Friday August 10, 2018 | 7:07 pm EDT | Rogers Centre Skydome, Toronto
Blake Snell (LHP  12-5  2.27 ERA  123.0 IP  137 K 1.07 WHIP)
vs Marco Estrada (RHP  5-8  4.65 ERA  100.2 IP  74 K  1.28 WHIP)

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Game #114 Boston Red Sox (81-35) @ Toronto Blue Jays (52-62) - game recap

Justin Smoak was 3 for 4 at the plate with a pair of RBI and a run scored as the Blue Jays avoided the series sweep and knocked off the red-hot Red Sox 8-5

After two games, it is clear that the Blue Jays are vastly behind this historic Red Sox team. Today, the Blue Jays were looking to  avoid the series sweep after two games that weren't really close. Ryan Borucki was roughed up by Boston last time he faced them. Could the Blue Jays steal one? Here is today's game recap.

Game Highlights
  • The Red Sox took the early lead in the top of the 1st as Eduardo Nunez singled scoring Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi
  • The Blue Jays got one back in the bottom half of the inning as Justin Smoak singled home Curtis Granderson
  • A batter later, Devon Travis scored on a fielder's choice hit by Randal Grichuk
  • The Blue Jays took the lead in the bottom of the 2nd as Russell Martin scored on a fielding error by Nunez
  • The Blue Jays doubled the lead in the bottom of the 3rd as Teoscar Hernandez homered to right-center
  • The Red Sox got one back in the top of the 5th as JD Martinez hit a solo HR to left-center
  • The batters later, Brock Holt singled home Nunez to tie the game
  • The Blue Jays retook the lead in the bottom of the 5th as Smoak doubled scoring Travis
  • A batter later, Grichuk hit a 2-run home run to left-center also scoring Smoak
  • Rick Porcello pitching line: 4IP 6H 7R (all earned) 3BB 5K 79 pitches (54 for strikes)
  • Ryan Borucki pitching line: 5IP 9H 4R (all earned) 3BB 2K 105 pitches (62 for strikes)
  • The Blue Jays added a run in the bottom of the 6th as Travis singled home Granderson
  • The Red Sox got one back in the bottom of the 9th as Betts homered to left
  • Final score: Blue Jays 8 Red Sox 5
My Take
  • Neither starting pitcher had a great game today. The Blue Jays got to former Cy Young winner Rick Porcello early and often, scoring in 4 of the first five innings. Borucki fared a bit better than his Red Sox counterpart, pitching an extra inning and holding this offensive juggernaut to 4 runs on 9 hits and 3 walks. The main difference was the Blue Jays capitalized on their chances with runners in scoring position where as the Red Sox left more runners in account position.
  • Mookie Betts hit for the cycle, becoming the first Pruett to do so this season and the last player to hit for the cycle since Jose Abreu did it for the White Sox September 9th last season. Jeff Frye was the last Blue Jay to hit for the cycle back on August 17, 2001
  • The bullpen was lights out tonight. The Betts home run was the only hit and run allowed in 4 innings of work today. 
  • One Blue Jays fan caught not one, but two home run balls tonight. Most fans don't even get the opportunity to catch a foul ball or home run ball. The fan should consider buying a Lotto Max ticket this week
  • Justin Smoak and Devon Travis both had good nights at the plate with a combined 5 hits and 3RBI and 3 runs scored in 7AB.
  • The Blue Jays also snapped Boston's 6 game winning streak
  • Up next, the Tampa Bay Rays, another team that has been kryptonite to the Blue Jays come to town for a weekend series. The Blue Jays won't have to contend with Chris Archer, who is now a Pittsburgh Pirate. The Rays will start their only true starter in lefty Blake Snell while Marco Estrada takes the ball for the Blue Jays.

no. 114 2018: Sux (81-34) at Blue Jays (51-62)

Thursday August 9, 2018 | 7:07 pm EDT | Rogers Centre Skydome, Toronto
Rick Porcello (RHP 14-4  3.84 ERA  140.2 IP  135K  1.16 WHIP)
vs Ryan Borucki (LHP  1-2  2.30 ERA  43.0 IP  30K  1.26 WHIP)

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Game #113 Boston Red Sox (81-34) @ Toronto Blue Jays (51-62) - game recap

Xander Bogaerts had 3 RBI and a run scored as the Red Sox doubled up on the Blue Jays 10-5

After a difficult game last night, where the Blue Jays blew a 3 run lead, tied the game and allowed 5 runs in the 10th, the Blue Jays were looking for a strong pitching performance from Mike Hauschild, who threw six shutout innings in Seattle. He needed to have his best stuff against this potent Red Sox lineup. Could the Blue Jays prevail tonight? Here is today's game recap.

Game Highlights

  • The Red Sox took the lead in the top of the 3rd as Rafael Devers scored on a sac fly hit by Andrew Benntendi
  • A batter later, Mitch Moreland doubled to score Sandy Leon and Mookie Betts
  • Two batters later, Xander Bogaerts hit a sac fly scoring Moreland
  • Mike Hauschild pitching line: 2.1IP 3H 4R (all earned) 3BB 0K 51 pitches (26 for strikes)
  • The Red Sox added a run in the top of the 5th as Betts was forced in by a bases loaded walk
  • The Red Sox added two more runs in the top of the 6th as Devers hit a 2 run HR to right-center also scoring Eduardo Nunez
  • The Blue Jays got on the board in the bottom of the 6th as Teoscar Hernandez hit a 2 run shot to left-center that also scored Justin Smoak
  • The Red Sox got one back in the top of the 7th as Bogaerts doubled home JD Martinez
  • The Blue Jays got 3 runs closer in the bottom of the 7th courtesy of a 3 run HR by Randal Grichuk also scoring Russell Martin and Kevin Pillar
  • The Red Sox added a run in the top of the 8th as Martinez singled scoring Leon
  • Two batters later, Benintendi scored on a wild pitch by Joe Biagini
  • Final score: Red Sox 10 Blue Jays 5
My Take

  • The magic Mike Hauschild had in Seattle last week at my first MLB game did not materialize. Facing a far superior lineup tonight that is comparable to the 1998 Yankees lineup and Seattle's 2001 lineup, Hauschild was lit up for 4 runs on 3 hits and 3 walks and a hit batter. He did not strike out anybody and did not get out of the 3rd inning tonight. I still think he deserves another chance in a few days, perhaps in a long man's role like in Seattle.
  • One positive from tonight was Jaime Garcia had a clean inning.
  • Justin Smoak continues to swing a hot Bay. He was 3 for 4 and raised his average to .260
  • The Blue Jays used 6 pitchers today. They'll needs a few staters to go deep in the game or they may be using a position player to pitch.
  • Up next, the Blue Jays try to avoid the series sweep as Ryan Borucki pitches against 2016 Cy Young winner Rick Porcello.

no. 113 2018: Sux (80-34) at Blue Jays (51-61)

Wednesday August 8, 2018 | 7:07 pm EDT | Rogers Centre Skydome, Toronto
Brian Johnson (LHP 2-3  3.74 ERA 65.0 IP 63 K 1.42 WHIP)
vs Mike Hauschild (RHP 1-0  0.00 ERA 6.0 IP 5 K 0.83 WHIP)

Game #112 Boston Red Sox (80-34) @ Toronto Blue Jays (51-61) - game recap

Red Sox DH JD Martinez hit the go-ahead 3-run HR in the 10th inning as the Red Sox knocked off the Blue Jays 10-7 in a game where both teams had trouble with late leads

The Blue Jays had to be feeling pretty good about themselves after winning three of four to end the road trip. They received bad news ahead of tonight's game as trade acquisition Brandon Drury has a fracture in his hand, that occurred a couple of games before he was traded. He'll likely be out a few weeks if Aaron Judge or Robinson Cano are barometers. So the Blue Jays are back where they started plugging in players to play SS/3B until one or both or Tulo and Donaldson return to action. In the meantime, you can watch the Stroshow work his magic or explode at his teammates. Maybe Ken Giles will beat himself up (figuratively or literally). Here is today's game recap.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

no. 112 2018: Sux (79-34) at Blue Jays (51-60)

Tuesday August 7, 2018 | 7:07 pm EDT | Rogers Centre Skydome, Toronto
Drew Pomeranz (LHP 1-5 6.56 ERA  46.2 IP 43 K 1.80 WHIP)
vs Marcus Stroman (RHP 4-8  5.63 ERA  84.2 IP  68 K  1.49 WHIP)

Monday, August 6, 2018

Non-Game Thread for an Offday: TJ's All-Stars and Awards for the 1981 Season

I'm starting this post just before game two of the Seattle invasion, so I have no idea how that series will turn out/turned out. I only know that Tina got a win in her first ever live baseball game, which is awesome. This post will either find us wishing for a Monday game, glad for a respite from this topsy-turvy season, or somewhere in the middle.

Why 1981 you ask? Blame poster Teddy Ballgame for that. I took requests for various seasons before or during the Blue Jays' history, and his was the furthest removed from 2018, so I chose to tackle it first. When he requested it, I told him he was a masochist, as the Blue Jays were the worst team in all of baseball that season, and he responded by posting that indeed he was, but that he was also a bit of a sadist. There was a team just down Hwy 401 though, that had been teasing Canadian baseball fans, knocking on the door of the postseason, but falling just short, and 1981 was the year they would finally crash the party, so perhaps he's not such a masochist after all.

ten weekly random thoughts: week 18 July 30-August 5

We are finished week 19 of the MLB schedule and the Blue Jays appeared to be locked into 4th place with 2 months to go in the season. The trade deadline has now come and gone and the bullpen looks vastly different with Aaron Loup, Roberto Osuna, Seunghwan Oh and John Axford all snapped up by contending teams. In their place are new closer Ken Giles and free agent singing Mike Hauschild, who was outstanding in 6 innings of relief Thursday. Here are ten random thoughts from week 10 of the MLB.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Game #111 Toronto Blue Jays (51-60) @ Seattle Mariners (64-48) - game recap

Nelson Cruz was 2-4 with 4 RBI and a run scored as the Mariners doubled up on the Blue Jays 6-3

The Blue Jays were looking to end the ten game road trip with a four game sweep of the Seattle Mariners. Heading into today's game, the Blue Jays had outscored the M's 19-6 and they got stellar pitching performances by Mike Hauschild, Ryan Borucki and Marco Estrada. Could Sam Gaviglio continue the great pitching? Here is today's game recap.

no. 111 2018: Blue Jays (51-59) @ Mariners (63-48)

Sunday, August 5, 4:10 PM ET , Safeco Field
Sam Gaviglio (RHP 2-4  5.10 ERA  72.1 IP  67K  1.41 WHIP)
vs Mike Leake (RHP 8-7  4.16 ERA  134.0 IP  81K 1.30 WHIP)

Game #110 Toronto Blue Jays (51-59) @ Seattle Mariners (63-48) - game recap

Marco Estrada pitched 7 strong innings, carrying a no-hitter into the 7th inning as the Blue Jays defeated the Mariners 5-1 for their third straight victory over the West Coast team

After two games in this four-game set, the Blue Jays have outscored the Mariners 14-5. They were looking to continue the offense against Canadian James Paxton who threw a no-hitter in Toronto on May 8th. Could Paxton repeat the feat or did the Blue Jays prevail? Can Marco Estrada bounce back after a rough outing coming off the DL? Here is today's game recap.

Saturday, August 4, 2018

no. 110 2018: Blue Jays (50-59) @ Mariners (63-47)

Saturday, August 4, 10:10 PM ET , Safeco Field
Marco Estrada (RHP 4-8  4.90 ERA  93.2 IP  70K  1.35 WHIP)
vs James Paxton (LHP 9-4  3.49 ERA  126.1 IP  163K 1.05 WHIP)

Game #109 Toronto Blue Jays (50-59) @ Seattle Mariners (63-47) - game recap

Ryan Borucki threw eight outstanding innings of 4-hit ball as the Blue Jays knocked off the Mariners 7-2

Here we are the game after my first MLB game (I will touch on my experiences in my weekly random thoughts post.) Tonight, the Blue Jays were looking to do something they have not done since July 20-22; win multiple games in a row. Kevin Pillar returned to the lineup after missing a few weeks with an SC joint injury. Ryan Borucki was looking to continue his fine start to his MLB career. Borucki came into the game ranked first among Blue Jays starters in average innings pitched. He was looking for his first career MLB win. Here is tonight's game recap.

Friday, August 3, 2018

#109 - Toronto Blue Jays (49-59) at Seattle Mariners (63-46)

A display at the Szimpla Kert ruin pub in Budapest. 
What?  It's baseball-related because clearly that mannequin represents the red-hot naked passion of a Blue Jays fan who travels to other ballparks, no?   Yes, I say so.  Because.  Go ahead and tell Mom.

Friday, August 3, 2018 | 10:10 pm ET (or Sat. Aug. 4, 4:10 am GMT+2)
Safeco Field | Seattle, Washington
Ryan Borucki (0-2, 2.83, 1.43) vs. Marco Gonzales (12-5, 3.37, 1.16)

Thursday, August 2, 2018

no. 108 2018: Blue Jays (48-59) vs Mariners (63-45)

Thursday, August 2, 10:10 PM ET , Safeco Field
Tyler Clippard (4-3  3.73 ERA  50.2 IP  59K  1.14 WHIP)
vs Félix Hernández (RHP 8-9  5.58 ERA  113.0 IP  95K 1.41 WHIP)

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Game #107 Toronto Blue Jays (48-59) @ Oakland A's (64-46) - game recap

Jonathan Lucroy was 3-4 with 4RBI and a pair of runs scored as the A's defeated the Blue Jays 8-3

After two difficult losses, the Blue Jays were looking to avoid the season series sweep (and also win for some positive vibes ahead of my first MLB game). On the mound today was Marcus Stroman, who has had a difficult season but has pitched better since returning from the disabled list June 23. If the Blue Jays don't win, the media and team may face his wrath as Stro has been known to lash out when angry. Did the team should up today? Here is today's game recap.

Game Highlights

  • The A's took the lead in the bottom of the 2nd as Jonathan Lucroy singled scoring Kris Davis and Matt Olson
  • The A's extended the lead in the bottom of the 4th as Lucroy doubled home Marcus Semien
  • Two batters later, Lucroy scored on a sac fly by Nick Martinni
  • The A's added another run in the bottom of the 6th as Lucroy singled scoring Mark Canha
  • A batter later, Franklin Barreto doubled home Semien and Lucroy
  • Marcus Stroman pitching line: 5IP 11H 7R (all earned) 1BB 6K 94 pitches (63 for strikes)
  • The Blue Jays got one back in the top of the 7th as Randal Grichuk doubled to score Aledmys Diaz
  • Sean Manaea pitching line: 6IP 5H 1R (earned) 2BB 5K 99 pitches (64 for strikes)
  • The Blue Jays added another 2 runs in the top of the 8th as Russell Martin homered to left-center; also scoring Yangervis Solarte 
  • The A's added a run in the bottom of the 8th Barreto homered to left
  • Final score: A's 8 Blue Jays 3
My Take

  • Marcus Stroman was absolutely rocked today to the tune of 7 runs on 11 hits over 5 innings. He was serving up meatballs all afternoon and with this potent A's lineup you can't do that. This time the Blue Jays defense can't be blamed as they did not commit an error. Stroman can be a great pitcher, but he has many starts like this where he gets rocked. Tings won't get any easier because Stroman's next start will be against the potent Boston Red Sox lineup.
  • This was actually the Blue Jays best game of the three played in Oakland. Randal Grichuk, Yangervis Solarte and Russell Martin all had multiple hits, the Blue Jays scored in multiple innings and they had a clean game defensively
  • The AL West race is shaping up to be a doozie between Oakland, Seattle and Houston. I think the Astros will take the AL West title and either the Mariners or A's will be in the second wild card against either the Yankees or Red Sox (likely the Yankees in NY)
  • The season series sweep by the Oakland A's marks the first time the Blue Jays have been swept in a season series (not including interleague) since 1981 when they were swept 4-0 by the Red Sox. It has never happened in a non-strike year, except 3 or 4 game sweeps by interleague teams. It kind of shows how bad the team is this year.
  • Up next, the Blue Jays head to Seattle (and my first MLB game!). The Mariners took 2 of 3 from the Blue Jays back in May, including a no-hitter by James Paxton. Game 1 Thursday sees former Cy Young winner Felix Hernandez pitching against a Blue Jays reliever (maybe John Axford or Carlos Ramirez or Jaime Garcia). Hopefully someone steps up for the game recap tomorrow

no. 107 2018: Blue Jays (48-58) at Oakland (63-46)

Wednesday, August 1, 3:35 PM ET , Oakland Coliseum
Marcus Stroman  (RHP 4-7  5.20 ERA  79.2 IP  62 K  1.43 WHIP)
v. Sean Manaea (LHP 9-7  3.46 ERA  135.1 IP  93 K 1.00 WHIP)

Game #106 Toronto Blue Jays (48-58) @ Oakland A's (63-46) - game recap

Khris Davis was 3-5 with a pair of RBI and a run scored as the A's knocked off the Blue Jays 6-2

The Blue Jays said goodbye to John Axford (now an LA Dodger) and Aaron Loup (now a Philadelphia Phillie) and learned that utility infielder Lourdes Gurriel Jr. will miss 2-6 weeks with ankle and knee sprains. For now, Curtis Granderson remains a Blue Jay, but he could be moved in August, but now he'll have to clear waivers first. Tonight, the Blue Jays were looking to put last night's disastrous 10-1 beat-down behind them and find a way to beat the Oakland A's, who have thus far won every game in the season series. Sam Gaviglio, who can be inconsistent was on the mound. Could Sammy G lead the Blue Jays to victory? Here is tonight's game recap.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

no. 106 2018: Toronto Blue Jays (48-57) @ Oakland A's (62-46)

Tuesday 31 July 2018
Tuesday, July 31, 10:05 PM ET , Oakland Coliseum
Sam Gaviglio  (RHP 2-3  4.65 ERA  69.2 IP  65 K  1.32 WHIP)
v. Trevor Cahill (RHP 2-2  3.43 ERA  63.0 IP  59 K 1.10 WHIP)

Game #105 Toronto Blue Jays (48-57) @ Oakland A's (62-46) - game recap

Oakland A's catcher Jonathan Lucroy was 1-2 with 3RBI and a run scored as the A's routed the Blue Jays 10-1

After surviving Chicago and the White Sox, the Blue Jays get to contend with the Oakland A's, who are in a battle with the Mariners and Astros for the AL West title and a wild card spot. Roberto Osuna was dealt to the Houston Astros today for another troublesome pitcher in Ken Giles, David Paulino and Hector Perez, all in the minors currently and all likely to get a look by the Blue Jays. Marco Estrada made his return from a glut injury and blister on his finger. Depending how he performs tonight, he could be dealt by tomorrow or later in the month after clearing waivers. Here is tonight's game recap.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Game #105 Blue Jays(48-56) @ Oakland Athletics (61-46)

Monday July 30, 2018 | 10:10 pm
Oakland Alameda Coliseum | Oakland, CA
Marco Estrada (4-7, 4.72 ERA) vs. Edwin Jackson (1-2, 3.86 ERA)

ten weekly random thoughts: week 17 July 23-29

It is one of the most anticipated weeks in the baseball season: the trade deadline. In just 30 hours or so, teams will only be able to trade players if both players pass through waivers. This week's random thought's post will focus on the trades we have seen this week and look at past trades the Blue Jays have made. Without further ado, here are ten random thoughts from week 17 of the MLB.

1. The big and expected trade for the Blue Jays took place when JA Happ was traded to the Yankees in exchange for infielder Brandon Drury and outfield prospect Billy McKinney, ranked #20 in the Yankees system. Happ had been having a decent season for the Blue Jays but looked like Cy Young in comparison to what the Blue Jays have been using. Happ had a 10-6 record with a 4.18ERA in 20 starts this season. With Happ gone, Marcus Stroman is the only pitcher left who was in the rotation at the start of the season (Estrada and Sanchez are both still on the DL; although Estrada is expected to start Monday and Jaime Garcia is now in the bullpen). It is interesting to note that McKinney has now been involved in 3 blockbuster trades in four years (he was part of the Cubs-A's trade in 2014 that sent Addison Reed to Chicago and in 2016, he and Gleyber Torres were dealt to the Yankees for closer Aroldis Chapman, who played an integral role in the Cubs breaking the curse to win their first world series.) There is injury concern with Brandon Drury with a stint on the disabled list for blurry vision and migraines. I think this trade fills needs for both teams. The Yankees are looking for a fifth starter with Sonny Gray struggling in the role this season and the Blue Jays need more depth in the infield, although things may get quite crowded if/when Josh Donaldson and/or Troy Tulowitzki return from injury. In his Blue Jays debut, Drury struck out pinch hitting. He started at third base Saturday and got his first hit as a Blue Jay and scored his first run as a Blue Jay. He looked good in the field too. JA Happ made his first start as a Yankee Sunday pitching 6 strong innings of 3-hit ball, allowing just one run and walking one.

2. Happ wasn't the only trade by the Blue Jays. Immediately following the game Wednesday, and finalized Thursday, reliever Seunghwan Oh was sent to the Colorado Rockies. Oh gives the Rockies a reliever who throws strikes and has saved games in the past. This season, the Rockies invested $106 million into relievers Wade Davis, Bryan Shaw and Jake McGee. As a team, the Rockies have the highest ERA in the NL. They are hoping Oh can stabilize things in the back end and help the team get more games to the 9th for Wade Davis to save. In return, the Blue Jays got prospects Forest Wall and Chad Spanberger, who could become the Blue Jays next first baseman after Justin Smoak moves on. Oh pitched a scoreless inning of relief in his Rockies debut allowing a hit and a walk.

3. The Yankees also acquired former Orioles closer Zach Britton, who recently returned from an achilles injury. Britton adds a second lefty to a bullpen that includes flame thrower Aroldis Chapman and David Robertson, who was the successor closer on the Yankees after legend Mariano Rivera retired. The Yankees bullpen is on an historic pace and should be compared to some of the best bullpens in the history of baseball.

4. The Red Sox acquired starter Nathan Eovaldi from the Tampa Bay Rays to bolster a starting rotation that includes Cy Young favorite Chris Sale and former Cy Young winners David Price and Rick Porcello. The Red Sox has starters Steven Wright and Eduardo Rodriguez on the DL and Rick Porcello struggled in his first start coming off the DL. Boston is in a tight battle for first in the AL East with the mighty NY Yankees, who will be without starting catcher Gary Sanchez (groin) and Right fielder Aaron Judge (broken wrist) for a few weeks. Stay tuned because it will be a race to the finish line between these two juggernauts.

5. The Atlanta Braves might have made the riskiest deal thus far, re-acquiring former reliever Jonny Venters, who has had three and a half Tommy John surgeries. He's 33 years old and has missed five seasons with TJ surgeries. How much longer can his elbow hold up? The Braves are encouraged by his 3.86ERA in 22 appearances this season. He'll certainly require more rest than a normal reliever

6. Other names that have been dealt this week: RP Matt Andriesse Tampa Bay Rays --> Arizona Diamondbacks (LH batters hitting .174 against him); C Martin Maldanado LA Angels --> Houston Astros (with Brian McCann on the DL until at least September, the Astros hope Maldanado gives them some catching depth; is batting .223 with 5HR and 32RBI this season.) SP Joakim Soria Chicago White Sox --> Milwaukee Brewers (adds to an already strong bullpen. Soria has a 2.56ERA and 16 saves in 40 appearances this season The Brewers are mired in a tight race for the NL Central title with the Cubs); SP Cole Hamels Texas Rangers --> Chicago Cubs (after losing out on Happ, Eovaldi and Britton, the Cubs took the next best pitcher available in Hamels. The veteran lefty has struggled this season with a 5-9 record and 4.72ERA. He has pitched better on the road); SS Eduardo Escobar Minnesota Twins --> Arizona Diamondbacks (leads majors with 37 doubles and has 15HR and slugging% of .514); 2B Asdrubal Cabrera NY Mets --> Philadelphia Phillies (is batting .277 with 18HR and 58RBI; has .817OPS; will likely play 2B; the Phillies are mired in a tight race for the NL East title with Atlanta and Washington); RP Ryan Pressly Minnesota Twins --> Houston Astros (there may be concern about having the second-highest appearances in the AL (51); has 3.40 ERA and 69 strikeouts in 47 1/3IP); 3B Mike Moustakas KC Royals --> Milwaukee Brewers (will probably platoon with Travis Shaw at the hot corner. Moustakas, 29, is slashing .249/.309/.468 with 20 home runs and 62 RBIs in his first 378 at-bats for Kansas City this season); RP Chasen Shreve and RP Giovanny Gallegos NY Yankees --> St. Louis Cardinals (the writing was on the wall for Shreve when the Yankees acquired Zach Britton. The 28-year-old Shreve had a 4.14 ERA in 39 appearances for the Yankees this season, with 46 strikeouts in 37 innings. The 26-year-old Gallegos had pitched in four big league games this season, with a 4.50 ERA and 10 strikeouts in 10 innings.); RP Brad Brach Baltimore Orioles --> Atlanta Braves (he had a 1-2 record and a 4.85 ERA with 38 strikeouts over 39 innings and 42 appearances out of the Orioles' bullpen in 2018)

7. Other Blue Jays that could be moved before Tuesday's deadline: John Axford, Curtis Granderson, Tyler Clippard, Roberto Osuna. Other players on teams other than the Blue Jays who could be moved before Tuesday's deadline: Chris Archer, J.T. Realmoto, Bryce Harper, Zack Wheeler, Jake Diekman, Matt Harvey.

8. Here is a list of every trade deadline deal made by the Blue Jays up to the 2015 season. It is broken down by GM. As you can see, like every team, the Blue Jays had their hits/misses with trades. Debate among yourselves which is the best deal and which is the worst. Which GM did the best and which GM did the worst.

9. The Blue Jays got bad news on the injury front Sunday as Lourdes Gurriel Jr. took an awkward tumble trying to avoid the tag for the 3rd out. He got his spikes caught in the turf and immediately grabbed his left knee as it buckled under him. Worst case scenario he tore knee ligaments ending his season. Best case scenario: tendon strain putting him out a couple of weeks. After the game, the Blue Jays announced ankle and knee contusions. It might sound like good news but Devon Travis basically had a couple of seasons wiped out with knee contusions.

10. Blue Jay of the week: Lourdes Gurriel Jr. who has an 11-game multi-hit streak. Unfortunately, Gurriel Jr. could be out a few days/weeks/months with a knee injury.

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Sunday, July 29, 2018

Game #104 Toronto Blue Jays (48-56) @ Chicago White Sox (37-68) - game recap

Brandon Drury hit a go-ahead double as the Blue Jays knocked off the White Sox 7-4

After blowing a 4 run lead, the Blue Jays turn to Ryan Borucki to get the pitching back on track. This could be the final game in a Blue Jays uniform for a few Blue Jays (Curtis Granderson, Yangervis Solarte, John Axford and maybe Roberto Osuna). If the Blue Jays have a late lead today, who will they trust to pitch the 9th today? Jaime Garcia and Ryan Tepera combined to blow yesterday's game and Tyler Clippard has blown 6 saves himself. Let's hope the Blue jays put up 100 runs today. Here is today's game recap.

104: Bad Birds @ Smelly Socks

Sunday July 29, 2018 | 2:10 pm
Guaranteed Rate Field | Chicago, IL
Ryan Borucki (0-2, 2.79 ERA) vs. Carlos Rondon (3-3, 3.38 ERA)

Game #103 Toronto Blue Jays (47-56) @ Chicago White Sox (37-67) - game recap

White Sox outfielder Leury Garcia broke the game open with a bases-clearing three-run triple as the White Sox came from behind to defeat the Blue Jays 9-5

Another bullpen day! Tonight was supposed to be JA Happ's start but he was traded to the Yankees on Thursday.  Instead the Blue Jays started righty John Axford, making his first career start. Newcomer Brandon Drury also got his first start in a Blue Jays uniform, after striking out while pinch hitting yesterday. With the trade deadline looming in 2 days, it could be the last game for Axford and Curtis Granderson. Here is today's game recap.

Saturday, July 28, 2018

103: Oiseaux Bleu @ Smelly Socks

Saturday July 28, 2018 | 7:10 pm
Guaranteed Rate Field | Chicago, IL
John Axford (4-1, 5.42 ERA, 1.31 WHIP) vs. Lucas Giolito (7-8, 6.09 ERA, 1.51 WHIP)

Game #102 Toronto Blue Jays (47-55) @ Chicago White Sox (36-67) - game recap

Marcus Stroman threw 6.2 strong innings as the Blue Jays doubled up on the White Sox 10-5

With the expected trade of JA Happ to the Yankees, Marcus Stroman becomes the new unofficial staff ace, at least until Aaron Sanchez and Marco Estrada return from injury. When Stroman is on, he pitches like a true ace, but he can get hit hard too, which ballooned his ERA to  over 8.00 at one point. He has been pitching better since coming off the DL. Newcomers Oliver Drake (claimed off waivers) and Brandon Drury (part of JA Happ trade) were both in uniform tonight. Here is today's game recap.

Friday, July 27, 2018

Game #102 Blue Jays (46-55) @ White Sox (36-66)

Friday, July 27, 2018 | 8:10 pm
Guaranteed Rate Field | Chicago, IL
Marcus Stroman (3-7, 5.42 ERA) vs. Reynaldo Lopez (4-8, 4.13 ERA)

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Game #101 Minnesota Twins (47-53) @ Toronto Blue Jays (46-55) - game recap

Twins catcher Mitch Garver was 4-6 with 5RBI and a pair of runs scored as the Twins doubled up on the Blue Jays 12-6

It is get away day for the Blue Jays and JA Happ. The Blue Jays embark on a 10 game road trip to Chicago, Oakland and Seattle, my first MLB game! Will JA Happ be on the flight to Chicago or will he be on a different flight with his new team? Sources say that a deal is close to trade Happ. Once Happ is traded, the Blue Jays will have a decision to make on who will replace Happ in the rotation, likely either a bullpen day or re-inserting Jaime Garcia in the rotation or calling up a minor leaguer like Reid-Foley. The make of the rotation will also largely depend on the health of Aaron Sanchez
and Marco Estrada. Regardless, the Blue Jays were looking to snap a 2 game losing streak and avoid being swept by the Minnesota Twins. Here is today's game recap.

101: Twinkies @ Adult Jays

Game starts soon and I am at work! I did not see anyone with a thread started it is?

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Game #100 Minnesota Twins (46-53) @ Toronto Blue Jays (46-54) - game recap

Eduardo Escobar hit a huge 3-run home run as the Twins shut out the Blue Jays 5-0

After a tough 8-3 loss last night where the bullpen was beat up to the tune of 8 runs on 13 hits and a pair of walks, the Blue Jays turned to rookie Ryan Borucki who has looked good in his initial 4 starts of his career facing 3 of the best lineups in the MLB in the NY Yankees, Boston Red Sox and Houston Astros. Tonight, he faced a slightly inferior lineup in comparisons to the three juggernauts listed above. Could he pitch deep into the game and save the bullpen? Here is tonight's game recap.

Game #100 - Twins @ Jays

Tuesday 24 July 2018
5:07PM EDT / Skydome
 Jose Berrios RHP 9-7 3.68 ERA
v. Ryan Borucki  LHP 0-1 3.52 ERA

TJ's (Better Late Than Never) 1st Half All-Stars and Awards for the National League

Back again. Same stuff, other league. Once again with the All-Stars, not gonna go with all the layers of BS that have built up over the years with how the rosters are selected for the real life All-Star Game. This includes the at least one player per team rule (or as I like to call it, the participation medal rule). Just going to select 20 position players (at least two at each position [at least six outfielders], but no more than four at a single position [no more than nine outfielders]), 7 starting pitchers, and 5 relief pitchers to give me a 32-man roster. As was the case with the AL All-Stars, there are two teams that were not represented on the NL side of things, so I will indicate who I would've put on had I been beholden to this silly rule, and who I would've had to remove to get them on. Ok, let's get this show on the road, shall we?

Monday, July 23, 2018

Game #99 Minnesota Twins (45-53) @ Toronto Blue Jays (46-53) - game recap

Logan Morrison was 2-5 with 3 RBI and a run scored as the Twins routed the Blue Jays 8-3

After a successful 3 game sweep of the inept Baltimore Orioles, the Blue Jays were facing a slightly more formidable opponent in the Minnesota Twins. Like most of the AL, the Twins are playing for next year. The Twins came into today's game with a 44-53 record, well back of the second wild card spot. THe Blue Jays starting rotation is very unsettled this week with Marco Estrada and Aaron Sanchez still rehabing injuries and JA Happ trade uncertainty. Tonight Luis Santos got the start and Ryan Borucki will go tomorrow followed by Sam Gaviglio Wednesday, Marcus Stroman Friday and maybe JA Happ Saturday. Here is today's game recap.

Game #99 - Twinkies @ Jays

Monday 23 July 2018
5:07PM EDT / Skydome
 Their Dominican Guy (LHP Losing record, 4 something ERA)
v. Our Dominican Guy (RHP Losing record, 4 something ERA)