Sunday, May 19, 2019

Game #46 Toronto Blue Jays (19-27) @ Chicago White Sox (21-24) - game recap

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. hit a go-ahead 2-run HR in the top of the 8th as the Blue Jays knocked off the White Sox 5-2

After rain washed out half of the game yesterday, the Blue Jays were back at it today looking for the series split. Trent Thornton was back on the mound after securing his first career win, and first career hits and runs last start. Eric Sogard was back at second base and leading off after a day off yesterday. Justin Smoak was at first base with Rowdy Tellez serving as the DH today. Danny Jansen was back behind the plate after Luke Mailer caught knuckleballer Ryan Feierabend. Could the Blue Jays split this four game series? Here is today's game recap.

#46 - Toronto Blue Jays (18-27) at Chicago White Sox (21-23)



Sunday, May 19, 2019 | 2:07 pm ET
Guaranteed Rate Field | Chicago, IL

Trent Thornton (1-4, 4.81, 1.37) vs. Reynaldo Lopez (3-4, 5.58, 1.56)


PREAMBLE:

The White Sox were lucky to have the rain wipe out the rest of the game before the juggernaut Blue Jays offence could come from behind.  Yeah right.  In today's series finale, the Blue Jays look to even the four-game series at two games each, provided that some possible rain doesn't throw a monkey wrench into things.

Trent Thornton takes the ball for today's finale with all the weight off his back after securing his first major-league win last Tuesday against the Giants.  Pity he won't be able to hit for himself in this game, too.  He'll face off against Reynaldo Lopez of the White Sox.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Game #45 Toronto Blue Jays (18-27) @ Chicago White Sox (21-23) - game recap

Rowdy Tellez got on base in both his plate appearances and scored the Blue Jays only run in a rain-shortened 4-1 loss to the White Sox

Today was supposed to be a bullpen day, but Aaron Sanchez left his start early last night with more blister issues. The Blue Jays recalled lefty Ryan Feierabend, who has reinvented himself as a knuckleballer. Veteran Luke Maile got the start behind the plate with the unpredictability that comes with the knuckleball. Richard Urena got the start at second base, giving Eric Sogard the day off. Justin Smoak got a half day off, serving as the DH, with Rowdy Tellez at first base. Could the Blue Jays make it two wins in a row? Here is today's game recap.

#45 - Toronto Blue Jays (18-26) at Chicago White Sox (20-23)



Saturday, May 18, 2019 | 2:07 pm ET
Guaranteed Rate Field | Chicago, IL

Ryan Feierabend (first appearance of season) vs. Lucas Giolito (4-1, 3.55, 1.18)


PREAMBLE: 

Sparked by a post from VladFraud, the Blue Jays' offence broke out with ten runs on fifteen hits, including a Vlad HR, as they thumped the White Sox in the second game of a four-game set.  The Blue Jays look to maintain this momentum in this afternoon's tilt.

Ryan Feierabend makes his first appearance in the majors since 2014 when he appeared in six games, and prior to that, he hadn't played in the bigs since 2008.  At age 33, he's reinvented himself as a left-handed knuckleballer, so it'll be interesting to see how he fares in today's game.  Lucas Giolito is his mound counterpart today.

Game #44 Toronto Blue Jays (18-26) @ Chicago White Sox (20-23) - game recap

Billy McKinney was 4-5 with a run scored and an RBI as the Blue Jays routed the White Sox 10-2

After a heartbreaking late loss to the White Sox last night, the Blue Jays were looking to get bck on track against Ivan Nova. Aaron Sanchez was on the mound, five days after striking out a season-high 11 batters. Luke Maile was a late scratch, reason not given. Socrates Brito cleared waivers and was reporting to Buffalo. Could the Blue Jays even the weekend series and avoid losing the season series? Here is tonight's game recap.

Game Highlights:
  • The Blue Jays opened the scoring in the top of the 1st as Justin Smoak smoked a solo bomb to right
  • The Blue Jays added a pair of runs in the top of the 2nd as Danny Jansen smacked  2-run blast to dead center also scoring Brandon Drury
  • The Blue Jays added a run in the top of the 3rd as Freddy Galvis singled home Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
  • A batter later, Justin Smoak scored on a sac fly by Drury
  • A batter later, Billy McKinney doubled scoring Randal Grichuk and Galvis
  • The White Sox got one back in the bottom half of the inning as Tim Anderson scored on a fielder's choice hit by Leury Garcia
  • A batter later Yoan Moncada singled home Yolmer Sanchez
  • The Blue Jays added a pair of runs in the top of the 4th as Vladimir Guerrero smashed a 2-run blast to dead center that barely cleared the wall; also scoring was Eric Sogard
  • Ivan Nova pitching line: 3IP 8H 9R (8 earned) 4BB 1K 88 pitches (52 for strikes)
  • Aaron Sanchez pitching line: 3IP 3H 2R (both earned) 2BB 4K 54 pitches (31 for strikes)
  • The Blue Jays added a run in the top of the 5th as Sogard doubled scoring McKinney
  • Final score: Blue Jays 10 White Sox 2
My Take:
  • Here we go again. Aaron Sachez left the game after throwing 54 pitches with 9 outs recorded. Yet again, he is plagued by blister problems. He left the game early back on April 21st with a cracked fingernail. Sanchez cruised through the first two innings with 6 straight outs, 4 strikeouts. In the third inning, he gave up two runs on three his. The 4th inning, it was obvious something was wrong when Sanchez hit James McCann with a pitch and then walked the next batter, missing badly on all four balls. Immediately after, manager Charlie Montoyo and trainer Nikki Huffman came out of the dugout and subsequently removed Sanchez from the game. If Sanchez misses significant time, it will leave the Blue Jays with three legit starters and almost 2 weeks before the next off-day.
  • The bats came alive in a big way, lighting up White Sox starter Ivan Nova to the tune of 9 runs (8 earned) on 8 hits and 4 walks.Every Blue Jays starter had at least one hit and Billy McKinney was 4-5. Justin Smoak also got on base 4 times, drawing three walks.
  • Quirky stat of the day: The Blue Jays had a numeric palindrome with their runs/inning (1-2-4-2-1)
  • The bullpen did a really good job tonight, allowing just three hits and a walk over the final 6 innings
  • Up, next, the Blue Jays have a bullpen day with Clay Buchholz on the shelf for the foreseeable future. Daniel Hudson started the last bullpen day. The White Sox will counter with righty Lucas Giolito, who threw 7 4 hit innings against the Blue Jays in his last start.

Friday, May 17, 2019

#44 - Toronto Blue Jays (17-26) at Chicago White Sox (20-22)



Friday, May 17, 2019 | 8:10 pm ET
Guaranteed Rate Field | Chicago, IL

Aaron Sanchez (3-4, 3.75, 1.50) vs. Ivan Nova (2-3, 6.29, 1.65)


PREAMBLE:

The Blue Jays look to bounce back after accumulating only two hits in a game that got away from them in the eighth inning.  This is the second game of a four-game series against the White Sox.

Aaron Sanchez takes the ball for the Jays as he looks to turn in a better performance than his most recent outing, also against the White Sox, last week.  Ivan Nova faces the Jays again after turning in his best performance of the young season (but, of course).

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Game #43 Toronto Blue Jays (17-26) @ Chicago White Sox (20-22) - game recap

Leury Garcia was 2-4 with a run and an RBI as the White Sox doubled up on the Blue Jays 4-2

Revenge week continues as the Blue Jays roll into Chicago, taking on a White Sox squad that took two of three from the Blue Jays just a week ago, Marcus Stroman was on the bump looking to continue his strong start to the season. Teoscar Hernandez, not surprisingly was sent down to AAA  Buffalo to try and rediscover his swing. Richard Urena, who was not in tonight's lineup, was called up. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. got a half day off, serving as the DH tonight with Brandon Drury starting at 3B. Could the Blue Jays start the weekend series off with a win? Here is tonight's game recap.

#43 - Blue Jays (17-25) @ White Sox (19-22)

Thursday, May 16, 2019 | 8:10 pm
Guaranteed Rate Field | Chicago, IL

Marcus Stroman RHP (1-6, 52.0 IP, 3.12 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 45 K) 
vs. 
Dylan Covey RHP (0-2, 10.2 IP, 5.91 ERA, 1.88 WHIP 5 K)

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Game #42 Toronto Blue Jays (17-25) @ San Francisco Giants (18-24) - game recap

Brandon Drury scored all three runs for the Blue Jays in a 4-3 loss to the Giants 

Baseball is such a weird sport sometimes. Today the Blue Jays were looking to sweep the mini series as the Giants did to them three weeks ago. The pitching matchup featured two starters making their 2019 debuts. Edwin Jackson, playing for his 14th team, made his Blue Jays debut, and the Giants sent righty Shaun Anderson, who was picked dead last in his draft year, to the mound for his MLB debut. Could the Blue Jays sweep the mini series? Here is today's game recap.

#42 - Toronto Blue Jays (17-24) at San Francisco Giants (17-24)



Wednesday, May 15, 2019 | 3:45 pm
Oracle Park | San Francisco, CA

Edwin Jackson (first start of season) vs. Shaun Anderson (MLB debut)


PREAMBLE:

Vlad. Vlad. VLAD.

After a prodigious display of bat speed + power from Vladimir Guerrero Jr. in his big breakout performance last night, the Blue Jays look to sweep this two-game mini-series and exact revenge for being swept by the Giants 3 weeks ago.

The pitching matchup is between two chaps making their first MLB starts of the season, except it'll be a record 14th team that Edwin Jackson is making an appearance with, while his counterpart Shaun Anderson is making his debut as a major-leaguer.

Game #41 Toronto Blue Jays (17-24) @ San Francisco Giants (17-24) - game recap

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. launched his first two career home runs to lead the Blue Jays to a thrilling 7-3 victory over the Giants

Tonight, the Blue Jays began a week long road trip with stops in San Francisco and Chicago. Trent Thornton was on the mound making his ninth attempt at his first career win. He came into this one
0-4 with a 5.06ERA. The lineup is more or less the same as it's been for the past few days. Could the Blue Jays get the road trip started with a victory? Here is tonight's game recap

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

#41 - Toronto Blue Jays (16-24) at San Francisco Giants (17-23)


Tuesday, May 14, 2019 | 9:45 pm ET
Oracle Park | San Francisco, CA




PREAMBLE:

A 6:45 local game time?  Don't think I've ever seen a start time like that.

The Blue Jays did the smart thing and got the hell out of town for a while with the way they've been playing lately (2-10 in their past 12 after reaching the .500 mark).  They've embarked on a revenge tour with five games against two teams that they went 1-4 against earlier in the season, starting in San Francisco for two games before moving on to Chicago.

Trent Thornton takes the ball for his umpteenth attempt at securing his first major-league win.  The Giants are bullpenning things tonight with Nick Vincent going for an inning or two.  We might see Tyler Beede tonight - he's the one who was selected by the Jays in the first round of the 2011 draft but was the only one from that round not to sign with the team that drafted him.

Monday, May 13, 2019

Ten weekly random thoughts: Week 6: May 6-12


First of all, I want to wish all you JITHers a very happy mother's Day, both moms and single dads. It has been another eventful week for the Blue Jays, with injuries, demotions, and recalls. There was even a trade this week. The Blue Jays didn't have a great week on the field, getting swept by the Minnesota Twins in a three-game series in which they were outscored 20-1. Then Friday came and Clay Buchholz was unable to make his scheduled start and was eventually placed on the IL with shoulder inflammation. This left the Blue Jays with essentially three starting pitchers. They rectified the situation by acquiring Edwin Jackson from the Oakland A's for cash considerations (more on that later). The Socrates Brito experiment also came to an end as he was DFA'd Friday (nore on that later). Benefiting from players getting demoted and placed on the IL were outfielder Jonathan Davis, and relief pitchers Javy Guerra and Thomas Pannone, the latter of who was supposed to be going down to Buffalo, but he was quickly recalled once Buchholz was placed on the IL. Here are 10 random thoughts for week 6 of the MLB.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Game #40 Chicago White Sox (18-21) @ Toronto Blue Jays (16-24) - game recap

Tim Anderson cranked a three-run shot to dead center as the White Sox beat the Blue Jays 5-1

It was the rubber match of  a three game set vs. the Chicago White Sox. The Blue Jays took the opener on the strength of a strong effort by the bullpen after Clay Buchholz was unable to start. The White Sox took Saturday's game, scoring four times on 8 hits off ace Marcus Stroman. On Sunday, the Blue Jays turned to Aaron Sanchez, who was looking for a strong start after a seven inning gem five days ago. Eric Sogard got the day off, so Freddy Galvis batted leadoff ahead of Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Could the Blue Jays win it for the moms in the crowd? Here is today's game recap.

Game Highlights:
  • The Blue Jays opened the scoring in the bottom of the 1st as Rowdy Tellez singled home Freddy Galvis
  • The White Sox took the lead in the top of the 4th as Yonder Alonso smashed a 2-run bomb to right-center; also scoring Jose Abreu
  • Three batters later, Tim Anderson whacked a three run jack to dead center; also scoring James McCann and Charlie Tilson
  • Aaron Sanchez pitching line: 6IP 9H 5R (all earned) 2BB 11K 103 pitches (66 for strikes)
  • Lucas Giolito pitching line: 7IP 4H 1R (earned) 1BB 8K 105 pitches (69 for strikes)
  • Final score: White Sox 5 Blue Jays 1
My Take:
  • Aaron Sanchez had an encouraging start where he had 11 strikeouts. Sanchez had one brutal inning in the 4th where he was lit up for 5 runs on 5 hits and a hit batter. He got the first 6 batters of the game, including 5 strikeouts in a row. The extra inning he threw when he was at 90+ pitches could be huge with the Blue Jays facing 16 straight days without an off-day after an off-day/travel day tomorrow.
  • Not much to say about the offence today. After three of the first four batters reached safely, the Blue Jays had a grand total of 2 base runners the final 8 innings (a lead-off single in the second by Teoscar Hernandez and a lead-off walk to Randal Grichuk in the 4th). 
  • As scary moment in the bottom of the 3rd when White Sox outfielder Leury Garcia stayed down after crashing into the scoreboard making a running catch. Garcia was lifted for a pinch hitter the next inning.
  • One of the few highlights defensively today was Danny Jansen throwing out 2 White Sox base runners. He has quietly turned into a solid player defensively. Credit to Russell Martin, who did a great job mentoring him when he came up in August.
  • Up next, after an off-day/travel day tomorrow, the Blue Jays open a two-game set against the San Francisco Giants. It will be the first road interleague action of the season. Trent Thornton will make his 9th attempt at his first career win. The Giants will counter with righty Tyler Beede, who is coming off an 8-run shellacking in his last start.

#40 - Chicago White Sox (17-21) at Toronto Blue Jays (16-23)

Your 1976 White Sox uniforms!

Sunday, May 12, 2019 | 1:07 pm ET
Rogers Centre | Toronto, Ontario




PREAMBLE:

The Blue Jays look to secure a series win in the rubber match of a three-game series against the White Sox this afternoon.  The Jays have won 7 of their past 10 vs the Sox, so they look to keep that momentum going.

Aaron Sanchez takes the ball this afternoon, going up against Lucas Giolito who is pitching much better than last season when he had the worst qualifying ERA in the majors at 6.13 over 173 innings.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Game #39 Chicago White Sox (17-21) @ Toronto Blue Jays (16-23) - game recap

White Sox catcher James McCann was 4-5 with a pair of runs and a RBI as the White Sox defeated the Blue Jays 7-2

After scraping out a victory in the series opener, the Blue Jays turned to ace Marcus Stroman, looking for his second win of the season. The Blue Jays went with the same lineup as yesterday except Luke Maile got the start behind the plate. The Blue Jays made an in-game trade, acquiring righty Edwin Jackson from the A's for cash considerations. Could the Blue Jays make it two in a row? Here is today's game recap.

#39 - Chicago White Sox (16-21) at Toronto Blue Jays (16-22)



Saturday, May 11, 2019 | 4:07 3:07 pm ET
Rogers Centre | Toronto, Ontario




PREAMBLE:

The Blue Jays snapped a five-game losing streak in last night's 4-3 victory, with one encouraging sign being that they scored three runs in the first inning for the first time all season and four in the first two innings.

In this afternoon's matchup, Marcus Stroman looks to bounce back from a poor start and will face a long-time punching bag for Blue Jays hitters, Ivan Nova.

Friday, May 10, 2019

Game #38 Chicago White Sox (16-21) @ Toronto Blue Jays (16-22) - game recap

Randal Grichuk whacked a three-run blast as the Blue Jays edged the White Sox 4-3

The Blue Jays started a three game series vs. the Chicago White Sox tonight. Right off the bat (pun intended) the Blue Jays received bad news as tonight's starter Clay Buchholz was unable to make his scheduled start due to a shoulder injury. The timing was unfortunate because yesterday, the Blue Jays optioned Thomas Pannone back to Buffalo. Daniel Hudson got the start. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. was back in the lineup in the number 2 hole after sitting out the series finale vs. Minnesota Wednesday. Pannon was on his way back up with Buchholz headed to the IL. The Socrates Brto experiment has come to an end as he was DFA'd today. Jonathan Davis took his place on the roster and Javy Guerra rounded out the roster moves today. Could the Blue Jays snap the 5 game losing streak? Here is today's game recap.

#38 - Chicago White Sox (16-20) at Toronto Blue Jays (15-22)

April 7, 1977 vs. the White Sox

Friday, May 10, 2019 | 7:07 pm ET
Rogers Centre | Toronto, Ontario

Dylan Covey (0-1, 4.50, 2.00) vs. Daniel Hudson (2-1, 3.63, 1.27)


PREAMBLE:

After a much-needed day off to exorcise a bunch of demons (hint: there's a LOT of them in the early going of this season), the Blue Jays are back at it again as they take on the White Sox for a three-game series.

Clay Buchholz was scheduled to start tonight, but has been scratched with a lat strain.  Daniel Hudson will get the spot start tonight in what will be a bullpen-by-committee game for the Jays.  He'll match up against Dylan Covey of the Sox.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Game #37 Minnesota Twins (23-12) @ Toronto Blue Jays (15-22) - game recap

Jorge Polanco was 5-5 with a pair of RBI and a pair of runs scored as the Twins routed the Blue Jays 9-1 to complete the series sweep and take the season series

After 2 ugly games, where the Blue Jays were outscored 11-0, they came into this one trying to score a run. They were facing a pitcher in Kyle Gibson, who has historically had rough outings against Toronto. Trent Thornton was on the bump trying to build on his strong seven inning outing last Friday.Vladimir Guerrero Jr.  and Teoscar Hernandez got the night off. Socrates Brito was in right field  Justin Smoak got half the night off, serving as the DH, with Rowdy Tellez playing 1st base. Could the Blue Jays score a run and avoid being swept? Here is tonight's game recap.

#37 - Minnesota Twins (22-12) at Toronto Boo Jays (15-21)



Wednesday, May 8, 2019 | 7:07 pm hammering time
Target Centre (considering how welcome the Twins feel) | Toronto, ON

Kyle Gibson (2-1, 4.68, 1.32) vs. Trent Thornton (0-3, 4.08, 1.19)


PREAMBLE:

The Blue Jays were shut-out in the first two games of this series and they look to snap that streak of futility in the finale of a three-game series against the Twins. 

Trent Thornton took the only loss in the previous four-game series against the Twins a couple weeks back, so he looks to flip the script by being the only winner for the Jays in this series.  He'll take the ball today against Kyle Gibson, who has been hit around a little by the Jays in his career with a high ERA (5.68 ERA overall, including 7.56 in three Toronto starts) even though he's gone 3-1 in four decisions.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Game #36 Minnesota Twins (22-12) @ Toronto Blue Jays (15-21) - game recap

Aaron Sanchez threw 7 strong innings in a losing effort as the Blue Jays were shutout 3-0 by the Twins

After an ugly shutout yesterday, the Blue Jays were back at it today looking to snap a three game losing streak. Aaron Sanchez was looking to pitch deep in the ball game to save an overworked bullpen. Freddy Galvis batted leadoff with Eric Sogard getting the night off. Justin Smoak moved up a couple of spots to bat in the number 2 hole. Luke Maile got the start behind the plate. Could the Blue Jays snap the losing streak? Here is tonight's game recap.

#36 - Minnesota Twins (21-12) at Toronto Blue Jays (15-20)

The actual chair that Killebrew hit with a 520-foot HR, in the spot where the old Metropolitan Stadium was.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019 | 7:07 pm beer time
Rogers' Cash Cow Centre | Toronto, ON


PREAMBLE:

Well, what can you say about yesterday's game?  Today's game certainly couldn't be worse (other than to be no-hit), so let's look forward!  The Blue Jays look to even up the series against the Twins in tonight's second game.

Aaron Sanchez hopefully won't follow ex-BFF Marcus Stroman's model in torpedoing his trade value as he takes the ball tonight, facing Jose Berrios.

Monday, May 6, 2019

Game #35 Minnesota Twins (21-12) @ Toronto Blue Jays (15-20) - game recap

Martin Perez threw seven shutout innings as the Twins shutout the Blue Jays 8-0

The Blue Jays came into this one having dropped two in a row and five of their last six. The starting pitching has been struggling to get through 5 innings, which has put pressure on the bullpen. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. has struggled in adjusting to major league pitching. Tonight, Marcus Stroman was back on the mound looking for his second win of the season. Could the Blue Jays snap the losing streak? Here is tonight's game recap.

#35 - Minnesota Twins (20-12) at Toronto Blue Jays (15-19)



Monday, May 6, 2019 | 7:07 pm ET
Rogers Centre | Toronto, Ontario




PREAMBLE:

The Blue Jays limp home after a 1-5 road trip that could very easily have been 0-6.  They face the Minnesota Twins, who have gone 11-4 since losing 3 of 4 to the Jays in mid-April.

Marcus Stroman takes the ball for the Jays as he looks to cool off the Twins' bats and get back into the winning column again.  He'll face Martin Perez, who boasted he would beat the Jays in his first start of the season during that earlier series (news flash: he didn't get the win as the Jays won 5-3 with a bunch of late runs).

Ten weekly random thoughts: Week 5 : April 29-May 5


Vladimir Guerrero Jr. cleared another milestone in his early career that's sure to land him in the hall of fame (once he gets the bat going that is). Guerrero Jr. completed the first road trip of his young career. It was a tough week all around for the Blue Jays, as they dropped five of six on the road trip, winning perhaps the most unlikeliest of the six games to have won, defeating the Rangers in the opener of their weekend series after arriving in the wee hours of the morning, facing a pitcher that always seems to give the Blue Jays trouble and using a pitcher that has yet to win an MLB game. Now, the Blue Jays are home for a week with series against the Minnesota Twins, who the Blue Jays took two of three from a couple of weeks ago, and the Chicago White Sox, who the Blue Jays won 4 of 6 against last season. It's imperative the Blue Jays get some length from their starting pitchers this week to save a bullpen that has been used a lot in the early going. Here are ten random thoughts from week 5 of the MLB.

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Game #34 Toronto Blue Jays (15-19) @ Texas Rangers (16-16) - game recap

Asdrubal Cabrera was 2-4 with 4 RBI and a pair if runs scored as the Rangers routed the Blue Jays 10-2

Another milestone for Vladimir Guerrero Jr.: he wrapped up his first career road trip today. Clay Buchholz was on the mound trying to secure his second win in a blue that's uniform. The Blue Jays more or less went with the same lineup as yesterday except Brandon Drury replaced Socrates Brito in right field. Could the Blue Jays take the rubber match of the series and had gone on a positive note? Here is today's game recap.

Game Highlights:
  • The Rangers opened the scoring in the bottom of the second as Asdrubal Cabrera doubled home Joey Gallo
  • A batter later, Roughned Odor smacked a two run shot over the wall in right also scoring Cabrera
  • The Blue Jays for one back in the to of the 3rd as Eric Sogard lined a solo Scott that just cleared the wall in right
  • The Rangers added three more runs in the bottom half of the inning as Cabrera crushed a three run bomb to right-center, also scoring Shin-Soo Choo and Gallo.
  • The Rangers added a run in the bottom of the 4th as Choo singled home Danny Santana
  • Drew Smyly pitching line:4IP 2H 1R (earned) 2BB 5K 68 pitches (41 for strikes)
  • Clay Buchholz pitching line 4IP 8H 7R (all earned) 1BB 1K 76 pitches (51 for strikes)
  • The Rangers added a run in the bottom of the 5th as Odor singled scoring Nomar Mazara
  • The Rangers added two more runs on a two run single by Elvis Andrus that plated Jeff Mathis and Choo
  • The Blue Jays got one back in the top of the 7th as Rowdy Tellez singled home Justin Smoak
  • Final score: Rangers 10 Blue Jays 2
My Take: 
  • Clay Buchholz actually had a terrific 1st inning, retiring the side in order on just 6 pitches. However, it was all down hill from that point, as Buchholz was lit up for seven runs on seven hours and a walk over the next three innings. The Rangers simply bright their bats to the game today and they weren't going to miss any mistake pitches. There has to be concern that velocity was down for Buchholz today. He reached 90mph on his best pitch.
  • Luke Maile did a great job in his first pitching appearance, retiring the side in order and ending things with a strikeout
  • Sogard continues to be the most consistent player offensively. He smacked a solo shoot and drew a walk 
  • Up next, the Blue Jays open a three game series against the Minnesota Twins starting tomorrow. It's pretty essential that Marcus Stroman pitches deep into the game after the weekend starters both failed to pitch into the 5th inning. The Twins will counter with lefty Martin Perez.

#34 - Toronto Blue Jays (15-18) at Texas Rangers (15-16)



Sunday, May 5, 2019 | 3:05 pm ET
Globe Life Park | Arlington, Texas



PREAMBLE:

A very ineffective start from Thomas Pannone last night left the Blue Jays in a big hole that they couldn't dig out of as they lost the second game of the series.  On the bright side, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. earned the first RBI of his career.

In today's finale, Clay Buchholz takes on Drew Smyly in a matchup of veteran pitchers seeking their first wins of the season in the rubber match.

Game #33 Toronto Blue Jays (15-18) @ Texas Rangers (15-16) - game recap

Rangers catcher Isiah Kiner-Falafela drove in 4 runs and scored once as the Rangers defeated the Blue Jays 8-5

After gutting out a win in a marathon 12 inning game after a late arrival from Anaheim, the Blue Jays were back at it Saturday trying to win the weekend series against the Rangers. Thomas Pannone got the spot start in place of Matt Shoenaker, who underwent his ACL surgery in Florida at the beginning of the week. Justin Smoak got a half day off, serving as the DH with Rowdy Tellez in the field at 1B. Danny Jansen got the start behind the plate and Socrates Brito was in right field. Could the Blue Jays make it two in a row? Here is today's game recap.

Saturday, May 4, 2019

#33 - Toronto Blue Jays (15-17) at Texas Rangers (14-16)

The only good thing about the Rangers in recent years ... now retired.

Saturday, May 4, 2019 | 8:07 pm ET
Globe Life Park | Arlington, Texas




PREAMBLE:

After a beauty of a start by Trent Thornton and a nice bend-but-don't-break effort from the bullpen, the Blue Jays ended a long day with multiple flight issues and 12 innings of baseball with a 1-0 victory.  Tonight, they look to carry on that momentum as the stink of the Angels series get further away in the rearview mirror.

Thomas Pannone takes the ball for the Jays in a spot start as this is the first time in quite a while they've needed a fifth starter.  He goes up against Lance Lynn.

Game #32 Toronto Blue Jays (15-17) @ Texas Rangers (14-16) - game recap

Trent Thornton threw 7 shutout innings, but got the no-decision as the Blue Jays edged the Rangers 1-0 in 12 innings

After getting swept by the Angels, the Blue Jays limped into Texas trying to snap a three game losing streak. Alen Hanson was DFA'd after that colossal error that cost the Blue Jays 2 runs. Actually, he was dropped mainly because the Blue Jays needed more pitchers with a lack of reliable starter available Saturday. Trent Thornton was back on the mound still looking for his first career win. He's pitched well, but has lacked run support. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. also returned to the lineup after sitting out yesterday's game. Could the Blue Jays snap the three game losing streak? Here is tonight's game recap.

Friday, May 3, 2019

#32 - Toronto Blue Jays (14-17) at Texas Rangers (14-15)

The Rangers' skipper from when he was a Blue Jay


Friday, May 3, 2019 | 8:07 pm ET
Globe Life Park | Arlington, Texas


PREAMBLE:

The Toronto Blue Jays limp into Arlington after getting their asses royally kicked by the below-.500 Trouts, looking to regain some semblance of a pulse beyond a don't-give-a-shit level.

Trent Thornton will look to avoid getting his ass kicked all over the ballpark and hold the Rangers long enough so that Thomas Pannone won't be needed in long relief and can start tomorrow.  Mike Minor is his mound counterpart tonight for the Rangers.

Game #31 Toronto Blue Jays (14-17) @ LA Angels (15-17) - game recap

Mike Trout was 2-4 with a pair of runs scored and an RBI as the Angels defeated the Blue Jays 6-2 to complete the series sweep

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. got the night off after a rough night, both at the plate and in the field last night. Aaron Sanchez was on the mound pitching in LA for the 1st time since he got his finger caught in luggage prior to a start here nearly a year ago. The other afro-styled players, Alen Hanson and Freddy Galvis got the start in RF and SS respectively. Could the Blue Jays avoid being swept? Here is tonight's game recap.

Game Highlights:
  • The Angels opened the scoring in the bottom of the 2nd as Kole Calhoun whacked a 2-run blast over the wall in right-center; also scoring Albert Pujols
  • The Angels added a run in the bottom of the 4th off a bases loaded walk by Kevan Smith that forced in Andrelton Simmons
  • The Angels added a pair of runs in the bottom of the 4th as Simmons singled to right scoring Mike Trout and Brian Goodwin. Alen Hanson got an error on the play as the ball skidded under his glove
  • The Blue Jays got on the board in the top of the fifth as Brandon Drury scored on a groundout by Teoscar Hernandez
  • Aaron Sanchez pitching line: 4IP 9H 5R (4 earned) 2BB 2K 89 pitches (54 for strikes)
  • The Blue Jays got another run back in the top of the 6th as Randal Grichuk doubled home Eric Sogard
  • The Angels added a run in the bottom half of the inning as Trout crushed a solo blast to straightaway center
  • Tyler Skaggs pitrching line: 6IP 4H 2R (both earned) 3BB 5K 98 pitches (63 for strikes)
  • Final Score: Angels 6 Blue Jays 2
My Take:
  • Aaron Sanchez was lit up to the tune of five runs on nine hits and a pair of walks over 4 innings. Sanchez simply didn't have his best stuff today.
  • The meat of the Angels lineup did the damage offensively with Mike Trout, Brian Goodwin, Andrelton Simmons and Albert Pujols combining to score 5 of the Angels 6 runs and accounted for 9 of the 11 hits tonight.
  • If there's a small silver lining, Albert Pujols did not reach the 2000 RBI milestone this series. He will have to try again in two days when the Angels meet division rivals Houston Astros in Mexico. By the way, I think it's great for the game of baseball that they play games in international cities. The NHL, NBA, and NFL have already been doing this. Obviously logistics and travel make it difficult to arrange these games during the regular season.
  • Smart move by Charlie Montoyo sitting Vlad Guerrero Junior tonight. He's had a whirlwind week and he needs a day to chill. Plus he can pick things up from the bench wanting his teammates compete.
  • Up next, the Blue Jays travel to Texas for a weekend series against the Rangers. It will be a bit of a home coming for Guerrero as his father played a season in Texas towards the end of his career. Trent Thornton will get another opportunity for his first career victory. The Rangers will counter with seasoned veteran lefty Mike Minor.

Thursday, May 2, 2019

#31 - Toronto Blue Jays (14-16) at Los Angeles Angels (14-17)



Thursday, May 2, 2019 | 7:07 pm PT
Angel Stadium of Anaheim | Anaheim, CA

Aaron Sanchez (3-1, 2.32, 1.32) vs. Tyler Skaggs (2-2, 3.15, 1.25)


PREAMBLE:

The Blue Jays look to salvage the finale of a 3-game series against the Angels after losing the first two games.

The finale features a decent pitching match-up with Aaron Sanchez going up against Tyler Skaggs.

Game #30 Toronto Blue Jays (14-16) @ LA Angels (14-17) - game recap

Rowdy Tellez was 2-3 with a walk and broke the perfect game, no-hitter and shutout with one swing of the bat as the Blue Jays fell to the Angels 6-3

Twenty-four hours after a tough loss to the Angels, the Blue Jays were looking to get back on track. Ace Marcus Stroman was looking for his second win of the season. The Blue Jays more or less went with the same lineup as last night, except Danny Jansen was behind the plate, Justin Smoak was back at 1st base and Rowdy Tellez served as the DH. Could the Blue Jays even the series? Here is tonight's game recap.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

#30 - Toronto Blue Jays (14-15) at Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (13-17)



Wednesday, May 1, 2019 | 10:07 pm ET
Angels Stadium of Anaheim | Somewhere near Disneyland

Marcus Stroman (1-3, 1.43, 1.09) vs. Luke Bard (0-1, 3.38, 1.13)


PREAMBLE:

The Blue Jays are coming off a loss in the opener of a six-game road trip and look to get back onto the winning track again as Vladimir Guerrero Jr. experienced a major-league loss for the first time in the home where he was 'Mini-Me' to his father for six years.

Marcus Stroman takes his birthday cake (28 today) out to the mound today as he seeks to burnish his trade bait credentials, going up against The Bard of Anaheim, Luke Bard.

Game #29 Toronto Blue Jays (14-15) @ LA Angels (13-17) - game recap

Brandon Drury hit a clutch HR for the 3rd time in 4 games in a losing effort as the Blue Jays were edged by the Angels 4-3

The Blue Jays opened their second west coast swing, taking on the LA Angels, the former team of Vladimir Guerrero Sr.. Freddy Galvis made his return to the lineup after missing most of the last week with a hamstring issue (he had a pinch hitting appearance vs. San Francisco and played 2 innings and got 2 AB against Oakland Sunday. Brandon Drury got the start in right field for the first time since 2016, when he made 27 starts and 32 games at the position for the Diamondbacks. Clay Buchholz was looking to continue his strong start to the season. Could the Blue Jays climb above .500 for the first time since the season-opening series? Here is tonight's game recap.

Game Highlights:
  • The Blue Jays opened the scoring in the top of the 4th as Freddy Galvis scored on a wild pitch by Angels starter Griffin Canning
  • The Angels tied it in the bottom half of the inning as Tommy La Stella singled home Andrelton Simmons
  • A batter later, Jonathan Lucroy whacked a line drive over the wall in left center also scoring La Stella
  • Brandon Drury got the Blue Jays within one leading off the top of the 5th with another clutch opposite field home run
  • Three batters later, Teoscar Hernandez scored on a ground out by Billy McKinney
  • Griffin Canning pitching line: 4.1IP 4H 3R (all earned) 1BB 6K 82 pitches (49 for strikes)
  • Clay Buchholz pitching line: 5IP 6H 3R (all earned) 2BB 3K 95 pitches (58 for strikes)
  • The Angels took the lead in the bottom of the 8th as Brian Goodwin tattooed a solo shot to left-center
  • Hansel Robbles pitched a scoreless 9th for his second save of the season
  • Final score: Angels 4 Blue Jays 3
My Take:

  • Clay Buchholz battled his way through five innings, giving up 3 runs on 6 hits and a pair of walks. Buchholz made a heads up play to end the 3rd inning scampering to grab an errant throw from Eric Sogard, playing his third different position in a week (Sogard was at 3rd base until Guerrero Jr was recalled, then he switched to SS for the Oakland series and started at second base tonight with Freddy Galvis returning to action), before firing a strike to Rowdy Tellez to nail Mike Trout scrambling back to second base after confusion on the base paths. Justin Bour, who was on second base, chose to stay put, so Trout had to get back to second base.
  • Vladimir Guerrero Jr. had what might have been his best game of his young career. He made a great diving play at 3rd base. I don't normally put links in the game recap, but this is a play you have to see again. At the plate, Guerrero Jr. showed great patience at the plate, drawing a pair of walks. His bat will come around as he gains more experience facing the pitchers he's never faced before. Once again, he was lifted for a pinch runner in the 9th. This time, it wouldn't have mattered if Rickey Henderson in his prime had been the pinch runner, it still would have been a DP. Hopefully Montoyo at some point trusts Guerrero Jr. to run the bases in a tight game. We don't want his bat taken out of the lineup as it was Sunday when the Blue Jays tied it and the game went into extra innings.
  • Brandon Drury was clutch again at the plate, immediately putting his team within one after the Angels had taken the lead the previous inning. He is also having good at-bats. Sure he struck out to end the game, but there's no way the second-last pitch of the game was a strike. It was clearly an inch outside.
  • Teoscar Hernandez's defense has turned 180. This season he is taking much better routes to the ball. Today, he made a great diving catch to rob Trout of a hit in the bottom of the 8th
  • Up next, the Blue Jays look to even the series as ace Marcus Stroman pitches against Angels righty Felix Pena

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

#29 - Toronto Blue Jays (14-14) at Los Angeles Angels (12-17)



Tuesday, April 30, 2019 | 10:07 pm ET
Angel Stadium of Anaheim | Anaheim, CA

Clay Buchholz (0-1, 4.60, 1.34) vs. Griffin Canning (MLB debut)


PREAMBLE:

The Blue Jays, coming off a sweep of the Oakland Eh's, travel out west to take on the L.A. Angels in a three-game series to kick off a two-city road trip that also goes through Arlington, TX.  They're 3-0 in the Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Era, and look to carry on the momentum in the home of his father's "other" primary team.

Clay Buchholz takes the ball for the Jays as he looks to bounce back from a sub-optimal performance against the Giants. Griffin Canning will make his major-league debut on the hill for the Angels.

Monday, April 29, 2019

Ten weekly random thoughts: Week 4 : April 22-28

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Here we are, a month into the 2019 regular season. The highlight of this week was the much-anticipated MLB debut of Vladimir Guerrero Jr. The son of former Expo Vladimir Guerrero, Guerrero Jr. has quickly advanced through the minor league system, bathing well over .300 at each of the single-A,, double-A and triple-A levels, hitting well above .300 at each level. Guerrero Jr.'s defense has been steadily improving as well. This week, former Blue Jays Kendrys Morales and Kevin Pillar made their return to the Roger's center. Marco Estrada should have also been in Toronto but he is injured and thus was not on the trip with Oakland. The Blue Jays now embark on a week long road trip that will see Vladimir Guerrero Jr. play in Anaheim, where his father Vlad Sr. spent six seasons. Guerrero Jr. will also visit Arlington Texas, where his father played a season in 2010. Here are ten random thoughts from week 4 of the MLB.

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Game #28 Oakland A's (14-16) @ Toronto Blue Jays (14-14) - game recap

Brandon Drury hit a clutch game-tying 3-run bomb as the Blue Jays came from behind to defeat the A's 5-4

The Blue jays wrapped up the homestand today with a tilt vs. the Oakland A's. This season has proved to be a reversal of fortunes. In 2018, Oakland won all seven games and a win today would have Toronto sweeping the season series.Trent Thornton was back on the mound in his 6th attempt at his first career win. Luke Maile was his battery mate behind the plate. Could the Blue Jays get back to .500, sweep the season series and hit the road riding a three game winning streak? Here is today's game  recap.

Game Highlights:
  • The Blue Jays opened the scoring in the bottom of the 1st as Eric Sogard smacked a solo shot into the A's bullpen to extend his hitting streak to 10 games.
  • The A's tied the game in the top of the 3rd as Khris Davis doubled home Matt Chapman
  • Trent Thronton pitching line: 5IP 2H 1R (earned) 5BB 7K 103 pitches (56 for strikes)
  • Chris Bassitt pitching line: 7IP 3H 1R (earned) 0BB 9K 103 pitches (70 for strikes)
  • The A's took the lead in the top of the 11th as Stephen Piscotty scored on a sac fly by Roman Laureano
  • A batter later, Josh Phegley doubled scoring Kendrys Morales
  • Three batters later, Chapman was hit by a pitch, forcing in Phegley
  • The Blue Jays tied the game in the bottom half of the inning as Brandon Drury launched a three-run blast to right-center also scoring Rowdy Tellez and Billy McKinney
  • Four batters later,  Justin Smoak singled home Freddy Galvis
  • Final score: Blue Jays 5 A's 4
My Take 
  • Both starting pitchers threw 103 pitches, but A's starter Chris Bassitt lasted an extra two innings because he did not walk a batter, whereas Blue Jays starter Trent Thornton was wild again, walking five batters, and throwing 30 pitches in the 1st inning alone. He managed to escape a bases loaded jam in the opening inning and ended the 5th inning by striking out Khris Davis. If Thornton wants to win in this league, he needs much better command of his pitches.
  • Has Devon Travis played his last game in a Blue Jays uniform? Look at the players currently playing in the field. Brandon Drury has been clutch at the plate this week, Eric Sogard is just playing on another level, and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is still very early in his MLB career and the team will be patient with him. Finally, Freddy Galvis isn't far off from returning. Even injured, he managed to get a long single and gut it out around the bases to score the game-winning run. It's entirely possible that Devon Travis gets moved without playing another game in a Blue Jays uniform, once he's healthy.
  • Curious move by Charlie Montoyo pinch running for Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Sure, Guerrero Jr. may not be the quickest base runner in the world, but by removing him from the game, Montoyo took away his bat for some potential extra-inning heroics
  • Way too many walks given up by Blue Jays pitchers today. Besides Thronton's five walks, lefty Thomas Pannone walked a trio of batters. Pitching coach Pete Walker was ejected in the 11th inning for arguing balls and strikes. However, the umpire won't give the benefit of the doubt on close pitches if the pitcher hasn't been consistently throwing strikes. Also, most umpires won't fall for the catcher bringing the ball back into the strike zone.
  • Up next, after a travel day Monday, the Blue Jays open a three game series against the LA Angels. Clay Buchholz takes the ball against Angels righty Griffin Canning who will be making his MLB debut.

#28 - Oakland Eh's (14-15) at Toronto Blue Jays (13-14)

Vlad at the Raptors game

Sunday, April 28, 2019 | 1:07 pm ET
Rogers Centre | Toronto, ON



PREAMBLE:

The Toronto Blue Jays look to wrap up their second-straight series sweep of the Oakland Athletics and to complete a reversal of last year's 0-7 record.  The Jays also look to stay undefeated in the Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Era.

Trent Thornton takes the mound as he looks to secure his first major-league win and get over the hump of a few inconsistent starts in a row.  He'll face Chris Bassitt, who has faced the Jays once in 2016, getting gonged for nine hits and six runs in five innings.