Saturday, September 14, 2019

Game #149 New York Yankees (98-52) @ Toronto Blue Jays (58-91) - game recap

Brett Gardner was 3-5 with 2 runs scored and 5RBI in a 13-3 rout by the Yankees over the Blue Jays

After a thrilling come from behind extra innings win over the Yankees, the Blue Jays were looking to win the weekend series and guarantee ending the second to last home stand of the season with a winning record. The Blue Jays received expected and devastating news on reliever Tim Mayza. The embattled lefty crumbled to the ground after throwing a pitch way wide left. MRI results confirmed the worst and Mayza will require season ending Tommy John surgery. It's likely that he will miss all of next season as well, given that the injury occurred with two weeks left in the season and typical recovery time is about 18 months. I'll get into it more in my random thoughts post. Today, the Blue Jays sent Jacob Waguespack to the hill against Canadian southpaw James Paxton. Luke Maile and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. were both reinstated from the IL for the last two weeks of play. Only Lourdes was in the lineup today, serving as the DH to ease him back into playing. Danny Jansen got the start behind the plate. Cavan Biggio and Rowdy Tellez both sat in favor of more veteran players Brandon Drury and Justin Smoak. Could the Blue Jays win for Mayza? Here is today's game recap.

Game Highlights:
  • The Yankees opened the scoring in the top of the second as Brett Gardner doubled scoring Luke Volt
  • The Yankees added a run in the top of the 3rd on a ground-rule double by Volt that scored Aaron Judge
  • The Yankees added a run in the top of the 4th as Gardner hammered a solo bomb to dead center
  • Jacob Waguespack pitching line: 3.2IP 7H 3R (all earned) 2BB 4K 73 pitches (45 for strikes)
  • The Yankees added three more runs in the top of the 5th as Gardner smashed a 3-run blast to straightaway center also scoring Volt and Gleyber Torres
  • The Blue Jays got one back in the bottom of the 5th as Brandon Drury scored on a sac fly y Bo Bichette
  • James Paxton pitching line 5IP 3H 1R (earned) 2BB 3K 101 pitcthes (62 for strikes)
  • The Yankees added two more runs in the top of 6th as Torres smacked a two-run blast to left-center also scoring DJ LeMahieu
  • A batter later, Volt hammered a solo bomb to dead center
  • The Yankees added a run in the top of the 9th as Thairo Estrada singled home Kyle  Higashioka
  • Three batters later, Estrada scored on a ground out by Tyler Wade
  • Two batters later, the Mike Ford hammered a 2-run bomb to dead center also scoring Clint Frazier
  • The Blue Jays got a pair back in the bottom of the 9th as Richard Urena doubled home Drury and Danny Jansen
  • Final score: Yankees 13 Blue Jays 3
My Take:
  • Jacob Waguespack battled through 3.2 innings, giving up 3 runs on 7 hits while walking 2 and striking out 4. The thing about facing elite lineups like the Yankees is they don't miss mistakes very often. Location of pitches and command are important to be successful against a team like the Yankees. While Waguepack didn't let the Yankees have any big innings, he had three straight innings of the Yankees tacking on a run. He has 2 or 3 more starts this season.
  • The only 2 positives from today's game was the returns of Lourdes Gurriel Jr after missing a month with a quad strain and Elvis Luciano, who missed 2+ months with an elbow sprain. Gurriel Jr. was 2-3 and got on base a third time getting hit by a pitch in the 4th. Luciano pitched a scoreless inning.
  • Brandon Drury also had a pair of hits and scored 2 of the 3 Blue Jays runs.
  • Up next, the Blue Jays wrap up the home stand before heading out on the final road trip of the year. Jordan Montgomery makes his return from TJ surgery against Blue Jays righty TJ Zeuch

#149 - New York Yankees (97-52) at Toronto Blue Jays (58-90)



Saturday, September 14, 2019 | 3:07 pm
Rogers Centre | Toronto, Ontario

James Paxton (13-6, 3.96, 1.31) vs. Jacob Waguespack (4-4, 4.55, 1.33)


PREAMBLE:

After yesterday's marathon extra-innings thriller that had a little bit of everything from a Bo Bichette walk-off to a devastating injury to Tim Mayza, the Blue Jays look to take advantage of an overworked Yankees pitching staff (doubleheader on Thursday, extra innings on Friday, losing Happ to injury) and aim for a series win in this afternoon's second game.

Jacob Waguespack takes the ball for the Jays as he looks to bounce back from a rough outing against the Rays his last time out.  James Paxton is his counterpart on the mound for the Yankees; even with his no-hitter last year, Paxton is 3-3, 5.44 in eight starts against the Blue Jays for his career.


Friday, September 13, 2019

Game #148 New York Yankees (97-52) @ Toronto Blue Jays (58-90) - game recap

Bo Bichette hit a walk-off HR to start the 12th as the Blue Jays came from behind to beat the Yankees 6-5

After taking 2 of 3 from Boston, the Blue Jays face a stiffer challenge with the NY Yankees in town, and still trying to lock down first spot in the AL and home field advantage until at least the World Series. Tonight, Anthony Kay made his second career start and first at the Roger's center after firing 5.2 solid innings five days ago. Blue Jays killer Masahiro Tanaka is on the bump for the Yankees. Tanaka was 13-5 with a 2.69ERA in 20 career starts against the Blue Jays before tonight's tilt. Bo Bichette got the half day off, serving as the DH, with Richard Urena taking his spot at SS. Rowdy Tellez got the start at 1B and Reese McGuire was behind the plate.The outfield was Teo between Billy McKinney and Grich. Could the Blue Jays steal a win vs. the Yankees? Here is tonight's game recap.

Game Highlights:
  • The Blue Jays opened the scoring in the bottom of the 2nd as Randal Grichuk smacked a solo shot to left
  • The Blue Jays added a run in the bottom of the 4th as Reese McGuire doubled home Rowdy Tellez
  • A batter later, Teoscar Hernandez singled scoring McGuire
  • The Yankees got one back in the top of the 5th as Clint Frazier doubled home Brett Gardner
  • A batter later, Austin Romine singled home Clint Frazier
  • Three batters later, Romine scored on a fielder's choice hit by Luke Volt
  • A batter later, Gio Urshela singled scoring Volt and Gleyber Torres
  • Anthony Kay pitching line: 4.1IP 7H 5R (all earned) 1BB 2K 96 pitches (62 for strikes)
  • The Blue Jays got one back in the bottom half of the inning as Cavan Biggio singled home Bo Bichette
  • Masahiro Tanaka pitching line: 5IP 8H 4R (all earned) 0BB 6K 88 pitches (64 for strikes)
  • The Blue Jays tied the game in the bottom of the 7th as Richard Urena scored on a balk by Adam Ottavino
  • The Blue Jays walked it off in the bottom of the 12th as Bichette hit a moon-shot to left-center
  • Final score: Blue Jays 6 Yankees 5 (12 innings)
My Take:
  • Anthony Kay battled through 4.1 innings. It was really just one inning where he really ran into trouble. In that fateful inning, Kay was lit up for 5 runs on 5 hits (the 5th hit was given up by reliever Jason Adam) and a fielder's choice. He had 1-2-3 innings in the 2nd and 4th. The Yankees have one of the best offences in the game right now.
  • Tim Mayza suffered, judging by his initial reaction, a significant injury to his pitching elbow. I'll get into it more in my weekly random thoughts post, but if the injury is as bad as Mayza's reaction seemed to indicate, he could miss not only the remainder of this year, but all of next year as well. It appeared that he grabbed the outside of his pitching elbow. He faced just the one batter (an 8-pitch walk to Didi Gregorius)
  • Every Blue Jays starter but Vladimir Guerrero Jr. had at least one hit today
  • Bo Bichette (3-5, 2 runs scored, triple short of cycle), Cavan Biggio (2-5, RBI), Teoscar Hernandez (2-5) and Richard Urena (2-5, run scored, all had strong days at the plate
  • Up next, the Blue Jays go for the series win as Jacob Waguepack pitches against Canadian lefty James Paxton

#148 - New York Yankees (97-51) at Toronto Blue Jays (57-90)



Friday, September 13, 2019 | 7:07 pm
Rogers Centre | Toronto, Ontario

Masahiro Tanaka (10-8, 4.53, 1.25) vs. Anthony Kay (0-0, 3.18, 1.24)


PREAMBLE:

After doing Yankee fans a big favour in defeating the Red Sox 2 out of 3 in their last series, the Blue Jays get set for their regularly-scheduled beatdown by the Yankees as the mighty New Yorkers roll into town for a three-game series.

Anthony Kay makes his Rogers Centre debut for the Blue Jays as he makes his second major-league appearance.  No pressure, kid... you're only going up against a noted Jays-slayer in Masahiro Tanaka, who is 13-5, 2.69 in 20 career starts against the Jays.


Thursday, September 12, 2019

Game #147 Boston Red Sox (77-70) @ Toronto Blue Jays (57-90) - game recap

Cavan Biggio was 3-4 with 2 runs scored and an RBI in a losing effort as the Red Sox defeated the Blue Jays 7-4

After 2 straight wins over the soon to be eliminated Boston Red Sox, the Blue Jays were going for the series sweep and to further push Boston to the brink of elimination. Elvis Luciano was reinstated off the 60 day IL (he needs 18 more days on the active roster. No idea if he's physically ready to pitch). To make room, the Blue Jays released lefty Clayton Richard, who finished his time with the Blue Jays with a 1-5 record with a 5.96 ERA in 10 starts. A few changes to the lineup for tonight. Rowdy Tellez got the half day off serving as the DH tonight with Justin Smoak at 1B. Reese McGuire was back behind the plate after sitting out yesterday. Randal Grichuk slid over to center field between Derek Fisher and Billy McKinney in right. Could the Blue Jays make it three in a row on the second to last home stand? Here is tonight's game recap.

Game Highlights:
  • The Red Sox opened the scoring in the top of the 2nd as Marco Hernandez doubled home JD Martinez and Mitch Moreland 
  • The Red Sox added a run in the top of the 3rd as Martinez doubled scoring Rafael Devers
  • Jhoulys Chacin pitching line: 2.2IP  2H 0R 2BB 3K 48 pitches (26 for strikes)\
  • The Red Sox added a run in the top of the 4th as Juan Cenento singled scoring Jackie Bradley Jr..
  • Clay Buchholz pitching line: 4IP 7H 4R 1BB 4K 80 pitches (53 for strikes)
  • The Blue Jays got one back in the bottom of the 5th as Cavan Biggio tripled home Bo Bichette
  • A batter later, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. singled scoring Biggio
  • The Red Sox added a run in the top of the 7th as Brock Holt singled home Mookie Betts
  • A batter later, Xander Bogaerts singled scoring Holt
  • The Blue Jays got one back in the bottom of the 8th on a bases loaded walk by Derek Fisher that forced in Justin Smoak
  • The Red Sox added a run in the top of the 9th as Holt singled home Betts
  • The Blue Jays got one back in the bottom half of the inning as Biggio scored on a sac fly by Rowdy Tellez
  • Brandon Workman got the final 4 outs for his 12th save of the season
  • Final score: Red Sox 7 Blue Jays 4
My Take:
  • Clay Buchholz battled through 4 innings, giving up 4 runs on 7 hits while walking 1 and striking out 4. The veteran righty, who likely won't be with the Blue Jays next year, basically has 2 or 3 more starts to showcase himself for potential suitors in the off-season.
  • A comedy of errors led to the Red Sox scoring three late runs and that was the difference in the game. First, Anthony Alford mishandled a relatively soft single and allowed Brock Holt to advance to second and a run to score. Then Reese McGuire threw the ball into center field attempting a snap throw to pick off Holt, who advanced to third and Xander Bogaerts knocked him in with a single. In the 9th, Mookie Betts led off with a sharp line drive that Derek Fisher took a horrible approach to. I know it's late in the season and concentration levels may not be great, but attention to detail still matters. Once Lourdes Gurriel returns, most likely on the weekend or for sure to start the final road trip next week, playing time should be allocated to performance. Players need to know they won't play if they play poorly
  • The Blue Jays had a chance to take the lead in the 8th, but could only manage one run on a four pitch walk. Bo Bichette missed a hanging pitch and then flew out to right on the next pitch. The Blue Jays also had runners on 1st and 2nd in the 2nd and 3rd innings and failed to capitalize
  • Cavan Biggio had a huge day at the plate with a 3-4 effort, 2 runs scored, 1 RBI and he also drew a walk
  • Bichette also got on base multiple times, doubling in the 3rd and drawing a walk in the 5th. He scored the Blue Jays 1st run.
  • Up next, the Blue Jays open up a weekend series vs the Yankees. JA Happ is returning to NY to have a sore biceps muscle examined and may not pitch in either of the back-to-back weekend series against the Blue Jays. The Yankees roster is about to get a lot scarier with the expected returns next week of slugger Giancarlo Stanton and ace/flamethrower Luis Severino. Anthony Kay will try to follow up a strong first career start against Blue Jays killer Masahiro Tanaka

#147 - Boston Almost-Eliminated Sox (76-70) at Toronto Spoiler Jays (57-89)

Smile, gentlemen... think of the golf tee time reservations you could soon make!

Thursday, September 12, 2019 | 7:07 pm ET
Rogers Centre | Toronto, Ontario

Jhoulys Chacin (opener, 3-10, 5.60, 1.52) vs. Clay Buchholz (1-4, 5.31, 1.32)


PREAMBLE:

After a scintillating pitching performance by the Blue Jays pitching staff in yesterday's 8-0 shellacking, the Jays look to sweep the Red Sox in today's finale of a three-game series.

Clay Buchholz faces his former team for the first time after spending ten years with the Red Sox, and hopefully he'll be inspired to take advantage of a demoralized squad.  He'll go up against Jhoulys Chacin, who will be making his second appearance as a Red Sox after being released by the Brewers.  Chacin is also making his first appearance against the Jays.

And, no, no relation between him and his cologne-spritzing namesake, Gustavo Chacin, though they're both from Venezuela.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Game #146 Boston Red Sox (76-70) @ Toronto Blue Jays (57-89) - game recap

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. was 1-3 and reached base on an error, scored once and drove in 3 more runs in an 8-0 shutout over the Red Sox

After finally getting the proverbial monkey off their backs and coming from behind to get their first win in September, the Blue Jays were looking for their first series win in a month (last one came during my birthday August 12-14 over Texas). Wilmer Font served as the opener with Trent Thornton expected to pitch the bulk of the innings  Danny Jansen was back behind the plate after a day off yesterday. Rowdy Tellez got the half day off, serving as the DH today with Brandon Drury at 1B. Teoscar Hernandez got the start in LF after sitting out yesterday. Could the Blue Jays make it two wins in a row? Here is tonight's game recap.

#146 - Boston Dombrowskis (76-69) at Toronto Shapiros (56-89)



Wednesday, September 11, 2019 | 7:07 pm
Rogers Centre | Toronto, Ontario

Bobby Poyner (opener, 0-0, 10.50, 2.17) vs. Wilmer Font (opener, 1-2, 3.00, 1.19)


PREAMBLE:

Only 17 games left to get through this season, folks, then it's back to our favourite sport: speculating on next year's roster.  At least we're being entertained watching the Red Sox's season being slowly flushed into the toilet as Alex Cora has admitted they're basically out of it by now (9 games behind Oakland with 17 to go) so he's planning to rest his big stars one-by-one so they don't get worn down on the turf in Toronto -- who knew that having turf would turn out to be beneficial!  Bogaerts was rested last night, tonight is Mookie's turn and then tomorrow is Devers.

Tonight on the bump is an epic match-up of openers with Wilmer Font (Jays) and Bobby Poyner (Red Sox) getting things started off.  Poyner has faced the Jays twice, both last year, for a total of one inning with one run given up.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Game #145 Boston Red Sox (76-69) @ Toronto Blue Jays (56-89) - game recap

Rowdy Tellez hit a go-ahead 2-Run HR in the 5th as the Blue Jays came from behind to defeat the Red Sox 4-3

After a rough road trip where the Blue Jays went 0-6, they returned home looking to get things back on track and get their 1st win in September. Tonight, they took on a Red Sox team that was eliminated from postseason contention last than 24hrs prior. This means there will officially be a new World Series champ crowned in roughly six weeks time. The fallout from the Red Sox elimination has already begun with Dave Dombrowski getting the ax Sunday night. Boston is facing potentially big roster changes with Mookie Betts and Jackie Bradley Jr. set to hit the free agent market. JD The Red Sox openedMartinez can opt out of his contract after this season, though he may opt to keep the current deal given the off-year he's had. Righty Rick Porcello is expected to sign elsewhere, ending a 5 year stay in Beantown. Lefty Chris Sale and Xander Bogaerts are both needing to be re-signed (Bogaerts is eligible for free agency this year and may opt to test the market). The other free agents this year are Steve Pearce, Mitch Moreland, Brock Holt, Tyler Thornburg and Eduardo Nunez. They could be a vastly different team in 2020.

#145 - Boston NotMakingThePlayoffs (76-68) at Toronto Blue Jays (55-89)

When you get fired for not winning a World Series cheaply enough

Tuesday, September 10, 2019 | 7:07 PM EDT
Skydome | Toronto, ON, Canada

Nathan Eovaldi (1-0, 5.77 ERA, 1.51 WHIP) vs. TJ Zeuch (0-0, 4.50, 1.25)

PREAMBLE:

The Jays are still trying to win their first game in September after a challenging road trip. Taking the mound for his first Major League start is 2016 1st round pick TJ Zeuch. After a promising debut following opener extraordinaire Wilmer Font, the team will see how Zeuch does in a traditional start.

The Sox will counter with Nathan Eovaldi, who has had a tough season after a fairy-tale playoff run earned him a healthy contract from Dave Dombrowski. The Jays will probably either score 8 runs or strike out 20 times against him.


Monday, September 9, 2019

Ten weekly random thoughts: Week 23 -September 2-8


It was a tough start to the final month of the 2019 season for the Blue Jays who lost their first five games of the month. The month start with a sweep by the Atlanta Braves. Josh Donaldson had a huge role in both games, going a combined 3-6 with 4 runs scored and 2RBI. The ex-Blue Jays slugger has made a huge comeback and has appear to put his troublesome calf behind him. Dosh is hitting a respectable .262 after Sunday's games with 36HR (he hit his 34th against the Blue Jays) and 85RBI in 493AB over 140 games. Canadian righty Mike Soroka threw 5 innings in the mini series opener to pick up the win Monday. The Blue Jays then moved onto their little house of horrors where they were swept in the four game series by the TB Rays. There was one positive in Anthony Kay (more on that later). Looking at the week ahead, it promises to be 6 tough games starting with three against the Boston Red Sox, who's World Series defense is all but certainly going to end with a playoff miss. Their ace Chris Sale is done for the season with left elbow inflammation.Ex-Blue Jay David Price has been battling a sore left wrist for the past several weeks, Steve Pearce (another ex-Blue Jay) may also be done with a knee injury. Dustin Pedroia is done for the year and his career may be nearly done too with knee trouble. Even not at their strongest, the Red Sox will be a tough test for Blue Jays pitchers and batters.

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Game #144 Toronto Blue Jays (55-89) @ Tampa Bay Rays (86-59) - game recap

Avisail Garcia was 3-4 with 2  runs scored and 3RBI  in an 8-3 rout by the Rays over the Blue Jays

After an impressive MLB debut by lefty Anthony Kay that unfortunately the bullpen blew in the late innings, the Blue Jays look to salvage this road trip and get their first win in the month of September. Jacob Waguespack got the start. Interesting lineup for today. After Bo Bichette in his customary leadoff spot, the Blue Jays went with Teoscar Hernandez bating second. Generally speaking, you want your number two hitter to be good at getting on base. Hernandez strikes out too much. Rowdy Tellez got the start at 1B. Vlad got the half day off, serving as the DH today (Brandon Drury was at the hot corner today.) Randal Grichuk got the start in RF and Jonathan Davis was rewarded for a 2-4 effort yesterday with the start in LF. Danny Jansen was back behind the plate with the quick turn around between games. Finally, Richard Urena got a chance to play, starting at 2B.  Could this mishmash lineup get the Blue Jays their first win in September? Here is today's game recap.

#144 - Toronto Blue Jays (55-88) at Tampa Bay Rays (85-59)

Can the Rays play like the old Devil Rays for once?

Sunday, September 8, 2019 | 1:10 pm ET
Tropicana Field | Saint Petersburg, Florida

Tyler Glasnow (6-1, 1.86, 0.91) vs. Jacob Waguespack (4-3, 3.97, 1.27)


PREAMBLE:

The Blue Jays gave it a good fight in yesterday's third game, but ultimately lost again.  They're still 0-for-September and look to salvage the finale of a four-game series this afternoon against the Rays. 

Jacob Waguespack looks to snap a two-game losing streak and get back on the winning track as he takes the ball for the Jays, facing off against 6'8" Tyler Glasnow, who is returning from a long stint on the injury list.  Glasnow, who will likely be limited to about 50 pitches or so, is a career 0-2, 7.41 in four starts against the Jays.


Saturday, September 7, 2019

Game #143 Toronto Blue Jays (55-88) @ Tampa Bay Rays (85-59) - game recap

Anthony Kay threw 5.2 strong innings in his big league debut in a  losing effort as the Rays came from behind to defeat the Blue Jays 5-3

After dropping the first 2 games of this series, the Blue Jays look to get things back on track and get their first win in September. Anthony Kay got the start for the Blue Jays and became the latest to make his big league debut for the Blue Jays (TJ Zeuch, Trent Thornton, Elvis Luciano, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Cavan Biggio and Bo Bichete have all made their big league debuts in Toronto this season.) Cavan Biggio was back at 2B after a complete day off yesterday. Justin Smoak got the half day off, serving as DH today with Rowdy Tellez at 1B. The outfield consisted of Jonathan Davis between Billy McKinney and Derek Fisher. Reese McGuire was behind the plate. Could the Blue Jays get their first W in September? Here is today's game recap.

#143 - Toronto Blue Jays (55-87) at Tampa Bay Rays (84-59)


Saturday, September 7, 2019 | 6:10 pm
Tropicana Field | St. Petersburg, FL

Anthony Kay (MLB debut) vs. Charlie Morton (14-6, 3.06, 1.10)


PREAMBLE:

The Blue Jays look to avoid getting slaughtered in the third game of a four-game series after Tampa took the first two games.

On paper, it's about as one-sided as a matchup you could get with a young guy making his MLB debut (Anthony Kay for the Jays) going up against a guy who was in the conversation for the Cy Young for a while before going through a rough spell (Charlie Morton for the Rays).  Morton was 11-2, 2.35 in mid July; he's 3-4, 4.70 since then.


Friday, September 6, 2019

Game #142 Toronto Blue Jays (55-87) @ Tampa Bay Rays (84-59) - game recap

Austin Meadows was 2-4 with a run scored and an RBI as the Rays shutout the Blue Jays 5-0

After losing their 4th in a row last night, the Blue Jays try to snap the 4 game losing skid against a Rays team fighting for a wild card spot. Clay Buchholz made his 3rd start since coming off the disabled list. Utility man Brandon Drury got the start at 2nd base giving Cavan Biggio the complete day off. Teoscar Hernandez was for whatever reason known only to Charlie Montoyo batting in the #2 hole tonight. Danny Jansen got his first start behind the plate this week. Rowdy Tellez got the start at 1B and Jonathan Davis and Anthony Alford were playing the two corner infield positions. Could this more AAA-level lineup than MLB-level lineup pull off a miracle? Here is tonight's game recap.

#142 - Toronto Blue Jays (55-86) at Tampa Bay Rays (83-59)


Friday, September 6, 2019 | 7:10 pm
Tropicana Field | St. Petersburg, FL

Clay Buchholz (1-3, 5.45, 1.35) vs. Brendan McKay (2-3, 5.55, 1.49)


PREAMBLE:

The Blue Jays look to even things up in tonight's second game of a four-game series against the wild-card leading Rays.  The Jays are riding a four-game losing streak and the Rays are in a 7-1 stretch as they fight to hold off the Athletics and Indians for one of two wild card spots.

Clay Buchholz is coming off his first win in a full year and hopefully his next win doesn't take anywhere near as long to come... like, tonight perhaps?  He'll face Brendan McKay, who is back up after a stint on the injured list and lost 4-3 to the Jays on August 7th in his one previous appearance against the Jays.  Buchholz is 9-8, 2.62 in 24 previous starts against the Rays.


Thursday, September 5, 2019

Game #141 Toronto Blue Jays (55-86) @ Tampa Bay Rays (83-59) - game recap

Bo Bichette hit a pair of home runs and drove in 3 runs in a losing effort as the Rays knocked off the Blue Jays 6-4

After being swept by the Atlanta Braves to start this week long road trip, the Blue Jays were looking  to get back to winning in their own personal house of horrors that is Tropicana field. The Blue Jays should be thankful to be in a dome tonight, shielded from the wrath of hurricane Dorian that has pounded the Bahamas. Ex-Blue Jay Aaron Sanchez saw his subpar season come to an end due to right shoulder surgery. The injury means he will avoid a 20 loss season, but will also likely affect his off-season program given how close we are to the season ending. Justin Smoak (age 32), Randal Grichuk (age 28), Derek Fisher (age 26) and Teoscar Hernandez (age 26) were the oldest ones in today's lineup. Everyone else was 24 or younger. Oh, and Trent Thornton got the start, looking to have a strong final month of his rookie campaign. Could the Blue Jays pull off the miracle? Here is tonight's game recap.

#141 - Toronto Blue Jays (55-85) at Tampa Bay Rays (82-59)

Trivia:  In a 2018 post-game interview, which Blue Jay called Tropicana Field "a House of Horrors" for the team?

Thursday, September 5, 2019 | 7:10 pm
House of Horrors | St. Petersburg, Florida

Trent Thornton (4-9, 5.34, 1.50) vs. Austin Pruitt (2-0, 4.78, 1.27)


PREAMBLE:

The Blue Jays' march to mediocrity continues as they're in the midst of a 35-game closing stretch where 26 of the games are against post-season contenders.  So far, they've gone 2-8 and things don't get easier with two series against Tampa, two against the Yankees (2) and one vs. Boston.

The fight for a 2020 rotation spot is on the agenda for Trent Thornton as he takes the ball tonight, going up against Austin Pruitt of the Rays.  Pruitt is making his second start of the season after coming out of the bullpen his first ten appearances.


Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Game #140 Toronto Blue Jays (55-85) @ Atlanta Braves (86-54) - game recap

Josh Donaldson once again torched his former team with a 2-3 effort, 1 walk, 1 run scored and 3RBI to lead the Braves to a 7-2 victory over the Blue Jays

After three costly errors and 5 walks by Jacob Waguespack essentially did the Blue Jays in last night, they were back at it trying to even the season series vs. the Braves. Wilmer Font got the call as the opener against Mike Folytnewicz, who had the Blue Jays number a week ago. Anthony Alford, Richard Urena, Jonathan Davis and TJ Zeuch were all called up as part of the ;ast 40 man roster expansion. Starting next year, teams will only be able to add three players to make 28 for the every day active roster. Righty Zack Godley was DFA'd (he would have been unavailable tonight after tossing 3 innings last night anyway). Vlad was back in the lineup after sitting out yesterday. Beau Taylor made his Blue Jays debut after being claimed off waivers from Oakland a couple of weeks ago and recalled from Buffalo Sunday. Rowdy Tellez got the start Sunday. Could the Blue Jays snap the 2 game win streak? Here is tonight's game recap.

#140 - Toronto Blue Jays (55-84) at Atlanta Baaaarves (85-54)



Tuesday, September 3, 2019 | 7:20 pm ET
InAAWeTrust Park | Cumberland, Georgia

Wilmer Font (opener, 1-1, 2.49, 1.07) vs. Mike Foltynewicz (4-5, 5.59, 1.44)


PREAMBLE:

The Blue Jays are in Atlanta tonight to wrap up a two-game series and a four-game season series with the Baaaarves winning last night and 2 of 3 on the season so far.  We don't have to see Josh Donaldson again for the rest of the season, so there's that.

New Blue Jays ace Wilmer Font takes the ball to open the game before turning it over to a cast of thousands to finish out the game.  Font has gone 17.1 innings with a 1.56 ERA and 27 strikeouts as opener for the Jays this season.  He'll go up against Mike Foltyalphabet, who is 2-0, 5.00 in four outings for his career against the Jays.


Ten weekly random thoughts: Week 22 - August 26-September 1


It was reunion week at the Rog with several ex-Blue Jays returning to the 6ix. On Tuesday, Josh Donaldson played his first game in Toronto since the August 31st, 2018 trade that sent him to Cleveland more on that later). Alex Antropolous, who was largely responsible for putting together the 2015 and 2016 teams that went as far as the ALCS, was also back in town, as were former trainers George Poulis and Mike Frostad. For some Canadian content, you had Vlad (born in Quebec when his father played for the Expos) and Freddie Freeman, who's parents are both Canadian. The Blue Jays and Braves split the 2 games here with a pair slated for Monday and Tuesday this week in Atlanta. On the weekend, the Houston Astros came to town along with ex-Blue Jays Roberto Osuna and Joe Biagini. Aaron Sanchez, who is rehabbing a pectoral injury, did not make the trip. The two teams split the first two games and Sunday's rubber match was dominated by Justin Verlander, who threw his 3rd career no-hitter and 2nd vs. the Blue Jays (the first coming here as a member of the Detroit Tigers). To makeSunday's gem even more impressive, Verlander became the 5th starter all-time to get 250 strikeouts in a single season five times. Looking at the week ahead, as mentioned,the Blue Jays play their final interleague games of the season this week in Atlanta. They then travel to Tampa Bay on a rare Wednesday off-day to begin a 4-game series at the Trop. The Blue Jays completed the trade for Eric Sogard this weekend, acquiring righties Curtis Taylor (from Port Coquitlam, BC; 0-3 with a 3.06ERA in 15 games this season in AA-ball in 2019) and Edisson Gonzalez (4-2 with a 2.45ERA in lower A-ball in 2019). Sogard is batting .307 with 3HR and 9RBI in 27 games since the trade. The Blue Jays took 2 of 3 from the Rays at the Trop a month ago. Here are ten random thoughts from week 22 of the MLB

Monday, September 2, 2019

Game #139 Toronto Blue Jays (55-84) @ Atlanta Braves (85-54) - game recap

Josh Donaldson was 1-3 with 3 runs scored and 2 RBI in a 6-3 win over the Blue Jays

After splitting two games with the Braves in Toronto a week ago, the Blue Jays opened a mini 2-game series in Atlanta that will mark the end of interleague play for the Blue Jays this season. The Blue Jays are an abysmal 3-15 in interleague play this season and were swept by the Diamondbacks, Rockies and Dodgers. Today's game pitted Canadian righty Mike Soroka against Blue Jays righty Jacob Waguespack. Fittingly, both Waguespack and Soroka were the losing pitchers in the 2-game mini series last week at the Roger's center. Vlad was given the complete day off with Brandon Drury at 3B and no DH due to playing in an NL ballpark and under NL rules. Justin Smoak got the start at 1B, Danny Jansen was behind the plate and Billy McKinney was in right field. Could the Blue Jays beat Canadian Mike Soroka for the second time in a week or would the Braves prevail over Jacob Waguespack for the second time in a week? Here is today's game recap.

Game Highlights:
  • The Braves opened the scoring in the bottom of the 1st as Josh Donaldson smashed a 2-run blast to  dead center also scoring Ozzie Albies
  • The Braves added a pair of runs in the bottom of the 3rd that scored Albies and Donaldson
  • The Blue Jays got a run back in the top of the 4th as Randal Grichuk smacked a solo shot to left
  • The Blue Jays got a run back in the top of the 5th as Rowdy Tellez annihilated a solo bomb to right-center
  • Three batters later, Bo Bichette scored on a sac fly by Randal Grichuk
  • Jacob Waguespack pitching line: 4IP 1H 4R (2 earned) 5BB 4K 87 pitches (54 for strikes)
  • Mike Soroka pitching line: 5IP 5H 3R (all earned) 2BB 6K 89 pitches (52 for strikes)
  • The Braves added a pair of runs in the bottom of the 8th as pinch hitter Johan Camargo lined a 2-run drive over the wall and into the Blue Jays bullpen also scoring Donaldson
  • Mark Melancon struck out the side in a perfect 9th for his 9th save of the season
  • Final score: Braves 6 Blue Jays 3
My Take:
  • Jacob Waguespack battled his way through 4 innings, giving up four runs on one hit and a costly fielding error by Brandon Drury while walking 5 and striking out 4. Wags command wasn't great and he didn't help himself by walking 5 batters, including walking the bases loaded in the 3rd with 1 out, thus putting more pressure on the defense to make a play. The walk to Ozzie Albies in the 1st allowed Josh Donaldson to come to bat and hit the 2-run HR that opened the scoring. It appeared Wags was overthrowing his pitches.
  • Video replay went both for and against the Blue Jays. In the top of the 7th, the Braves challenged a line drive hit by Rafael Ortega that replay confirmed was just a bit foul. Ortega walked and later stole second base and replays confirmed that the tag by Cavan Biggio was just late (it was the correct call)
  • Errors absolutely killed the Blue Jays. A fielding error by Drury in the 3rd directly led to 2 runs. In the 8th, Bo Bichette booted a ground ball hit by JD and the next batter, Johan Camargo hit a 2-run HR that put the game out of reach. Ryan Tepera also had a throwing error, but no runs scored because of it or after. I get it's getting late in the season, but attention to detail still matters. I wonder if Charlie Montoyo will bench anyone tomorrow to send a message
  • Bo Bichette was the only Blue Jay to get on base multiple times, hitting a single leading off the game and drew a walk in the 5th
  • Tepera lowered his ERA to 6.00 with a scoreless inning where he walked a batter and stuck out the side. Nice outing in his first MLB game in over 2 months
  • Up next, the Blue Jays try to even the season series and this mini series as Mike Foltynewicz, who beat the Blue Jays a week ago goes for the Braves. The Blue Jays will have a bullpen day. Expect Clayton Richard to pitch for the first time in a month as he was activated from the 10-day IL today. Thomas Pannone and Sammy G might also pitch a couple of innings

#139 - Toronto Blue Jays (55-83) at Atlanta Braves (84-54)



Monday, September 2, 2019 | 1:20 pm ET
SunTrust Park | Cumberland, Georgia

Jacob Waguespack (4-2, 3.93, 1.25) vs. Mike Soroka (10-3, 2.44, 1.09)


PREAMBLE:

The Blue Jays, after running into Justin Verlander, head to Atlanta for a two-game mini-series against the Braves, who they just saw last week in Toronto.  The teams split last week's series with each of today's starting pitchers losing their matchup.

Jacob Waguespack takes the ball for the Jays as he looks to atone for a rough outing last time out against the Braves.  Similarly, Mike Soroka, a Calgary kid, looks to get back on the winning track after being outduelled 3-1 by seven Jays pitchers.



Sunday, September 1, 2019

Game #138 Houston Astros (89-49) @ Toronto Blue Jays (55-83) - game recap

Justin Verlander threw his 3rd career no-hitter and 2nd against the Blue Jays in a 2-0 shutout win Sunday afternoon

First, my weekly random thoughts posts will be delayed a day due to the early game tomorrow, but the content will end today. Anything that happens tomorrow will appear in next week's edition. After a win that felt like pulling teeth last night, the Blue Jays were looking to finish off the homestand with a victory. They were in tough facing Justin Verlander, who already no-hit the Blue Jays as a Detroit Tiger back on May 7, 2011. Justin Smoak was back at 1B with Rowdy Tellez serving as the DH today. Reese McGuire was behind the plate. Could the Blue Jays pull off a miracle? Here is today's game recap.

Game Highlights:
  • Wilmer Font pitching line: 2IP 1H 0R 1BB 3K 39 pitches (28 for strikes)
  • The Astros took the lead in the top of the 9th as Abraham Toro slammed a 2-run blast to left-center also scoring Alex Bregman
  • Justin Verlander pitching line: 9IP 0H 0R 1BB 14K 120 pitches (79 for strikes)
  • Final score: Astros 2 Blue Jays 0
My Take:
  • Wilmer Font pitched decent, allowing 1 hit and walking one over 2 innings work to set things up nicely for Sammy G, who pitched three perfect innings and struck out three.
  • What can you say about Justin Verlander, who should be a future hall-of-famer. He had Blue Jays batters stymied all afternoon, striking out 14 batters, with his only blemush being a 1 out walk to Cavan Biggio in the 1st. He was stranded at 2nd base. The strikeout to Justin Smoak to end the 4th gave Verlander 250 on the year, making him the 5th pitcher to reach the single season milestone five times. Sometimes you just have to tip your cap and say you were simply beaten by a better opponent.
  • Up next, the Blue Jays hit the road for a mini 2-game series in Atlanta that will finish off the interleague schedule for the year. The Braves and Blue Jays split the 2 games at the beginning of the week here in Toronto. Tomorrow's matinee is a rematch of last Tuesday's tilt with Canadian righty Mike Soroka pitching against Blue Jays righty Jacob Waguespack.

#138 - Houston Astros (88-49) at Toronto Blue Jays (55-82)

J.R. Richard - one of the great what-ifs


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

Justin Verlander (16-5, 2.69, 0.80) vs. Wilmer Font (opener, 1-1, 2.70, 1.07 as a Jay)


PREAMBLE:

The Blue Jays look to secure a series win in the finale of a three-game series against the Houston Astros.  Cavan Biggio homered in each of the first two games with his father, Craig, watching stoically in the stands (hey, he works for the Astros).  Can he make it three straight and help the Jays take the series?

Wilmer Font will get the ball to open the game and then turn things over to either Zack Godley (4-5, 6.17 ERA) or Sam Gaviglio (4-2, 4.66 ERA); both are likely to pitch today.  Justin Verlander is on the bump for the Astros - he's having a potential Cy Young season, but he's gone 0-4, 6.07 in five starts against the Jays dating back to 2013.  Even with a no-hitter against the Jays, Verlander is a career 3-6, 4.73 in 13 starts against the Jays.


Saturday, August 31, 2019

Game #137 Houston Astros (88-49) @ Toronto Blue Jays (55-82) - game recap

Cavan Biggio was 2-3 with 2 runs scored and 3 RBI as the Blue Jays came from behind to beat the Astros 6-4

After a loss to the Astros last night, the Blue Jays turned to veteran righty Clay Buchholz, who's coming off his best start in a blue Jays uniform, firing 6 strong innings in his first start after missing 2+ months with a grade II strain of his right teres major muscle. The Astros countered with lefty Framber Valdez, who's had a subpar season to date and is just back from AAA-ball. Vlad got the half day off, serving as the DH with Brandon Drury at the hot corner. Rowdy Tellez got the start at 1B. It looks like the Blue Jays will take a long look at him in September. Danny Jansen was back behind the plate after Reese McGuire started last night. Could the Blue Jays move a win closer to avoiding 100 losses? Here is today's game recap.

Game Highlights: 
  • The Astros opened the scoring in the top of the 1st as George Springer scored on a sac fly by Alex Bregman
  • The Blue Jays tied the game in the bottom of the 3rd as Randal Grichuk singled home Cavan Biggio
  • A batter later, Teoscar Hernandez smacked a 2-run blast to left and into the Blue Jays bullpen also scoring Grichuk
  • The Blue Jays added a pair of runs in the bottom of the 4th as Biggio cranked a 2-run HR to right also scoring Bo Bichette
  • The Astros got a pair back in the top of the 6th as Yuli Gurriel doubled scoring Yordan Alvarez and Bregman
  • Clay Buchholz pitching line: 5.2IP 3H 2R (both earned) 5BB 3K 83 pitches (50 for strikes)
  • The Blue Jays added a run in the bottom of the 6th as Biggio doubled home Bichette
  • Framer Valdez pitching line: 5.2IP 9H 6R (all earned) 3BB 5K 103 pitches (64 for strikes)
  • The Astros got one back in the top of the 7th on a bases loaded walk by Bregman that forced in Martin Maldanado.
  • Ken Giles struck out the side in a perfect 9th for his 18th save of the season
  • Final score: Blue Jays 6 Astros 4
My Take:
  • A bit of a weird play in the bottom of the 3rd when Brandon Drury was called out for the ball hitting him while he was in the batter's box. He probably would have been thrown out anyway by Astros catcher Martin Maldanado. Still, not a play you see every day
  • Clay Buchholz battled his way through 5.2 innings, allowing 2 runs on three hits, while walking 5 and striking out 3. His command was not sharp today against a patient Astros lineup. He made enough pitches to get into the 6th inning. It was his first win in a Blue Jays uniform
  • The bullpen makes me nervous in getting to Ken Giles. 
  • Cavan Biggio (2-3, 2 runs scored, 3RBI, 1 walk), Bo Bichette (2-5, 2 runs scored), Teoscar Hernandez (2-run HR), and Brandon Drury (2-3, walk) all had good days at the plate
  • Everyone except Derek Fisher got on base at least one and all but Fisher and Rowdy Tellez had at least one hit.
  • Up next, the Blue Jays look to end the home stand with a winning record and take two of three from the mighty Astros. Justin Verlander starts for the Astros, while Wilmer Font will open for the Blue Jays

#137 - Houston Astros (88-48) vs. Toronto Blue Jays (54-82)



Saturday, August 31, 2019 | 3:07 pm ET
Rogers Centre | Toronto, Ontario

Framber Valdez (4-6, 5.14, 1.54) vs. Clay Buchholz (0-3, 5.87, 1.34)


PREAMBLE:

Ok, gather around, folks... time for another game threat.


After losing last night's series opener to the Houston Astros, the Blue Jays look to get back on the winning track to even up the series.

Clay Buchholz, after being put back together by duct tape, some wires, cotton balls, eyeglasses frame and a soldering iron, makes his second start since coming back from the IL.  Likewise, Framber Valdez is making his second start after his call up to take the place of Aaron Sanchez, who has been felled by a pectoral injury.


Friday, August 30, 2019

Game #136 Houston Astros (88-48) @ Toronto Blue Jays (54-82) - game recap

George Springer was 2-4 with 2 runs scored and 4 RBI to lead the Astros to a 7-4 victory over the Blue Jays

After a day off Wednesday, the Blue Jays began a three game series against Aaron Sanchez (who won't pitch due to a pectoral injury that has him on the IL), Joe Biagini, Roberto Osuna and the AL West leading Houston Astros. Trent Thornton got the start against Astros lefty Wade Miley, who is vying for the 4th starter's spot in the playoffs. Brandon Drury got the start at 1B with Justin Smoak being given the half-day off with the DH assignment tonight. Reese McGuire was behind the plate. Could the Blue Jays steal a win? Here is tonight's game recap.

#136 - Houston Astros (87-48) at Toronto Blue Jays (54-81)



Friday, August 30, 2019 | 7:07 pm
Rogers Centre | Toronto, Ontario

Wade Miley (13-4, 3.13, 1.20) vs. Trent Thornton (4-8, 5.34, 1.52)


PREAMBLE:

Mailing it in tonight, folks.  Gonna be short and sweet.

Astros = super good
Blue Jays = not great

Jays offer up Trent Thornton as tonight's sacrificial lamb to the Astros slaughter.  Wade Miley goes for the Astros and he gud.  Very gud this year.  Though he has a career 2-7, 4.47 lifetime against the Jays in 10 starts.


Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Game #135 Atlanta Braves (81-54) @ Toronto Blue Jays (54-81) - game recap

Matt Joyce was 3-5 with 2 runs scored and 2RBI in a 9-4 victory over the Blue Jays

After a solid 3-1 victory last night that was chalk full of Canadian content (Calgaryan Mike Soroka started for the Braves and threw 6 innings. Freddie Freeman.who's parents are Canadian went 0-3, Josh Donaldson made his long-awaited return to Toronto just over a year after the trade that sent him to Cleveland. Dosh went 0-4. Ex-Blue Jays trainers George Poulis and Mike Frostad returned to Toronto as well, but not for the first time, and of course, Alex Antropolous, who spear headed the 2015 and 2016 Blue Jays teams that made it as far as the ALCS were back in town. Vlad, who was born in Montreal and he went 2-4 with an RBI). Tonight, the Blue Jays were going for the sweep in the mini 2-game series with the rematch in Atlanta starting next Monday. Jacob Waguespack got the start for the Blue Jays. He is one of just 2 true and reliable starters in the rotation at this point (Trent Thornton being the other). Mike Foltynewicz started for the Braves. Lineup was pretty similar to last night, except Justin Smoak was at 1B (DH last night), Rowdy Tellez was DH (1B last night) and Brandon Drury was in LF with Teo in CF and Grichuk in RF. Danny Jansen got the start behind the plate after a night off last night. Could the Blue Jays make it two in a row vs. the Braves? Here is tonight's game recap.

#135 - Atlanta Bringers of Rain (80-54) at Toronto Blue Jays (54-80)



Wednesday, August 28, 2019 | 7:07 pm
Rogers Centre | Toronto, Ontario

Mike Foltynewicz (4-5, 5.68, 1.40) vs. Jacob Waguespack (4-1, 3.63, 1.17)


PREAMBLE:

After winning the opener of a two-game series against the Braves last night, the Blue Jays look to accomplish a mini-sweep in tonight's finale.  They had lost 9 in a row against National League teams before last night's win and are 3-14 overall on the season in interleague play.

Staff ace Jacob Waguespack takes the ball for the Jays as he looks to continue a string of solid performances, having gone 3-0, 1.93 in his last five outings, including a 7-inning, 1-hit performance against the Dodgers last week.  He'll go up against Mike Foltynewicz, who is 2-0, 5.40 in three appearances against the Jays.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Game #134 Atlanta Braves (80-54) @ Toronto Blue Jays (54-80) - game recap

Justin Smoak was 2-3, including a solo HR to help lead the Blue Jays to a 3-1 win over the Braves

After a suboptimal road trip that saw the Blue Jays win just once in 6 tries, the Blue Jays returned home to start a week of reunions. Tonight, Josh Donaldson made his return to Toronto, playing in the 6ix for the 1st time since the 2018 trade deadline deal to Cleveland (he signed with Atlanta in the off-season. Tonight's starter for the Braves was Canadian righty Mike Soroka. Freddie Freeman, who's parents are Canadian is also playing in this series, as is Vlad (born in Montreal when his father was playing for the Expos. Alex Antropolous, who was largely responsible for building the 2015 and 2016 Blue Jays teams, is also back in town. Tonight, the Blue Jays had another bullpen day with Wilmer Font getting the ball first. The infield of the future (and present) was playing tonight with Rowdy Tellez at 1B, Cavan Biggio at 2B, Bo Bichette at SS and Vlad occupying the hot corner. Reese McGuire got the start behind the plate. Could the Blue Jays snap the 1 game losing streak? Here is tonight's game  recap.

#134 - Atlanta A.A. Anthopoulos (80-53) vs. Toronto Blue Jays (53-80)



Tuesday, August 27, 2019 | 7:07 pm
The SkyDome | Toronto, Ontario

Mike Soroka (10-2, 2.41, 1.08) vs. Wilmer Font (opener, 1-1, 2.95, 1.13)


PREAMBLE:

The Toronto Blue Jays return home after a West Coast road trip where things didn't exactly unfold the Jays' way for the most part.  After a day off, they face the Atlanta Braves in an interleague matchup that sees Oakville's hero return to Toronto for the second time as an opposing executive since he left following the 2015 season.

Wilmer Font will get things started for the Jays in a bullpen day.  No pressure, fellas... you're only going up against Mike Soroka who is having a huge break-out season and is second in the NL in ERA.  It's Soroka's second start against the Jays; he gave up 4 runs in 4.2 innings in his final start of 2018 before being shut down with shoulder inflammation.


Monday, August 26, 2019

Ten weekly random thoughts: Week 21 - August 19-25


The Blue Jays faced a stiff test to start their final west coast of the season. On Tuesday, the Blue Jays hitters faced one of the premier pitchers in the game in Clayton Kershaw. Bo Bichette homered twice off the veteran lefty, who wasn't at his best, but still prevailed thanks to the Dodgers putting up 16 runs against Blue Jays pitchers, which included backup infielder Richard Urena pitching the bottom of the 8th. The next day, the Blue Jays faced one of the better young arms in the game, Walker Buehler, who held the Blue Jays to 5 hits over 7 shutout innings. Rowdy Tellez became an unlikely hero, hitting a game-tying HR, which I called in the game thread, off Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen. The HR only delayed the inevitable as the Dodgers big bats were due up in the bottom half of the inning. Max Muncy ended it with his 33rd HR of the season. Charlie Montoyo made some curious moves towards the end of the game. Vladimir Guerrero Jr., who did not start the game as a precaution with his knee, which he injured the weekend prior, pinch hit in the top of the 8th for the pitcher and and was part of a double switch in the 8th to put him at 3B and removed Cavan Biggio and his bat from the game. In the top of the 10th, Vlad drew a walk and was promptly removed for a pinch runner. Why not just let Vlad stay in the game. Further, why do the double switch? The pitcher's spot probably wouldn't have come up for an inning or two the way the Blue Jays were swinging the bat that day anyway. The sweep was completed in epic fashion the next day in a blown save by temporary closer Derek Law, who was filling in for Ken Giles, who was away on paternity leave. Law should not be used as closer anymore this season. He is not consistent enough outing to outing. It should be closer by committee when Giles is unavailable, whether it be needing a day off or injury.  The Blue Jays lost two of three to their expansion cousins, to finish the road trip with a disappointing 1-5 record. Bo Bichette (see point 8) was one of the few bright spots in the Blue Jays lineup this week.

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Game #133 Toronto Blue Jays (53-80) @ Seattle Mariners (56-75) - game recap

Clay Buchholz threw 6 strong innings in his return from the 60 day IL in a 3-1 loss to the Mariners

Here we are 30 games, including today left in the schedule. Clay Buchholz came off the IL to make this start. Ken Giles was back after a three day paternity leave. Righties Justin Shafer and Brock Stewart were sent to Buffalo to make room on the roster. Vlad got the half day off serving as the DH with Brandon Drury at the hot corner. Rowdy Tellez got the start at 1B and Reese McGuire was behind the plate. Could the Blue Jays end the final west coast wing of the season with a victory? Here is today's game recap.

Game #133 - Toronto Blue Jays (53-79) vs Seattle Mariners (55-75)



Rather than blather on and on, let's simply look at a pic or two and get straight to the point!


A selection of Topps Heritage and Archives cards of Jays from the last 16 years

These three cards are interesting because they remind us that baseball is, in a way, sort of random.  Phelps was a can't miss power hitter who ended up missing.  Carpenter was a mediocre starter for the Jays for a number of years before he was given up on, only to become a star once he left.  I was fully on board with letting him go.  Lawrie set the world on fire when he came up with the Jays but he was never able to keep it together and he ended up flaming out.

I've spent a lot of years reading Jays blogs and sites, as well as various other sources, and one of the common themes has been the failure of great, can't miss prospects.  It's like this for every team.  What does this mean?  It's all a crap-shoot, there's no point trying to predict what will happen, and we might as well not watch in the first place.  Why bother when we know the Jays will ultimately fail?

I absolutely, steadfastly, refuse to watch Blue Jays baseball for at least three years!  I won't watch any games on cable, satellite, MLB.TV, at sports bars, any illegal streams, or any other method yet to be devised.  I absolutely, 100% refuse to listen to games either.  I will remain resolute in my convictions and will even avoid reading about the Jays on any form of printed or electronic media.  

I cannot be induced, by any means, to change my mind!  mk, please shut down the site - this will be the last post.  It's been a good run but it's time to close it down.  I urge all readers to join me and stay away in droves!  Don't give even one more cent of your hard earned money to the Blue Jays, Rogers Media, or any other entity that benefits from Blue Jays baseball.

I will paste in the lineups below only to fulfill my final obligations, and will even add some daily commentary, due to contractual reasons.  However, this is goodbye.  Goodbye Forever!



So...............Jayssssssssssssss Wiiiiinnnnnnnnnnnnn!  Who saw that coming?  I guess anything can happen in baseball.


Go Jays!

Game #132 Toronto Blue Jays (53-79) @ Seattle Mariners (55-75) - game recap

Bo Bichette was 3-5 with 2 runs scored and 3RBI to lead the Blue Jays to a 7-5 victory over the Mariners 

After a difficult to watch 7-4 loss where where every Blue Jay but Brandon Drury had at least one hit, Reese McGuire had 2 balls squeak between his legs directly leading to 2 runs and the pitching was so-so at best, the Blue Jays turned to Wilmer Font as the opener tonight. Cavan Biggio was back and hitting in the #2 hole. Vlad was back in the field after a half-day off as DH yesterday (Rowdy Tellez was the DH tonight). Danny Jansen was back behind the plate after sitting out the opener of this series yesterday. Could the blue Jays snap the 6 game losing streak? Here is tonight's game recap.

Game Highlights:
  • The Mariners opened the scoring in the bottom of the 1st as Kyle Seagar singled home Mallex Smith and JP Crawford
  • Wilmer Font pitching line: 1IP 2H 2R (both earned) 1BB 1K 33 pitches (18 for strikes); Brock Stewart pitched the next 5 innings, allowing 3 runs on 7 hits while walking 1 and striking out 4
  • The Blue Jays got one back in the top of the 3rd as Teoscar Hernandez smashed a solo blast to left-center
  • Three batters later, Bo Bichette slammed a solo bomb to dead center
  • The Mariners retook the lead in the bottom of the 5th as Omar Narvaez smashed a 3-run bomb to right-center also scoring Seagar and Crawford
  • Felix Hernandez pitching line: 5.2IP 3H 2R (both earned) 3BB 4K 88 pitches (54 for strikes)
  • The Blue Jays got one back in the top of the 7th as Billy McKinney doubled home Hernandez
  • Two batters later Bichette singled scoring McKinney
  • Two batters later, Bichette scored on a ground out by Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
  • A batter later, Randal Grichuk doubled home Cavan Biggio
  • The Blue Jays added a run in the top of the 8th as Bichette doubled home Danny Jansen
  • Derek Law got the final 5 outs for his 4th save of the season. Thank god #100milesGiles is expected back tomorrow from paternity leave
  • Final score: Blue Jays 7 Mariners 5
My Take:
  • As will be the case more often than not the remainder of the season, the Blue Jays used an opener to get through the first inning, followed by a longer reliever to eat up the next several innings. One can question why the Blue Jays don't just use the reliever as the starter in the first place. One argument is getting through the tough part of the lineup and giving the long man a more favorable part of the lineup. However, in today's MLB, the best hitters can hit anybody. Font and Stewart combined to allow 5 runs on 9 hits while walking 2 batters and striking out 5.
  • Bo Bichette continues to shine. In his 25th career games, he had another 3 hits, 3 RBI and scored twice. He also threw out Daniel Vogelbach in the 8th for a huge out, because if he had scored it would have been a 1-run lead with 1 out and runners on 1st and 2nd with the speedy Mallex Smith at the plate.
  • Teoscar Hernandez also had a good day at the plate, drawing 2 walks, hitting a solo HR and scoring a second time later in the game
  • Derek Law made things WAY more interesting than they had to be. He is not Ken Giles, but he's probably the second best closing option the Blue Jays have when Giles is not available.
  • Up next, the Blue Jays go for the season series split and the series win in Seattle. Clay Buchholz is expected to be activated off the 60 day IL (Ryan Tepera is expected to come off the IL shortly after the team returns to Toronto. He and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. will probably be the only Blue Jays to return from the IL this season). The Mariners will counter with lefty Marco Gonzalez

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Game #132 - Toronto Blue Jays (55-74) @ Seattle Mariners (55-74)



Blue Jays and Mariners Opening Game Tickets



I wrote the game threats for a Jays/Rangers series last year and was able to get a lot of mileage out of everyone's ongoing hatred for that squad.  As long as Odor remains in place (I'm sure he'll be out of the league soon, though) the hatred will burn with unparalleled fury:


Voldemort performs the Avada Kedavra curse on Roughned Odor of the Texas Rangers

Game #131 Toronto Blue Jays (52-79) @ Seattle Mariners (55-74) - game recap

Teoscar Hernandez drove in a pair of runs in a losing effort as the Mariners came from behind to defeat the Blue Jays 7-4

After being swept by the LA Dodgers, the Blue Jays made their annual trip to Seattle to face a Mariners team that took 2 of 3 in Toronto a week ago. Trent Thornton got the start against Mariners lefty Justus Sheffield. Happy birthday to Billy McKinney, who got the day off as a Bday present. Cavan Biggio was moved to the 7th spot in the lineup with Derek Fisher batting 2nd. Vlad got the half day off, serving as the DH tonight. Justin Smoak was also back at 1B after 2 days in a row off. Reese McGuire got the start behind the plate. Could the Blue Jays snap the 5 game losing streak? Here is tonight's game recap.

Friday, August 23, 2019

Game #131 - Toronto Blue Jays (52-78) @ Seattle Mariners (54-74)


Exhibition Stadium

Kingdome


The Jays have been quite bad this year but now that a lot of the flotsam and jetsam has been cleared out in favour of the youngsters, they're quite tolerable to watch.  If you squint a bit it's not difficult to see a bright future for our squad.  "If things fall just right" the Jays may be back in contention for a wildcard spot in a couple of years.

Game #130 Toronto Blue Jays (52-78) @ LA Dodgers (85-44) - game recap

Jacob Waguespack threw 7 shutout innings in a losing effort as the LA Dodgers came from behind in the 9th to edge the Blue Jays 3-2

As expected, the Blue Jays lost the first two games of this series to the juggernaut LA Dodgers, who may be the best all-around team in the majors. The first game wasn't close (a 19-3 drubbing that saw all the big bats in the Dodgers lineup come up big. Russell Martin even played the final 2 innings at 3B and got 2AB. Richard Urena pitched the 8th for the Blue Jays. The second game was much closer and included a blown save by Kenley Jansen off an unlikely HR by Rowdy Tellez. Tonight, The Blue Jays turned to Jacob Waguespack to try and avoid the series sweep and halt the 4-game losing streak. Vlad was back in the starting lineup after most of the day off yesterday, except for 2AB's and 1 2 innings in the field. Ken Giles was placed on paternity leave with  Danny Jansen was also back behind the plate after a complete day off yesterday. Rowdy Tellez got his second straight start at 1B, presumably as a reward for the last gasp heroics to briefly delay the loss. Could the Blue Jays escape LA with a win? Here is tonight's game recap.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Game #130 - Toronto Blue Jays (52-77) @ Los Angeles Dodgers (84-44)

Thu, Aug 22 • 10:10 PM EDT
At Dodger Stadium
Jacob Waguespack vs Kenta Maeda

Game #129 Toronto Blue Jays (52-77) @ LA Dodgers (84-44) - game recap

Max Muncy hit a walk-off HR in the bottom of the 10th as the Dodgers edged the Blue Jays 2-1

After a thorough beat down against one of the premier pitchers and top starter of this decade (hat tip to Tom Jackson on the leg work) Clayton Kershaw and the juggernaut offence that features Cody Bellinger, who is neck and neck with Christian Yelich for the NL MVP this season, and Joc Pederson, who faced off against Vlad in the HR derby this year in an epic round that featured a COMBINED 79 HR between two of the better young guns in the game that Vlad narrowly won when he hit 2 in 3 tries in the second OT round. Tonight, the Dodgers sent one of the game's best young righties in Walker Buehler to the mound. Buehler is 10-3 on the season with a 3.31 ERA. The Blue Jays had their second straight bullpen day with Wilmer Font serving as the opener, with Sammy G expected to pitch next. A few lineup changes for tonight. Vlad was given the day off after facing Kershaw yesterday (perhaps playing him yesterday wasn't wise, but then again I don't trust the HPD/Training staff with a paper cut). Billy McKinney also got the start in LF, in place of Derek Fisher, who homered off Kershaw last night. Rowdy Tellez got the start at 1B (it will be interesting to see in the final 6 weeks of the season how Montoyo splits the starts at 1B. Personally, I think Tellez should get more of the starts, but he has to play well and earn the playing time). Finally, Reese McGuire got the start behind the plate after Danny Jansen had a long day behind the plate with the Dodgers pummeling the relievers last night. Will the Blue Jays have better luck against Buehler? Here is tonight's game recap.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019