Friday, August 23, 2019

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.

Game Highlights:
  • The Blue Jays opened the scoring in the top of the 2nd as Randal Grichuk scored on a ground out by Derek Fisher
  • The Blue Jays added a run in the top of the 6th as Vladimir Guerrero Jr. whacked a solo blast to left-center
  • Kenta Maeda pitching line: 6IP 4H 2R (both earned) 1BB 9K 85 pitches (57 for strikes)
  • Jacob Waguespack pitching line 7IP 1H 0R 1BB 5K 95 pitches (61 for strikes)
  • The Dodgers tied the game in the bottom of the 9th as Cory Seagar doubled home Cody Bellinger and Max Muncy
  • A batter later, Kike Hernandez singled scoring Seagar
  • Final score: Dodgers 3 Blue Jays 2
My Take:
  • Jacob Waguespack was excellent tonight firing 7 shutout innings, allowing just one hit and walking 1 and hitting a batter. If this game was being played in the American League, Waguespack might have been sent out for the top of the 8th, but his spot was due up first and Brandon Drury pinch hit for him. Waguespack gave the Blue Jays exactly what they needed after two nights when the bullpen was used to the max. Waguespack retired the final 14 batters he faced.
  • The Dodgers really are like the Yankees. They toy with you to give you some semblance of hope of victory and then do what they did in the 9th inning, coming back from a 2 run defucit in a matter of three pitches. The LA Dodgers are going to be uber tough to beat 4 times in a series.
  • Vlad had a strong day at the plate, going 3-4, including a solo HR for 3 of the 5 hits the Blue Jays had tonight
  • Randal Grichuk and Billy McKinney had the other 2 Blue Jays hits. Waguespack also drew a 4-pitch walk in his second AB
  • Up next, the Blue Jays head to Seattle looking to snap the 5 game losing streak as Trent Thornton pitches against Mariners lefty Justus Sheffield. It also starts the first day of player's weekend where everyone wears their nicknames on the backs of their jerseys.

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

Game #129 - Toronto Blue Jays (52-76) @ Los Angeles Dodgers (83-44)


Wed, Aug 21 • 10:10 PM EDT
At Dodger Stadium
Wilmer Font et al vs Walker Buehler

Game #128 Toronto Blue Jays (52-76) @ LA Dodgers (83-44) - game recap

Cody Bellinger was 2-3 with 2 runs scored and 3RBI in a 16-3 rout over the Blue Jays 

The Blue Jays kicked off their final west coast swing and final interleague series of the season tonight against one of the favorites for the World Series this year in the LA Dodgers. Tonight, Blue Jays batters faced lefty Clayton Kerhaw, who remains one of the premier pitchers in the MLB. He brings a 12-2 record with a solid 2.63ERA into tonight's game. The Blue Jays have opted to go with lefty Buddy Boshers as an "opener" with righty Sean Reid-Foley pitching the bulk of the innings tonight. Vlad was in the lineup after sitting out the finale of the homestand Sunday. Cavan Biggio got the day off with Brandon Drury getting the start at 2nd base. Could the Blue Jays beat one of the best pitchers in the game? Here is tonight's game recap.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Game #128 - Toronto Blue Jays (52-75) @ Los Angeles Dodgers (82-44)

Clayton Kershaw has gone 6 innings in each of his 21 starts in 2019
Around this time last year, talk in Dodger-land revolved around the health of ace Clayton Kershaw. He had missed at least a month of game action in each of the last 3 seasons, with various shoulder and back issues. In 2018, his ERA was the highest of his career (2.73), supported by peripherals (FIP and xFIP of 3.19) and the lowest strikeout rate of his career (8.65 K/9). His struggles can more or less be tied to a loss in velocity on his heater. Brooks Baseball shows that he lost 3 MPH on his four-seamer from his dominant run as the best pitcher in baseball. That velocity has yet to come back, and it probably never will.

Fast forward to spring of 2019, and concerns still lingered. He had to be shut down with shoulder inflammation upon his arrival in camp, an issue that seemingly bothers every pitcher at some point in their career. Kershaw admitted to being anxious about the shoulder in camp in an article from Bill Plunkett of The Orange-County Register. Injuries and diminished velocity hit Kershaw, as he was shut down for most of the spring and did not start the year until late April. Concerns grew around the industry, and pundits were quick to write Kershaw off. Reports of his demise appear to have been a bit premature, as Kershaw is enjoying a healthy 2019 in what has been his most effective since 2016.

Part of his resurgence has come from attacking hitters with a first strike fastball and a modified slider, chronicled in a great piece written by Ben Lindbergh of The Ringer. In his last couple starts it has been vintage Kershaw, with 9 or more strikeouts in 4 of his last 6 six starts. Even with his fastball peaking at 92 MPH - he is able to generate whiffs with his slider, while locating the curve and four-seamer with as much precision as ever. This version of Kershaw could be his most impressive yet - in a year with a juiced baseball, and more home-runs than ever - he has managed to keep the ball in the park. His 0.99 HR/9 and 13% HR/FB rate could point to negative regression, though I think it is a case of a veteran pitcher learning to adapt his arsenal to his skill set and get batters out. I fear that his velocity may never return, though this season has proved he can still be a valuable pitcher while averaging 90 MPH.

In other Dodger news, they are still unsure what the plan is for top prospect Gavin Lux. He has been absolutely raking in AAA this year, though the PCL numbers are a tad inflated. He is currently hitting .415 in AAA, and could slot in nicely at second base in September. If he gets the opportunity, he could hit his way onto the postseason roster and slot in at second base. Chris Taylor is set to return soon from a broken forearm, which could cloud the picture. After a lack of moves at the deadline (the big splash being LOOGY Adam Kolarek from the Rays) it makes sense to add him and Dustin May into the picture as a way of adding from within the organization.


In Jays news, it appears Vladdy will suit up at 3rd and bat third. A little surprised by this, as it seems like an easy time to give him an extra day or two off just to be careful with his workload. I checked Brandon Drury's career splits vsLHP and vsRHP and there wasn't much of a seperation (85 wRC+ vs LHP and 89 vs RHP).

Urena is called up..

Chavez Ravine wouldn't be a bad spot to be. Seriously debated going for the series.
Obligatory Nate Pearson in Buffalo clip

LINE-UPS 



This is your game threat: 'Greatest Pitcher of our Generation' edition. 

Monday, August 19, 2019

Ten weekly random thoughts: Week 20: August 12-18


The Blue Jays wrapped up their marathon 20 games in 20 days set with a trio of games against the Texas Rangers. By all rights, the Blue Jays could have mailed it in this week citing fatigue from so many games in a row. Instead, the Blue Jays took 2 of three from Texas, outscoring the Rangers 25-11, including a 3-0 shutout and a 19-4 blowout in which the Rangers used a position player to pitch (Jeff Mathis). Everyone had at least one hit in the rout. All but Derek Fisher had at least one extra base hit. The next day, Blue Jays pitchers held Rangers batters to 5 hits and 5 walks in a 3-0 shutout win. Clearly everyone was understandably tired Wednesday and the Blue Jays just didn't have enough left in them to rally late. Then, the expansion cousin Seattle Mariners rolled into town. Both teams are having pretty similar seasons, although Mariners fans should feel more frustrated given the Mariners did an even bigger roster turnover since these two last met in August 2018. The Mariners also got off to a 13-2 start and have gone 38-71. At least the Blue Jays didn't tease the fans with a hot start or stretch. The most the Blue Jays won in a row was 5 at the beginning of this lengthy 20 day stretch of games. Both teams won a game of the weekend series, setting up a rubber match Sunday. The Mariners used their bullpen day Saturday very effectively, keeping Blue Jays hitters off-balance and holding them to 3 runs on 9 hits and 3 walks. Of course, losing Vlad after just 2 innings (knee) didn't help things (more on that later). The Mariners took the rubber match  thanks to a stellar 2-hit, complete game performance by lefty Yusei Kikuchi. Mariners batters also went yard 4 times off Blue Jays pitchers. Looking ahead to next week, after an off day/travel day Monday, the Blue Jays embark on their final west coast swing of the season. They kick things off with some interleague action against ex-Blue Jays catcher Russell Martin and the LA Dodgers. Trent Thornton is the only Blue Jays pitcher with a hit in interleague play this season (he was 2-3 with 2 runs scored in San Francisco back in mid-May). The Dodgers are all but certainly going to win the NL West title and should have home field advantage until the World Series. The last time these two teams met in 2016, the Dodgers took 2 of 3 including a dominant 7-inning performance from Clayton Kershaw, who should pitch in this series. Justin Smoak is the only current Blue Jay who played in that Series. Russell Martin caught 2 of the 3 games for the Blue Jays, but he's now the Dodgers backup catcher. Next weekend sees the rematch against the Mariners in Seattle. Last year, the Blue Jays took 3 of 4 in Seattle. Felix Hernandez may make his return to the Mariners rotation next weekend. He's scheduled for a 4th rehab start in Tacoma today. Here are ten random thoughts from week 10 of the MLB.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Game #127 Seattle Mariners (51-73) @ Toronto Blue Jays (52-74)

       Image result for seattle mariners                                                











Sorry for the ugliness of the game thread post. I just woke up and I am working on my first coffee and it's 15 minutes till game time and panic has set in. ( actually not really )



This is your game thread, deal with it edition.
Nate's up to the Bison's.
Vlad's gonna be okay
I'm sure there will be more news posted in the comments.

It's thread like this that make us appreciate the work of dabbles, Lunchbox and the hard work of everyone who do the game threads on a regular basis.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Game #126 Seattle Mariners (51-73) @ Toronto Blue Jays (52-74) - game recap

Austin Nola was 2-4, including a solo HR to lead the Mariners to a 4-3 victory over the Blue Jays 

First, there will be no game recap tomorrow as I am helping out with a car wash in Surrey. My weekly random thoughts post will be posted as per usual Monday morning. After taking the first game of this weekend series thanks to the strong pitching of Jacob Waguespack and some timely hitting by the Blue Jays batters, the Blue Jays were looking to make it two in a row vs. their expansion cousins. Trent Thornton, who was looking to repeat his performance from 5 days ago who he held a tough Yankees lineup to 1 run on 3 hits while walking one and striking out 6 over 6 innings. The lineup was pretty much the same as yesterday, except Justin Smoak got the half day off, serving as the DH with Rowdy Tellez at 1st base and Reese McGuire got the start behind the plate. Could the Blue Jays make it two in a row against their expansion cousins? Here is today's game recap.

#126 - Seattle Mariners (50-73) at Toronto Blue Jays (52-73)

Program book from the Mariners' first game ever

Saturday, August 17, 2019 | 3:07 pm
Rogers Centre | Toronto, Ontario

Reggie McClain (opener, 0-0, 4.50, 1.00) vs. Trent Thornton (4-8, 5.34, 1.48)


PREAMBLE:

The Blue Jays started off their three-game series against the Mariners with a resounding 7-3 win, including a ridiculous HR hit by Vlad Jr. who admitted it looked like his father out there.  Game two of the series goes this afternoon and the Jays will be trying to lock up a series win against a team that had their season literally falling off a cliff after a 13-2 start.

Trent Thornton takes the ball for the Jays this afternoon and he'll go up against an opener in Reggie McClain and assorted others (likely to be some combination of Zac Grotz, Erik Swanson and Sam Tuivailala).


Friday, August 16, 2019

Game #125 Seattle Mariners (50-73) @ Toronto Blue Jays (52-73) - game recap

Jacob Waguespack threw 5.1 strong innings to lead the Blue Jays to a 7-3 victory over the Mariners

After taking 2 of 3 from Texas earlier this week, the Blue Jays opened a three game series against the Mariners, who they'll face in Seattle in a week. Toronto took the season series last yea 4-3, including 3 of 4 in Seattle, including my first MLB game, which was also the debut of Mike Hauschild, who pitched 6 innings of outstanding baseball in that game. He was lit up his next game six days later and hasn't pitched since. Last season's season series also saw Ladner, BC native James Paxton throw a no-hitter in Toronto. This year, the Mariners are pretty much destined to finish last in the AL West, ten games  worse than the 4th place Texas Rangers. They effectively cleaned house this season, stripping the roster of the veterans, trading away Guillermo Heredia, Mike Zunino, James Paxton, Alex Colombe, Robinson Cano, Edwin Diaz (who saved 57 games for the Marines in 2018), Juan Nicaso, Jean Segura, James Pazos, Ben Gamel, Jay Bruce, Edwin Encarnacion and Mike Leake all since the baseball season ended last year. All these moves left the Mariners with a roster filled with prospects, who may have been promoted prematurely simply to fill roster spots. The results speak for themselves. The Mariners have struggled to win 50 games, one game less than the Blue Jays. Dee Gordon, Mallex Smith, Kyle Seagar and injured vets Felix Hernandez (he's been hampered with a wonky shoulder the whole season) and Mitch Hanigar (ruptured his testicles a couple of months ago; he played his first rehab game yesterday and could be back by the rematch in Seattle next week) are the only names you'll probably recognize unless you really follow the minors.

#125 - Seattle Mariners (50-72) @ Toronto Blue Jays (51-73)



Friday, August 16, 2019 | 7:07 pm
Rogers Centre | Toronto, Ontario

Matt Wisler (opener, 2-2, 4.58, 1.38) and Wade LeBlanc (bulk, 6-6, 5.14, 1.37)
vs.
Jacob Waguespack (big-ass-boy-to-start-on-his-own, 3-1, 4.31, 1.34)


PREAMBLE:

The Blue Jays, after a well-deserved day off, hit the field again with a three-game series at the Rogers Centre against their expansion cousins, the Seattle Mariners.

Jacob Waguespack faces the Mariners for the first time in his career and he'll face a tandem of Matt Wisler (opener) and Wade LeBlanc, who spent time in 2016 with the Bisons before being traded for our old buddy Cash Considerations or an even older buddy PTBNL (it was never revealed which it was for, as far as I could see).  LeBlanc is 0-0, 5.40 in three appearances against the Jays.


Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Game #124 Texas Rangers (60-60) @ Toronto Blue Jays (51-73) - game recap

Danny Santana was 2-5, scoring 3 runs and driving in 3 to lead the Texas Rangers to a 7-3 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays

After a convincing 3-0 shutout yesterday on my birthday, highlighted by a strong four inning performance by Thomas Pannone and a save by Ken Giles, making his first appearance since August 7th, the Blue Jays wrapped up this series and this 20 day stretch of games with a matinee against the Rangers. There have been definite highlights in this stretch of games from sweeping Kansas City and taking the first two in Baltimore to create a new longest winning streak mark for the season to taking 2 of three in Tampa Bay and then coming home and splitting  a 4-game series against the Yankees. Today, they had a chance to end this season-long stretch of games with an exclamation point and sweeping Texas. Rowdy Tellez got the start at 1st base a day after being recalled from Buffalo. Danny Jansen was back behind the plate after Reese McGuire got the start last night. Vlad got the half day off with Brandon Drury at the hot corner. Could the Blue Jays dig deep and sweep the Rangers? Here is today's game recap.

#124 - Texas Rangers (59-60) at Toronto Blue Jays (51-72)



Wednesday, August 14, 2019 | 1:37 pm
Rogers Centre | Toronto, Ontario

Kolby Allard (0-0, 4.15, 1.38) vs. Sean Reid-Foley (2-2, 2.36, 1.50)


PREAMBLE:

After winning the first two games of this three-game series by scores of 19-4 and 3-0, the Blue Jays look to complete a sweep of the Rangers before they enjoy a well-deserved day off tomorrow.

Sean Reid-Foley looks to continue a stretch of respectable outings as he takes on a Rangers team that has been struggling to score runs throughout their 2-6 (so far) road trip.  Kolby Allard, a lefthander, will take the ball for the Rangers for his second start with the team and third major-league start overall.


Tuesday, August 13, 2019

#123 - Texas Odors (59-59) at Toronto Bo Jays (50-72)

Bautista saying "howdy" to Odor after the Bat Flip

Tuesday, August 13, 2019 | 7:07 pm
Rogers Centre | Toronto, Ontario

Lance Lynn (14-7, 3.60, 1.19) 
vs. 
Wilmer Font (opener, 1-0, 2.51, 0.84) and Thomas Pannone (bulk, 2-5, 6.83, 1.41)


PREAMBLE:

After a thorough beatdown in last night's opener, the Blue Jays look to carry over the momentum into tonight's second game against their not-so-beloved rivals, the Rangers.  The Jays' youth movement is in full force with Freddy Galvis being scooped up on waivers, and last night's rout was a good start moving forward.

Wilmer Font will open the game for the Jays and then turn things over to Thomas Pannone when he's good'n'ready.  They will matchup against Lance Lynn, who has been beaten around a little by the Jays in his career (1-2, 6.11 ERA in six outings).  Pannone set fire to the mound in his one start against the Rangers earlier this season (7 runs in 2.1 innings).


Monday, August 12, 2019

Game #122 Texas Rangers (59-59) @ Toronto Blue Jays (50-72) - game recap

Bo Bichette was 4-6 with 3 runs scored and an RBI in a 19-4 rout over the Rangers

First of all, I will remind everyone here that there will be no game recap tomorrow due to me celebrating my 35th birthday. With the short turnaround between games, I propose just sticking with the game thread a few extra hours until Wednesday. Tonight, the Blue Jays opened a three game set against the Texas Rangers. The Blue Jays roster is decidedly different than the one that lost 2 of 3 in Arlington back in May. Freddy Galvis was claimed this morning by the Cincinnati Reds. Neil Ramirez made his Blue Jays debut tonight, opening for the Blue Jays. Billy McKinney was recalled to take Galvis's roster spot and was on the bench today. Justin Smoak got the half day off after a full day off yesterday with Brandon Drury at 1st base. Danny Jansen was back behind the plate after the day off yesterday and Vlad was back in the lineup too. Could the Blue Jays beat the Rangers? Here is today's game recap.

#122 - Texas Rangers (59-58) at Toronto Blue Jays (49-72)



Monday, August 12, 2019 | 7:07 pm
Rogers Centre | Toronto, Ontario

Ariel Jurado (6-7, 4.74, 1.38) vs. Neil Ramirez (opener, 0-1, 5.40, 1.62)


PREAMBLE:

After splitting a well-fought, four-game series against the Yankees, the Blue Jays welcome their old post-season rivals, the Texas Rangers, to town for a three-game set.  Both teams are coming off 1-0 games; the Rangers won theirs and the Jays lost theirs.

Newly-acquired Neil Ramirez will open the game for the Jays in his debut with the team.  He'll face off against Ariel Jurado, who was the losing pitcher when the Jays won 1-0 in 12 innings earlier this season.  Thanks for the throwing error to bring in the only run of the game and save both teams' bullpens from further extra innings, Jurado.


Ten weekly random thoughts: Week 19: August 5-11


It was a solid week of baseball for the Blue Jays. First, they went into the house of horrors that is Tropicana field and took two of three from the Tampa Bay Rays. Monday was especially sweet as Jacob Waguespack, Justin Shafer, Tim Mayza and Derek Law held a good Rays lineup to 5 hits and 2 walks. Bo Bichette scored both runs. The next day, the Blue Jays bullpen blew a 6-run lead and lost in extra innings on a wild pitch. The Blue Jays held on in the 9th of the 3rd game of the series to edge the Rays 4-3 and end the 10-game road trip with a win. The Blue Jays then hosted the Yankees for 4. The Yankees brought their bats to the opener of the 4-game set out-slugging the Blue Jays 12-6 The Blue Jays also lost Lourdes Gurriel Jr. in the 9th inning of that game (more on that later). The Blue Jays took the next 2 games, before a masterful 8-inning shutout performance by Masahiro Tanaka, who always seems to pitch well vs. the Blue Jays. Looking ahead, the Blue Jays have a three game series vs. the Texas Rangers, who took two of three in Arlington back in the beginning of May. Then the Blue Jays FINALLY get an off-day after 20 straight days of games. They then face the Seattle Mariners before embarking on the final west coast road trip of the season. Like the Blue Jays, the Mariners are in the midst of a rebuild and are likely several seasons away from contending. The only names you'll really recognize on Seattle's roster are 2B Dee Gordon, Kyle Seagar and Mallex Smith. Felix Hernandez is recovering from a right shoulder strain that has kept him out the bulk of the season. He was just sent on a rehab assignment this week, so he'll be a few weeks away. Mitch Hanigar ruptured a testicle and is out a few weeks. Here are ten random thoughts from week 19 of the MLB.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Game #121 New York Yankees (77-41) @ Toronto Blue Jays (49-72) - game recap

Masahiro Tanaka threw 8 dominant innings in a 1-0 shutout over the Blue Jays

The Blue Jays were going for a rare series win vs the all-mighty Yankees. The Blue Jays were facing a formidable opposing pitcher in Masahiro Tanaka who has historically given him trouble. Meanwhile, Trent Thornton got the start for the Blue Jays. A pair of roster moves are anticipated today with righty Neil Ramirez, a free agent signing this week and Billy McKinney spotted in the clubhouse. Ken Giles could be one of the roster moves as his elbow has not responded to the cortisone shot. Could he be the third reliever headed to Dr. Andrews for season-ending surgery. I think McKinney is being brought up because the team is not comfortable with just 2 available off the bench. Vlad got the whole day off as a reward for hitting his first career triple. I'm not even going to begin to analyze Charlie Montoyo's lineup decisions because they are random and bizarre at the best of times. It was Cavan Biggio's turn to get the half day off, serving as the DH. Reese McGuire got the start behind the plate with the short turnaround between games. Could the Blue Jays take the series win? Here is today's game recap.

#121 - New York Yankees (76-41) at Toronto Blue Jays (49-71)



Sunday, August 11, 2019 | 1:07 pm
Rogers Centre | Toronto, Ontario

Masahiro Tanaka (7-6, 4.93, 1.32) vs. Trent Thornton (4-7, 5.55, 1.53)


PREAMBLE:

The Blue Jays, having won the past two games, look to secure a series win in the finale of a four-game series against the Evil Empire.

In a stunning development, we have two actual starting pitchers going up against each other in today's game.  Yes, stop the presses and put Wince on defibrillator-watch.  Trent Thornton takes the ball for the Jays as he faces off against Masahiro Tanaka, who is 3-3, 3.70 in eight Rogers Centre starts.


Saturday, August 10, 2019

Game #120 New York Yankees (76-41) @ Toronto Blue Jays (49-71) - game recap

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. hit his first career triple to lead the Blue Jays to a 5-4 victory over the Yankees

After laying a beat down on the Yankees thanks to the bats of Danny Jansen (3-run HR) and Teoscar Hernandez (2 HR; solo shot and 2-run dinger) the Blue Jays were trying to make it 2 in a row against one of the better teams in the league. It won't take much for catastrophe to strike. The Blue Jays are taking a huge risk with a 2-man bench with Lourdes Gurriel Jr. on the 10 day IL. For today, Reese McGuire and Brandon Drury were the only ones on the bench in the event of injury. Bo Bichette got the half day off, serving as the DH. Could the Blue Jays make it two in a row vs. the Yankees? Here is today's game recap.

Game #120 New York Yankees (76-40) @ Toronto Blue Jays (48-71)

                                                      

                                                  Saturday August 10, 3:07 PM EST
                                                                     Skydome


                                         Chad Green RHP,2-3, 45.2IP, 4.93 ERA, 1.45 whip, 59 SO
                     
                                                                            vs

                                         Wilmer Font RHP, 2-3, 57.1 IP, 4.71 ERA, 1.29 whip, 58 SO


Another quick and dirty game thread.


A two man bench is sub optimal.
Wow
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">With 4 HR, the <a href="https://twitter.com/BlueJays?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@BlueJays</a> have 38 home runs over their last 14 games. That ties the most home runs by any team over a 14-game span in MLB history; the other teams to do so were the 1987 Orioles, 2005 Yankees, 2006 Braves and 2019 Twins. <a href="https://twitter.com/StatsBySTATS?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@StatsBySTATS</a></p>&mdash; Ben Wagner (@benwag247) <a href="https://twitter.com/benwag247/status/1160011558954721280?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">August 10, 2019</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>


Line ups




Friday, August 9, 2019

Game #119 New York Yankees (76-40) @ Toronto Blue Jays (48-71) - game recap

Danny Jansen hit a 3-run HR in an 8-2 victory over the mighty Yankees 

After Blue Jays pitching got knocked around by the Yankees, led by 2 2-run HR by old friend Gio Urshela, the Blue Jays turned to SRF to try and right the ship. Danny Jansen was back behind the plate after sitting out two days in a row. Freddy Galvis got a half day off tonight, serving as the DH tonight. Justin Smoak got the full day off with Brandon Drury at 1st base. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. was place om the ILwith a grade 1 quad strain. It was learned prior to the game (not surprisingly) that Ryan Borucki's season is over. He had a procedure to remove bone spurs this week. Could the Blue Jays beat the Yankees and tie the series. Here is tonight's game recap.

#119 - Yankees (76-39) vs Blue Jays (47-71)


Fri, Aug 9 • 7:07 PM EDT
At SkyDome

JA Happ LHP 9-6, 115.0 IP, 5.24 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, 91 K
vs
Sean Reid-Foley RHP 1-2, 21.2 IP, 2.49 ERA, 1.52 WHIP, 18 K

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Game #118 New York Yankees (76-39) @ Toronto Blue Jays (47-71) - game recap

Reese McGuire was 4-4 with 3 runs scored and an RBI in a losing effort as the Yankees doubled up on the Blue Jays 12-6

After a successful ten-day road trip where they went 7-3, they returned home for the first time since the trade deadline with a decidedly different team. Stroman and Sogard were dealt before the plane left the tarmac for Kansas City. David Phelps, Daniel Hudson, Aaron Sanchez and Joe Biagini were all sent packing on or before deadline day. Don't tell the Blue Jays they are worse off. They have been playing loose and like their jobs are on the line. Bo Bichette had hits in his first 10 career games, and has set a new franchise mark for extra base hits to start a career. Vlad has taken off after showing some fatigue the week or two after his outstanding Home run derby performance. Tonight, the Blue Jays take on a Yankees team that knows a thing or two about making the most out of little. Their current IL list is big enough to field a team and then some! Prior to the game, the Blue Jays sent down Brock Stewart to get a fresh arm up. Righty Zack Godley took a seat in the bullpen tonight. Thomas Pannone got the start today. Reese McGuire got his second straight start behind the plate  Perhaps Danny Jansen is still feeling the effects of the ball he took off he nether-region a couple of days ago. Cavan Biggio and Vlad were back in the lineup a day after sitting out the road trip finale. Could the Blue Jays extend the winning streak against a red-hot Yankees team that has won 8 straight? Here is tonight's game recap.

Game Highlights:
  • The Yankees opened the scoring in the top of the 1st as Gio Urshela slammed a 2-run bomb to left-center also scoring DJ LeMahieu
  • The Yankees added a run in the top of the 3rd on a wild pitch by Thomas Pannone that scored Bryvec Valera
  • A batter later, Urshela smashed his second two-run blast of the game to left-center also scoring LeMahieu
  • Two batters later, Cameron Maybin singled home Didi Gregorius
  • A batter, Mike Tauchman hammered a two-bomb to right
  • Thomas Pannone pitching line: 2.1 IP 6H 7R (all earned) 0BB 1K 55 pitches (37 for strikes)
  • The Blue Jays got on the board in the bottom of the 5th as Derek Fisher led off with a solo blast to right-center 
  • Two batters later, Bo Bichette hammered a two-run bomb off the basing of the 3rd deck in left; also scoring Reese McGuire
  • Two batters later, Lourdes Gurriel Jr. singled home Cavan Biggio
  • The Yankees added a pair of runs in the top of the 6th as LeMahieu singled scoring Mike Ford and Valera
  • Domingo German pitching line: 5IP 8H 4R (3 earned) 1BB 3K 90 pitches (64 for strikes)
  • The Blue Jays got one back in the bottom of the 6th as Bichette doubled home McGuire
  • The Blue Jays got one back in the bottom of the 8th as McGuire lined a solo drive to right
  • The Yankees added a pair of runs in the top of the 9th as Tauchman singled scoring Urshela and Maybin
  • Final score: Yankees 12 Blue Jays 6
My Take:
  • It was not Thomas Pannone's finest hour to be sure. The Blue Jays lefty got burned on three separate occasions for leaving balls in the middle of the plate. Most MLB teams will capitalize on those pitches, but the Yankees are especially adept at hitting balls over the wall. Pannone also threw two wild pitches and hit a batter. Given the lack of alternative starting options, it's likely Pannone remains in the starting rotation for the remainder of the season.
  • A very scary moment in the 9th. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. took a very awkward and hard spill at 1st base trying to beat out an infield single. He also went down hard on his left quad. In fact, when I saw it on my stream, I immediately thought of when Troy Tulowitzki badly injured his ankle on a very similar play. Don't be shocked if Gurriel's season is in jeopardy. Certainly his availability for the weekend series vs. his brother and the Houston Astros would appear to be very much up in the air. Too bad because Gurriel Jr. was 2-5 tonight with an RBI. He has emerged an elite outfielder with an incredible 9 outfield assists and was one of the Blue Jays better hitters with a .277 average with 19 HR and 46RBI heading into tonight's game.
  • Onto some happier news. Bo Bichette continues to hammer MLB pitching and he's now on par with some very elite company. He extended his extra base hit streak to nine games (first to do so since Ted Williams in 1939. He also extended his hitting streak to 11 games, 3rd longest to start a career behind Rocco Baldelli (13 game streak) and Eddie Murphy (12 game hitting streak). Bichette also set a new MLB mark for most consecutive games with a double (9). Think of all the elite players who have played in the MLB and Bichette is shattering these records at age 21!
  • Reese McGuire sure took advantage of playing two days in a row. He was 4 for 4 at the plate, scoring three times, including a solo home run. If I'm Charlie Montoyo I stick with McGuire while he has a hot stick. However, it's more likely than not that Danny Jansen returns behind the plate tomorrow
  • Up next, the Blue Jays try to even the series as Sean-Reid Foley tries to have a better outing than five days ago when he gave up 4 runs (just one earned due to errors in the field) on 4 hits while walking 4 and striking out 2. The Yankees will counter with ex-Blue Jay lefty JA Happ.

#118 - Yankees (75-39) vs Blue Jays (47-70)


Thu, Aug 8 • 7:07 PM EDT
At SkyDome

Domingo Germán RHP 14-2, 104.0 IP, 3.98 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 114 K
vs
Thomas Pannone LHP 2-4, 55.2 IP, 5.98 ERA, 1.37 WHIP, 56 K

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Game #117 Toronto Blue Jays (47-70) @ Tampa Bay Rays (66-50) - game recap

Derek Fisher hit a 2-run HR that stood up as the game winner in a 4-3 victory over the Rays

After blowing a six run lead and losing on a wild pitch in the bottom of the 10th, the Blue Jays were looking to escape Tampa Bay with a series win. The last time the Blue Jays won a series in Tampa Bay was May 5-7, 2017. Today, the Blue Jays tried for the series win with a plethora of bullpen arms. Wilmer Font got the "start". He went two innings last time he was used as an opener. Both Cavan Biggio and Vlad got complete days off. It's not that surprising that Vlad was not in the lineup. He had a massive throwing error and was 0-fer at the plate. He looked like he needed a day off. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. got a half day off, serving as the DH today. Freddy Galvis took Biggio's spot at second base and Brandon Drury was at the hot corner. Reese McGuire got the start behind the plate with the short turnaround between games. Could the Blue Jays escape TB with a series win? Here is today's game recap.

Game #117 Toronto Blue Jays (46-70) @ Tampa Bay Rays (66-49) - game thread

Wed, Aug 7 • 1:10 PM EDT
At Tropicana Field  House of Horrors

Jacob Waguespack  RHP 2-1, 30.0 IP, 4.80 ERA, 1.40 WHIP, 24 K
vs
Brendan McKay LHP 2-1, 24.2 IP, 4.38 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 25 K

In a shocking development, the Tampa Bay Rays are using a legit starter that's expected to pitch the bulk of the innings. Today, they send out rookie southpaw Brendan McKay, who will be making his 6th career big league start. Meanwhile, the Blue Jays will have a bullpen day with righty Wilmer Font acting as the opener. Five days ago, Font went two innings, and is capable of eating one of two more innings if need be. However, the Blue Jays will probably keep him to two innings max, given the uncertainty of the starting rotation that can have a bad game at any time. Also, the Blue Jays still have a week to go before an off day.

News and notes from the farm system
A few stats from Blue Jays stats man Scott Carson from last night's game



Lineups:

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Game #116 Toronto Blue Jays (46-70) @ Tampa Bay Rays (66-49) - game recap

Kevin Kiermaier scored on a wild pitch in the bottom of the 10th as the Rays came from behind to edge the Blue Jays 7-6

After a rare shutout of the Tampa Bay Rays thanks to stellar pitching from Jacob Waguespack (1st 6 innings), Justin Shafer, Tim Mayza and Derek Law. Tonight, Trent Thornton tries to replicate his strong pitching performance from five days ago. Andrew Kittredge will get the ball first tonight for the Rays. Bo Bichette got the half day off, serving as the DH tonight. He's looking to extend his MLB record 9-extra base hits. Teoscar Hernandez got the start in CF between Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and Randal Grichuk. Justin Smoak got the complete day off with Brandon Drury at 1st. Danny Jansen was back behind the plate after sitting last night. Could the Blue Jays make it two in a row against the Rays in their little dome of horrors? Here is tonight's game recap.

Game #116: Blue @ Ray



Tues, Aug 6 • 7:10 PM EDT
World's Emptiest Food Court

Trent Thornton  RHP 4-7, 5.23 ERA, 1.50 WHIP
Andrew Kittredge  RHP 1-0, 2.52 ERA, 1.28 WHIP

Monday, August 5, 2019

Game #115 Toronto Blue Jays (46-69) @ Tampa Bay Rays (65-49) - game recap

Bo Bichette scored both Blue Jays runs in a 2-0 shutout over the Rays

After sweeping the Roals and splitting four games with the Orioles, the Blue Jays kicked off week 18 of the sched with a three-game set in Tampa Bay against Eric Sogard and the Rays. Yennsy Dia was sent right back to double-AA a day after being roughed up over 0.2 of an inning. Righty Brock Stewart was recalled to take his spot in the bullpen. Jacob Waguespack got the start against ex-Astro Charlie Morton and we all know what one start in Houston did for Aaron Sanchez. Derek Fisher was back in the lineup after missing a day to recover from taking a routine fly ball off the face. Reese McGuire got the start behind the plate. Freddy Galvis must still be dealing with lingering issues with his back because he was DH'ing tonight. Could the Blue Jays snap the two game winning streak? Here is tonight's game recap.

#115 - Blue Jays (45-69) vs Rays (65-48)

Mon, Aug 5 • 7:10 PM EDT
At Tropicana Field  House of Horrors

Jacob Waguespack  RHP 2-1, 30.0 IP, 4.80 ERA, 1.40 WHIP, 24 K
vs
Charlie Morton  RHP 12-3, 130.0 IP, 2.78 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, 165 K

Ten weekly random thoughts: Week 18: July 29-August 4


The Blue Jays had a week of weaker opponents and as expected they dominated. It was also trade deadline week and after saying goodbye to Marcus Stroman and Eric Sogard following Sunday's game, the Blue Jays dealt relievers Daniel Hudson (Washington Nationals) and David Phelps (Chicago Cubs) and starter Aaron Sanchez and reliever Joe Biagini, along with prospect Cal Stevenson (all three went to Houston). Freddy Galvis and Ken Giles were effectively taken off the trade market due to respective lower back and elbow injuries. Despite the weaker lineup, the Blue Jays really had a good week on the backs of solid pitching and the kids  Vlad, Cavan, and Bo all bringing their "A" games. Guerrero Jr. set the new rookie record for most grand slams by rookies in a single season. The no-doubter he hit vs. KC was the 5th by a Blue Jays rookie this season. Rowdy Tellez hit a pair of grand slams, Vlad has two and Biggio has one. It's entirely possible that the rookies could double the mark by the end of the season. After pummeling the Royals into submission, the Blue Jays went into Baltimore, who traded Andrew Cashner to the Red Sox. Randal Grichuk had a scary moment, fouling a ball off his mouth Thursday (more on that later). Lourdes Gurriel Jr. injured his knee Wednesday and missed a game and a half (more on that later). Nick Kingham was also placed on the 10-day DL with an oblique strain (more on that later). The other situation to discuss is Ryan Borucki (more on that later). Looking at the week ahead, the Blue Jays face some decidedly stiffer competition. First, they will head to Tampa Bay where they will face ex-teammate Eric Sogard, who continues to be consistently solid at the plate, batting over .300 over his first three games as a Ray. The Blue Jays then face the first place NY Yankees for four at the Rogers Center. The Yankees are starting to pull away in the AL East title race, with an 8-game cushion following the win in the first game of the double-header vs. the Red Sox Saturday. The Yankees have been solid despite Luis Severino and Dellin Betances not throwing a pitch thus far this season, Troy Tulowitzki playing all of 32 innings before yet another calf injury that eventually forced him to retire, Miguel Andujar missing all but 12 games, Greg Bird missing all but 10 games, Jacoby Ellsbury missing his second straight season, Giancarlos Stanton missing all but 9 games (by the way, he hurt his knee 6th game back at the end of June vs. the Blue Jays diving into 3rd base). Oh, and Edwin Encarnacion fractured his wrist Saturday getting hit by a pitch. Any other team would be in the basement of their division. Credit the incredible job Aaron Boone and co. have done getting the most out of this lineup of misfits. Here are ten random thoughts from week 18 of the MLB.

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Game #114 Toronto Blue Jays (45-69) @ Baltimore Orioles (38-73) - game recap

Randal Grichuk was 4-5 with a run scored and an RBI in a losing effort as the Blue Jays were edged by the Orioles 6-5

After having their winning streak snapped by the lowly Baltimore Orioles, the Blue Jays were back at it going for the series win. Righty Sean Reid-Foley got the start, coming off a start of five shutout innings. Danny Jansen was back in the lineup after a day off yesterday. No Derek Fisher to no surprise given the golf ball sized welt he had from taking a flyball to the face. Vlad got the half day off, serving as the DH while Brandon Drury played the hot corner. Randal Grichuk was back in the field after a complete day off and a half day off (DH'd yesterday) to recover from fouling a ball off his face. Could the Blue Jays make it three of from in Baltimore? Here is today's game recap.

#114 - Toronto Blue Jays (45-68) vs Baltimore Orioles (37-73)

Sun, Aug 4 • 1:05 PM EDT
At Oriole Park at Camden Yards

Sean Reid-Foley RHP 1-1, 17.2 IP, 2.55 ERA, 1.42 WHIP 16 K
vs 
Jimmy Yacbonis RHP 1-2, 22.2 IP, 7.34 ERA, 1.54 WHIP, 33 K

Tough one last night. The game started out with the Blue Jays taking an early lead. However, perhaps as an omen, Derek Fisher took a fly ball off the face. Thomas Pannone more or less cruised threw the first four innings before tiring and giving up a four-spot on two separate home runs. Today, the Blue Jays turn to Sean Reid-Foley, who threw five shutout innings last time out. The Orioles will have a bullpen day! Their opener will be reliever Jimmy Yacbonis.

Derek Fisher update
Lineups

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Game #113 Toronto Blue Jays (45-68) @ Baltimore Orioles (37-73) - game recap

Trey Mancini hit a 3-run HR and drove in a 4th run as the Orioles came from behind to defeat the Blue Jays 6-4

The Blue Jays were looking to extend their winning streak to a game high six games tonight. Thomas Pannone got the start. He brought a 2-4 record with a 5.98ERA in 26 appearances (4 starts) into today's tilt. Expect Pannone to get a regular turn in the rotation, especially with the uncertainty of Borucki. Reese McGuire got the start behind the plate. Cavan Biggio was given the complete day off. Randal Grichuk returned to the lineup after missing yesterday to recover from fouling a ball off his mouth. He served as the DH tonight. Before the game, Nick Kingham was placed on the 10 day IL with an oblique strain. Righty Yennsy Diaz was recalled to take his place in the bullpen. Could the Blue Jays make it 6 in a row? Here is tonight's game recap.

Game Highlights:
  • The Blue Jays opened the scoring in the top of the 1st as Vladimir Guerrero Jr. doubled home Bo Bichette
  • The Blue Jays added a run in the top of the 3rd as Freddy Galvis smacked a solo shot to right
  • The Orioles got one back in the bottom of the 5th as Jonathan Villar smacked a solo blast to left-center
  • Five batters later, Trey Mancini slammed a three-run bomb to straightaway center also scoring Stevie Wilkerson and Hanser Alberto
  • Dylan Bundy pitching line: 5.1IP 5H 2R (both earned) 1BB 7K 97 pitches (65 for strikes)
  • The Blue Jays tied it in the top of the 7th as Reese McGuire lined a 2-run shot just over the wall in right also scoring Brandon Drury
  • Thomas Pannone pitching line: 6IP 4H 4R (all earned) 1BB 9K 88 pitches (56 for strikes)
  • The Orioles took the lead in the bottom half of the inning as Alberto singled home Chris Davis
  • A batter later, Wilkerson scored on a ground out by Mancini
  • Paul Fry pitched a perfect 9th for his 3rd save of the season
  • Final score: Orioles 6 Blue Jays 4
My Take:
  • Scary moment in the bottom of the 1st as Derek Fisher had a fly ball hit him flush in the right cheek and nose. He immediately went down and grabbed his face. After being examined by trainer Nikki Huffman, he was removed from the game. Here's hoping he only misses a game or two because it did not look good.
  • Thomas Pannone threw six solid innings, allowing 4 runs on 4 hits while walking one and striking out nine and a fielding error by Fisher. The damage against the the Blue Jays southpaw came in the 5th inning when the Orioles connected for a pair of home runs (a solo shot and a 3-run blast). At one point, Pannone retired 8 in a row, including 4 straight strikeouts. He did enough to remain in the rotation.
  • Bo Bichette (2-5, 1 runs scored), Freddy Galvis (2-3, a run scored), Vladimmir Guerrero Jr. (3-4, 1RBI), and Teoscar Hernadez (2-4) had strong days at the plate. It was nice to see Reese McGuire connect for a 2-run blast.
  • Up next, the Blue Jays go for the series win. Sean Reid-Foley will be looking to build on a start of 5 shutout innings five days ago, The Orioles will counter with righty Jimmy Yacbonis, who will play the role of opener, likely going 1-2 innings.

#113 - Toronto Blue Jays (45-67) vs Baltimore Orioles (36-73)

Sat, Aug 3 • 7:05 PM EDT
At Oriole Park at Camden Yards

Thomas Pannone LHP 2-4, 49.2 IP, 5.98 ERA, 1.43 WHIP, 47 K
vs
Dylan Bundy RHP 5-11, 103.0 IP, 5.24 ERA, 1.38 WHIP, 105 K

The first two games of this series weren't that close really. The Blue Jays come into this one looking to extend the winning streak to a season-high 6 games. When Bundy faced Toronto a month ago, he threw 6.2 innings of 3 hit ball, allowing just a single run and walking a pair while striking out 6. Hopefully the Blue Jays will have better success tonight.

News and notes courtesy of Shi Davidi

Lineups


BAL Lineup
  1. Hanser Alberto (R) 3B
  2. Trey Mancini (R) RF
  3. Anthony Santander (S) LF
  4. Renato Nunez (R) DH
  5. Pedro Severino (R) C
  6. Jonathan Villar (S) 2B
  7. Chris Davis (L) 1B
  8. Stevie Wilkerson (S) CF
  9. Richie Martin (R) SS

Friday, August 2, 2019

Game #112 Toronto Blue Jays (45-67) @ Baltimore Orioles (36-73) - game recap

Freddy Galvis was 3-5 with 2 runs scored and 2RBI as the Blue Jays knocked off the Orioles 5-2

After laying a thorough beat down on the Orioles last night, the Blue Jays were looking to make it a season-high 5 game winning streak. Billy McKinney was optioned to Buffalo for righty Nick Kingham to get an extra arm in the bullpen. Wilmer Font got the start. Derek Fisher got his first start as a Blue Jay a day after being pressed into action in the middle of an at-bat after Randal Grichuk, who was not in the lineup, fouled a ball off his mouth. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. also returned to the lineup after sitting out a game with a sore knee. Brandon Drury got the start at first base, with Justin Smoak give the half day off, serving as the DH tonight. Could the Blue Jays make it five wins in a row? Here is tonight's game recap.