Thursday, September 19, 2019

Game #152 Toronto Blue Jays (61-91) @ Baltimore Orioles (49-103) - game recap

Randal Grichuk hit a grand slam in an epic come from behind 11-10 victory over the hapless Orioles

After a convincing come from behind win last night that moved the Blue Jays within striking distance of 63 wins and avoiding 100 losses, the Blue Jays were back at it and looking for the series win. Righty Clay Buchholz was on the hill. He has pitched pretty solid since returning from a serious grade 2 strain of his teres major muscle. Blue Jays batters had to contend with Dylan Bundy, who brought a career 4-3 record with a 3.24ERA in 13 games (9 of them starts) against the Blue Jays. Vlad got the half day off, serving as the DH tonight with Brandon Drury playing the hot corner. Derek Fisher got the start tonight in LF and Rowdy Tellez was back at 1st base. Both players have been in the doghouse recently due to poor play. Prior to the game, the Blue Jays worst fears were realized. Tim Mayza had the surgery to repair his UCL. He also had his ulnar tendon, that was torn right off the bone, repaired. Both tears were complete grade 3 tears. The outcome means Mayza will not only miss the remainder of this season, but the entirety of next season too. His aim will be spring training 2021. Could the Blue Jays make it 3 wins in a row? Here is tonight's game recap.

Game Highlights:
  • The Orioles opened the scoring in the bottom of the first as Rio Ruiz doubled home Anthony Santander
  • A batter later, Austin Hays doubled home Ruiz
  • The Blue Jays got one back in the top of the 2nd as Bo Bichette singled scoring Rowdy Tellez
  • The Orioles added 2 more runs in the bottom half of the inning as Trey Mancini doubled home DJ Stewart and Jonathan Villar
  • The Orioles added a run in the bottom of the 4th as Villar hammered a solo bomb to right-center
  • Two batters later, Santander smashed a 2-run blast to right-center, also scoring Mancini
  • Clay Buchholz pitching line: 3.2IP 10H 7R (all earned) 0BB 4K 85 pitches (54 for strikes)
  • Dylan Bundy pitching line: 5IP 5H 1R (earned) 5BB 8K 105 pitches (63 for strikes)
  • The Blue Jays got one back in the top pf the 6th as Bichette singled home Tellez
  • The Blue Jays got three back in the top of the 7th as Teoscar Hernandez drilled a 3-run bomb to dead center; also scoring Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Reese McGuire
  • The Orioles added a run in the bottom half of the inning as Hays scored on a sac fly by Stewart
  • The Orioles added a run in the bottom of the 8th as Villar scored on a sac fly by Mancini
  • The Blue Jays got one back in the top of the 9th as Cavan Biggio singled home Tellez
  • A batter later, Randal Grichuk completed the epic comeback with a grand slam to left also scoring Richard Urena, Billy McKinney and Biggio
  • Two batters later, McGuire doubled home Jonathan Davis
  • The Orioles got one back in the bottom of the 9th as Stewart doubled scoring Hanser Alberto
  • Derek Law pitched the 9th for his 5th save of the season
  • Final score: Blue Jays 11 Orioles 10
My Take:
  • It's funny how baseball works sometimes. Orioles starter Dylan Bundy allowed just one run on five hits, but he walked 5 batters over 5 innings. Clay Buchholz did not walk a batter, but gave up 7 runs on 10 hits. The defense, and an unlikely source in Derek Fisher, saved Buchholez from further damage by leaping to rob Anthony Santander of a HR in the 1st inning.
  • It was a tale of 2 games in one. It looked for half the game like the Orioles were going to take the second game of the series, but then the Orioles bullpen combined to allowed 10 runs on 10 hits, along with 4 walks, capped off by a go-ahead grand slam. Thank goodness the Blue Jays tacked on one more insurance run because Derek Law came in and very nearly blew the save, loading the bases before getting Stevie Wilkerson to pop out and Trey Mancini, who had been killing the Blue Jays all night, to bounce out to 2B.
  • I guess Ken Giles was unavailable on back-to back nights. I can understand the Blue Jays caution given the elbow issues he's battled all year
  • The Blue Jays got a couple of injury scares. First Vlad was forced to leave the game after sliding awkwardly into second base. It's unclear if that's where the injury occurred or if he did something after turning on the jets after trotting into 1st thinking he was going to be out. Expect the Blue Jays to be extra cautious with him. The other injury scare was to Reese McGuire, who had a deflected ball go off his sensitive area. A few pitches later, a second bounced ball almost nailed him. Danny Jansen was getting set to come into the game after the first pitch, but McGuire was able to continue.
  • Bo Bichette (3-6, 2 RBI), Cavan Biggio (2-6, run scored, RBI), Grichuk (go-head grand slam), Reese McGuire (3-4, run scored, RBI, 2 walks), Teoscar Hernandez (3-run HR to get the Blue Jays within striking distance), and Rowdy Tellez (1-2, 3 runs scored, 3 walks) all had good days at the plate
  • Up next, the Blue Jays go for the series sweep as Wilmer Font serves as the opener for Anthony Kay. The Orioles will counter with righty Gabriel Ynoa

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

no. 152: Blue Jays (60-91) at Baltimore (49-102)



Wednesday 18 September 2019 - 7:05 PM ET - Camden Yards
Clay Buchholz (RHP 1-5 5.63 ERA 25 SO) v. Dylan Bundy (RHP 6-14 4.99 ERA 148 SO)

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Game #151 Toronto Blue Jays (60-91) @ Baltimore Orioles (49-102) - game recap

Cavan Biggio hit for the cycle, drove in 4 runs, scored three times and stole a pair of bases as the Blue Jays came from behind to defeat the Orioles 8-5

The Blue Jays kicked off their final road trip of the season in Baltimore. Both AL East teams are locked into 4th (Blue Jays) and 5th (Orioles) respectively in the division standings. The Blue Jays will need 4 wins in the final dozen games to avoid their 4th 100 loss season in franchise history. The Orioles would appear to be the easiest opponent left with a home and home set of 6 games left between the two squads. In between the series with the Orioles, the Blue Jays will be in NY to take on a Yankees team they just took 2 of 3 from last weekend in Toronto. The Blue Jays wrap up the season at home against the TB Rays, who they were swept by in 4 straight earlier this month in TB. Tonight, the Blue Jays opted to go with Ryan Tepera as the opener, with Trent Thornton expected to pitch the next several innings. Lourdes Gurriel was DH'ing for the 2nd time in 3 games as the Blue Jays ease him back to playing after missing more than a month with a quad strain. Justin Smoak started at 1B for the 3rd straight game after Rowdy Tellez was pulled from the game for not hustling to 1B last Friday.  Danny Jansen got the start behind the plate Could the Blue Jays reduce their magic number to avoid 100 losses to three wins? Here is tonight's game recap.

#151 - Toronto Blue Jays (59-91) @ LOLioles (49-101)


Tue, Sep 17 • 7:05 PM EDT
At Oriole Park at Camden Yards
Ryan Tepera (RHP 0-2, 15.2 IP, 5.17 ERA, 1.47 WHIP, 12 K)
vs
Chandler Shepard (RHP 0-0, 7 IP, 3.86 ERA, 1.57 WHIP, 5 K)

Monday, September 16, 2019

Ten weekly random thoughts: Week 24 -September 9-15


This week was full of highs (taking two of three from Boston and walking off the Yankees Friday) and lows (Tim Mayza injury). The week started with a huge come from behind win over the Red Sox, who had just been eliminated from AL East title contention. TJ Zeuch made his 1st career start, 2nd career appearance. It didn't start out great as his 1st pitch went over the wall for a HR. He settled down after that and gave up 2 more runs on 5 hits while walking three and striking out two. The young guns led the way with Cavan Biggio, Rowdy Tellez and Reese McGuire all smacking big HR over the wall. Biggio, Bo Bichette, and Vlad all made nice plays in the field as well. The next day, The Blue Jays got one of the best pitching performances of the year from Wilmer Font and three relievers. Trent Thornton threw 5 no-hit innings, walking just one batter and striking out 7. The Blue Jays bats provided plenty of run support scoring a combined 8 runs on 9 hits, including 2-run HR by Tellez and Teoscar Hernandez and a 2 run double by Randal Grichuk. The Red Sox took the season series finale Thursday, jumping out to a 4-0 lead after 4 innings they would not relinquish. The Blue Jays had an opportunity to tie and/or take the lead in the bottom of the 8th, but all they could manage was one tun on a bases loaded walk. Elvis Luciano was reinstated off the IL and Clayton Richard was released (more on both later. On Friday, the Blue Jays faced a more formidable opponent in the NY Yankees, who cam into this series with a two game lead for best record in the MLB and home field advantage through the World Series. Friday's game had one of the best moments of the season (huge comeback win) and one of the worst (Tim Mayza injury; more on that later). Anthony Kay got his second career start. The Blue Jays jumped out to a 3-0 lead after 4 innings, then the Yankees got to Zeuch and scored 5 runs on 5 hits and a fielder's choice (the last hit was allowed by reliever Jason Adam). The Blue Jays tied it in the 7th on a balk by Yankees reliever Adam Ottavino. The Mayza injury happened in the 10th and Bichette ended the game with a walk-off HR in the 12th. Obviously, the main concern after the game was for Mayza. On Saturday, Brett Gardner torched Blue Jays pitching, hitting a pair of home runs and a double and 5RBI. He even wounded Blue Jays reliever Jordan Romano with a come-backer off the leg. Romano had the fortitude to lob it to 2nd for the fielder's choice, but he came up limping and was eventually helped off the field by trainer Jose Minstral and Charlie Montoyo.. Luke Volt had 3 runs and 2 RBI as the Yankees battered Blue Jays pitching. James Paxton had a 1-hitter through 4 innings before the Blue Jays got to him a bit in the 5th and managed one run. In the series finale Sunday, The Blue Jays had their second come from behind win in 3 days against the best team in baseball, thanks to Randal Grichuk, who hit a huge 3-run HR in the 5th to give the Blue Jays a 3 run lead they would not relinquish. Zeuch earned his first career win by pitching 5.1 innings. The two teams meet in NY this weekend.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Game #150 New York Yankees (98-53) @ Toronto Blue Jays (59-91) - game recap

Randal Grichuk hit a 3-run HR in the 5th that proved to be the difference as the Blue Jays came from behind to defeat the Yankees 6-4

After getting spanked by the Yankees 13-3 last night, the Blue Jays look to win both series this week against two bitter division rivals (they took two of three from Boston already and won the opener of this series in a come from behind extra innings battle that was very costly with the loss of Tim Mayza to TJ surgery). Both teams opted to use openers today with righties Wilmer Font and Chad Green expected to pitch the 1st inning. Vlad got the full day off with Richard Urena at the hot corner today. Rowdy Tellez is apparently in the doghouse still as he remained out of the lineup for the second day in a row after being pulled from the game Friday for failing to hustle down to first on a ground out. Brandon Drury got the start there today. Derek Fisher also appears to be in the doghouse for poor defense with Billy McKinney starting in left. It's kind of refreshing to see Montoyo preaching accountability. Could the Blue Jays end the home stand with a win? Here is today's game recap.

Game #150 New York Yankees (98-52) @ Toronto Blue Jays (58-91) - game thread


Sunday, September 15, 2019 | 1:07 pm
Rogers Centre | Toronto, Ontario

Chad Green (4-4, 4.57ERA, 1.29WHIP) vs. Wilmer Font (4-4, 4.14ERA, 1.25WHIP; these are his combined 2019 stats)

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.

#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.

#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.

#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.