Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Game #15 Miami Marlins (8-4) @ Toronto Blue Jays (6-9) - game recap

 

Travis Shaw hit a pair of home runs, including the game-tying solo shot in the 8th  in a losing effort in a wild 14-11 loss to the Marlins

I'm dedicating this game recap to Susan McRae, a Blue Jays fan who passed away this morning. After pulling out their first extra innings win of the season, the Blue Jays wrapped up their brief 2-game series against the Miami Marlins, aka, the team that nearly killed the baseball season. Nate Pearson got the 3rd start of his career, looking to notch his first career W. Same lineup as last night, except Rowdy Tellez was at DH. Could the Blue Jays finally win a series? Here is tonight's game recap.

Game Highlights:

  • The Marlins opened the scoring in the top of the 1st as Brian Anderson smashed a three-run bomb to left; also scoring Matthew Joyce and Corey Dickerson
  • The Marlins added a run in the top of the 3rd as Eddy Alvarez drew a bases loaded walk forcing in Dickerson,
  • Two batters later, a run (Joyce) came home on a fielding error by Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Magneuris Sierra just beat Guerrero Jr. to the bag. The call was upheld after the Blue Jays challenged
  • A batter later, Francisco Cervelli scored on a passed ball by Danny Jansen
  • A batter later, Alvarez stole home
  • A batter later, Jesus Aguilar singled home Sierra
  • Nate Pearson pitching line: 2.1IP 5H 7R (4 earrned) 4BB 1K 65 pitches (33 for strikes)
  • The Blue Jays got a pair back in the bottom half of the inning as Teoscar Hernandez smacked a 2-run blast to left-center; also scoring Bo Bichette 
  • The Blue Jays got 2 more back in the bottom of the 4th as Rowdy Tellez crushed a 2-run blast to right-center also scoring Randal Grichuk
  • Jordan Yamamoto pitching line: 3.1IP 7H 4R (all earned) 2BB 5K 75 pitches (42 for strikes)
  • The Marlins added a run in the top of the 5th as Jonathan Villar singled home Cervelli
  • A batter later, Aguilar singled scoring Alvarez and Jon Berti
  • The Blue Jays got a pair back in the bottom half of the inning on their third 2-run HR of the night, this time to left by Travis Shaw; also scoring Bichette
  • The Blue Jays got a pair back in the bottom of the 6th as Danny Jansen clobbered a 2-run bomb to left also scoring Tellez
  • The Blue Jays got one back in the bottom of the 7th as Guerrero Jr. sent a screamer over the wall in dead center 
  • The Blue Jays got one back in the bottom of the 8th as Bichette smacked a solo shot to left-center
  • A batter later, the Blue Jays tied the game as Shaw sent a bomb to right-center 
  • The Marlins took the lead in the top of the 10th as Sierra singled home Alvarez and Berti
  • Two batters later, Aguilar singled scoring Sierra 
  • Josh A. Smith pitched a scoreless 10th for his 1st save of the season
  • Final score: Marlins 14 Blue Jays 11

My Take:

  • It was a rough night for Nate Pearson, who gave up 7 runs on 5 hits, while walking 4 and striking out 1. You can throw the ball real hard, but if you don't locate the ball, big league hitters will either clobber it or draw a walk because they won't swing at a bad pitch. Pearson didn't get much help from the defense with three runs being unearned thanks to a fielding error by Vlad with the bases juiced
  • The bullpen wasn't much better. Jacob Waguespack allowed a further 4 runs on 5 hits (2 runs were unearned due to more defensive blunders). Shun Yamagushi has his best outing in a Blue Jays uniform, throwing 2.1 perfect innings and striking out 4. Jordan Romano allowed his first base hit of the season. Rafael Dolis had an ugly inning in the 10th. An unforced error moved the runner up AND the batter on the first play of the inning was safe due to bad positioning. Later in the inning, the Blue Jays nearly got caught with nobody covering third after Danny Jansen had a ball bounce away from him, very nearly allowing Sierra to advance from 1st to 3rd on the play.
  • It was all about the long ball for the Blue Jays offence. In 4 straight innings, the Blue Jays had a 2-run HR. They followed that feat up with 3 solo shots to knot the game at 11. Travis Shaw haad two of the home runs, including the game-tying shot in the 8th. It's clear that the Blue Jays hitters are pretty comfortable playing in Buffalo, as most of them should be having played in Buffalo as the last stop of their minor league careers or as a rehab stint
  • This was an ugly game for the defense that saw the Marlins score SIX unearned runs. This game had it all: Bichette threw the ball away in the 10th, Pearson threw a wild pitch in the 3rd, The Marlins were allowed to steal home, players weren't in a good position on a sac bunt and couldn't even get an out, Danny Jansen had a passed ball get by him, Vlad missed a catch. A big part of baseball is mental. You have to be paying attention to what's going on around you and to your assignment. Bottom line, mentally the Blue Jays weren't ready to play today
  • Up next, after an off-day tomorrow, the Blue Jays open a weekend series against the Tampa Bay Rays. Tanner Roark will start for the Blue Jays against an unknown Rays pitcher (probably an opener)

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Game #14 Miami Marlins (7-4) @ Toronto Blue Jays (6-8) - game recap

 

Travis Shaw knocked in the winning run as the Blue Jays knocked off the Marlins 5-4 in 10 innings for their first extra innings win of the season 

After a marathon 21 day road trip, the Blue Jays FINALLY returned to their temporary home in Buffalo. Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette, Cavan Biggio, Danny Jansen, Reese McGuire, Randal Grichuk, Teoscar Hernandez, Anthony Alford, Santiago Espinal, Billy McKinney, Sam Gaviglio, Jacob Waguespack, Nate Pearson, Wilmer Font, Jordan Romano, Anthony Kay, and Ryan Borucki have all played at least a couple of games for the Buffalo Bisons either as the final stop in their minor careers or as a rehab stint, so most of the team will be familiar with their home city and ball park.The Blue Jays were wearing their 3rd jersey's (baby blue) for the unofficial home opener. Hyun-jin Ryu got the start today, looking to build off a solid start last Tuesday. The usual suspects in your typical every day Blue Jays lineup, except Joe Panik served as the DH today. Danny Jansen was also back behind the plate after having Sunday off and Vlad was back in the field as 1B after DH'ing Sunday. Could the Blue Jays win their unofficial home opener in their temporary new home? Here is tonight's game recap.

Game Highlights:

  • The Marlins took the lead in the top of the 3rd as Brian Anderson lined a solo shot to left
  • The Blue Jays took the lead in the bottom of the 6th on a three-run blast to left by Bo Bichette, also scoring Danny Jansen and Cavan Biggio
  • Elieser Hernandez pitching line: 5.1IP 4H 3R (all earned) 1BB 5K 82 pitches (53 for strikes)
  • Hyun-jin Ryu pitching line: 6IP 2H 1R (earned) 2BB 7K 92 pitches (57 for strikes)
  • The Blue Jays added a run in the bottom of the 7th as Biggio singled home Randal Grichuk
  • The Marlins tied the game in the top of the 9th as Francisco Cervelli cranked a three-run blast to left-center; also scoring Jon Berti and Anderson
  • The Blue Jays walked it off in the bottom of the 10th as Travis Shaw lined a single to right scoring Anthony Alford
  • Final score: Blue Jays 5 Marlins 4

My take:

  •  A starter NOT named Matt Shoemaker managed to pitch into the 6th inning. Hyun-jin Ryu had his best start in a Blue Jays uniform, firing 6 strong innings, allowing just one run on 2 hits while walking 2 and striking out three. More important, he was pretty economical with his pitches and just four batters worked him to a full count. Ryu has proven to be a smart off-season signing by the Blue Jays. Hopefully he can maintain the consistency over the length of the 4-year deal
  • Offensively, the Blue Jays got some timely hitting with Bo Bichette putting the Blue Jays in the lead with a 3-run blast. Cavan Biggio singled home an insurance run the next inning. The Blue Jays had a great approach in the 10th with Danny Jansen advancing the runner with a perfect sac bunt and the next two batters drawing walks (one intentional and one not) then Shaw came throw with a clutch single
  • The bullpen blew the save today, after a strong week last week. Anthony Bass put himself in a tough position, getting behind Cervelli with 3 straight balls. A lot of times, managers give veterans the green light to swing at the pitch on a 3-0 count. Also, a lot of times, the batter will let thar pitch go, knowing that he has 2 more strikes if the next pitch is a strike. A lot  of times, the pitcher is just trying to throw a strike on a 3-0 count, so the pitch is a meatball down the middle. To be honest, I'm surprised more batters don't swing on a 3-0 count with the pitch likely being a desirable one to hit.
  • Joe Panik and Travis Shaw were the only Blue Jays batters in today's lineup who had never played in Buffalo. They had 1 hit (Shaw's game-winning single) in 8AB combined
  • AJ  Cole got his first win in a Blue Jays uniform, pitching the final 1.1 innings
  • Up next, the Blue Jays look for their first series win and sweep as they wrap  up this short two game series. Nate Pearson gets his 3rd career start. The Marlins will counter with Hawaiian-born righty Jordan Yamamoto

Game #14: The Buffalo Blue Jays.

 


Monday, August 10, 2020

Ten weekly random thoughts: week 2 - August 3-9


Baseball has survived another week of play. After a disastrous opening week that saw an entire team, the Miami Marlins, come down with the COVID-19 virus, affecting the schedules of no less than six teams, including your Toronto Blue Jays, the MLB saw a better week with one further team infected by COVID-19. The Weekend series between the Ct. Louis Cardinals and Chicago Cubs was wiped out when sevveral Cardinals players tested positive for COVID-19. As of the publishing of this blog post, the MLB has very little wiggle room left to reschedule games if further teams are affected by the COVID-19 virus or if there is inclement weather. Rob Manfred has already threatened to shut down the league if players don't smarten up and start staying in there bubbles. This week started off rough for the Blue Jays, who were clobbered 10-1 on Tuesday by the Atlanta Braves. It was pretty apparent that the Blue Jays were rusty after having 4 days off between games.  The Blue Jays won the next game on the back of a strong 5 ending 8K performance by Hyun-jin Ryu and a pair of manufactured runs off of base hits and a Sac fly. The Braves took the the rubber match on Thursday with Nick Markakis walking off the Blue Jays in the bottom of the ninth after Toronto had battled back to tie the game in the 7th inning. Next, the Blue Jays moved on to Boston for the final stop in their marathon road trip to start the season. Boston took the opener of the series', building a 4-2 lead after three innings and hanging on for a 5-3 victory. The second game of the weekend series went Toronto's way. Chase Anderson made his Blue Jays debut, coming off at 10 day IL. He threw 2 strong innings and one poor inning. The bullpen picked him up, throwing six shutout innings. Again, the Blue Jays scraped across two runs off an RBI double by Bo Bichette in the 7th and a groundout by Rowdy Tellez in the 8th inning. Sunday's game featured a back and forth game with both teams hitting long balls. Was the game knotted at 3, the Red Sox the 9th off, what else, a home run. It would have been nice for the Blue Jays to wrap up the road trip with the series win, but give the Red Sox credit for their timely hitting. Looking at the week ahead, the Blue Jays start the week with a pair of games against the Miami Marlins. It is likely that the Marlins will not be able to field a very competitive team with most of their players still sick with COVID-19. The Blue Jays wrap up the week with a weekend Series against the Tampa Bay Rays, who they played in the opening weekend in St Petersburg. the Rays won that series on a series of unforced errors By The Blue Jays. Maybe on the weekend the Blue Jays will exact some revenge time. Here are 10 random thoughts from week 2 of the MLB

1. The Blue Jays could see a pair of injured pitchers return in the short term. Ken Giles, who was diagnosed with a mild strain of the flexor mass of his right forearm. He was seen in the bullpen on the weekend doing some arm exercises. The next step is likely to try throwing a bullpen session. If that goes well, he could be back sometime later this week or early next week. Starter Julian Merryweather is also progressing nicely from an oblique strain and could be available as a depth option soon. Normally, when a player is close to returning, they would play some games in the minors. However, that is not an option this year with the minor league season cancelled. Instead, teams will have to limit pitch counts and maybe let returning position players DH as needed.

2. Randal Grichuk returned from the IL after missing a week with an SI joint injury. These are the types of injuries fans can expect to see with this sprint of a season. Grichuk showed no ill effects from the injury and collected 4 hits in 21AB and he drew 2 walks as well. He looked good in the field. Hopefully he stays healthy the rest of the way.

3. Trent Thornton was placed on the 10 day IL after feeling something weird in his pitching elbow. Anytime an injury involves the elbow, you fear Tommy John surgery. Thornton already has a bit of a funky delivery that puts added stress on the elbow. Expect the Blue Jays to exercise caution with Thornton.

4. Outfielder Derek Fisher also missed time this week with a strained left quad. He'll be eligible to come off the IL mid week next week. No word on if he'll be ready at that time.Fisher was batting .250 with 3 hits in 12AB before the injury.

5. Chase Anderson finally made his Blue Jays debut Saturday after starting the year on the 10-day DL. The 32-year-old right-hander was acquired from the Milwaukee Brewers back on November 4th for minor leaguer Chad Spanberger. Anderson pitched 2 strong innings and one inning he'd like to have back. He ended up with the no-decision and got the quick hook, although he was likely on a strict pitch count given that he was coming off the IL and there is no place to play rehab games this season. Expect Anderson to be a spot starter and pitch out of the bullpen as well.

6. Jacob Waguespack had a weird day on Thursday, beginning the day on the Blue Jays roster, being optioned to the taxi squad, along with Espinal Santiago, as teams had to reduce their rosters by 2 players. He was then put back on the big league roster after Trent Thornton was put on the 10-day IL after feeling something weird in his pitching elbow. He warmed up in the bullpen, intending to come into the game in the 6th inning, only to be told he was ineligible as he was not on the official lineup card given to umpire Alan Porter. This was the fault of Charlie Montoyo and before you all say he should be fired for this, give me a break. You can't tell me none of you wouldn't have made the same mistake. 

7. Bonehead decision of the week: The Cleveland Indians were contemplating how to allow fans safely back in the ballpark this week. Um, let's see, one entire team and several other players on several other teams has already been infected with COVID-19, throwing an already tight schedule into disarray and you want fans, who could have COVID-19, into the stands? No way! As it is, it's a miracle the season has lasted this long and we still have 6 weeks to go. At the earliest, fans should not be allowed back into the stadium until there is a vaccine. It's far too risky and baseball players are a unique set of athletes with different body builds. There are probably many more players who have diabetes or heart conditions because they aren't as in shape as athletes in other sports. Umpires and coaches tend to be older as well. Keep the fans at home

8. The Blue Jays better hit the batting cage on their off-day. They struck out 15 times on Sunday and all but Cavan Biggio had at least one strikeout.

9. Three surprising teams two weeks into the season:

  • Oakland A's - 12-4 - first in the AL West
  • Miami Marlns - 7-3* - first in NL East (they have a week's worth of games to make up but are continuing to win)
  • Baltimore Orioles - 7-7 - 3rd in the AL West - I include them because they have lost 100+ games the last 2 seasons. I'd say playing .500 baseball is a huge improvement
10. Blue Jay of the week: Hyun-jin Ryu. He threw 5 solid innings and struck out 8 in his first win in a Blue Jays uniform. Ryu was one of the big-ticket  free agents last off-season. 

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Game #13 Toronto Blue Jays (5-8) @ Boston Red Sox (6-9) - game recap

 

Matt Shoemaker threw 6 strong innings in a losing effort as the Red Sox walked off the Blue Jays 5-3

About 15 hours after edging the Red Sox after scraping two runs across the board (one each in the 7th and 8th) the Blue Jays were back in action, looking for their first series win of the season. Matt Shoemaker made his 3rd start of the season. He had a 3-1 record vs. Boston in 4 games (3 starts) heading into the matinee today. Vlad was back in the field after a half game off, serving as the DH last night. Rowdy Tellez was the DH today. Reese McGuire got the start behind the plate. Could the Blue Jays make it two wins in a row? Here is today's game recap.

Game Highlights:

  • The Red Sox took the lead in the bottom of the 2nd as Mitch Moreland crushed a solo blast to dead center 
  • The Blue Jays tied the game in the top of the 3rd as Cavan Biggio smashed a solo bomb to straightaway center and into the Red Sox bullpen
  • The Red Sox retook the lead in the bottom half of the inning thanks to a throwing error by Matt Shoemaker that allowed Jackie Bradley Jr. to score
  • The Blue Jays tied it in the top of the 4th as Vladimir Guerrero Jr. singled scoring Teoscar Hernandez
  • The Blue Jays took the lead in the top of the 6th as Bo Bichette lined a solo blast to right-center and into the Red Sox bullpen
  • The Red Sox tied the game in the bottom half of the inning as Rafael Devers hammered a solo bomb to dead center 
  • Nathan Eovaldi pitching line: 6IP 6H 3R (all earned) 0BB 10K 91 pitches (63 for strikes)
  • Matt Shoemaker pitching line: 6IP 3H 3R (2 earned) 0BB 6K 89 pitches (59 for strikes) 
  • The Red Sox won it in the bottom of the 9th on a 2-run bomb by Moreland that also scored Bogaerts 
  • Final score: Red Sox 5 Blue Jays 3

My Take:

  • Finally, a Blue Jays starter pitched more than 5 innings! Matt Shoemaker threw 6 strong innings, just three mistakes (2 that left the yard and one that was his fault when he threw the ball wide left of Bo Bichette and into center field). He's been the Blue Jays most consistent starter so far this season
  • The balls were flying out of the yard for both teams. Six of the eight runs today came off home runs. 
  • After a hot start to the season, Cavan Biggio's average has dipped below .200
  • Way too many strikeouts today. Every Blue Jay except Biggio struck out at least once today. Travis Shaw, Randal Grichuk and Travis Shaw all struck out three times
  • Up next, the Blue Jays finally return to Buffalo where they will play their home games for the season. They open up a two-game series against Miami on Tuesday (assuming they don't screw up again and get a bunch of players sick). Hyun-jin Ryu gets the start Tuesday, looking for his second win in a Blue Jays uniform. The Marlins will counter with righty Elieser Hernandez

Saturday, August 8, 2020

Game #12 Toronto Blue Jays (5-7) @ Boston Red Sox (5-9) - game recap

Bo Bichette got on base three times and drove in the tying run as the Blue Jays edged the Red Sox 2-1

Blue Jays fans got their first look at Chase Anderson, who started the year on the 10 day IL. He was activated today to make his Blue Jays debut. Vlad moved down to sixth in the batting lineup and was DH'ing today. Rowdy Tellez swapped batting order spots with Teoscar Hernandez and was at first base tonight. Travis Shaw batted 3rd in the batting order today. Could the Blue Jays snap the two game losing streak? Here is tonight's game recap.

Game Highlights:

  • The Red Sox opened the scoring in the bottom of the 2nd as Christian Vasquez singled home Xander Bogaerts
  • Chase Anderson pitching line: 3IP 1H 1R (earned) 2BB 1K 45 pitches (26 for strikes)
  • Zack Godley pitching line: 4IP 3H 0R 2BB 3K 67 pitches (41 for strikes)
  • The Blue Jays tied the game in the top of the 7th as Bo Bichette doubled scoring Randal Grichuk
  • The Blue Jays took the lead in the top of the 8th on a groundout by Rowdy Tellez that scored Lourdes Gurriel Jr.
  • Anthony Bass pitched a perfect 9th for his 3rd save of the season
  • final score: Blue Jays 2 Red Sox 1

My Take:

  • Chase Anderson pitched three solid innings. As he was coming off an injury, he was limited to 3 innings or ~50 pitches (he threw 45 pitches). After getting through the 1st inning on 11 pitches, Anderson walked the first two batters he faced in the 2nd inning, followed by a run-scoring single. He then induced a double play and got Jackie Bradley Jr. to fly out to left. He then got through the third inning on just 5 pitches. Overall, a solid first outing of the season for the righty.
  • Once again, the Blue Jays manufactured their runs through a bit of small ball. The winning run became possible when Gurriel Jr. hustled from 1st to 3rd on a 1 out single by Grichuk.
  • The bullpen continues to have an excellent week, allowing just 5 base runners over the final 6 innings. Anthony Kay fired 3.1 shutout innings. Thankfully the next off-day is after tomorrow's game because the bullpen has been used a lot in the early going
  • Up next, the Blue Jays wrap up the mammoth road trip with a matinee at Fenway. Matt Shoemaker is back on the bump, looking to rebound from a rough outing in Atlanta on Monday. He'll face Red Sox righty Nathan Eovaldi

Friday, August 7, 2020

Game #11 Toronto Blue Jays (4-7) @ Atlanta Braves (5-8) - game recap

 

After dropping 2 of 3 in Atlanta, the Blue Jays travelled north to Boston, their last stop on a ridiculously long four-city 14 game road trip (two of the games for all intents and purposes was a home game in Washington as the Blue Jays had last AB) that started in Tampa Bay, then went to Washington, then was supposed to go to Philly but was wiped out by COVID-19, then went to Atlanta and finally Boston. The Blue Jays won their only exhibition game in Boston two weeks ago. Since that game, the Red Sox and Blue Jays have struggled in the temporary divisions. The two division rivals are pretty much tied for dead last in the AL East (Boston and Toronto have 4 wins each, but Boston has played a couple more games and have 2 more losses). A big issue for the Blue Jays has been a lack of offence. Their starting pitching has been fine, though it would be nice if the starters could pitch an extra inning or two per start. So far, the starting pitchers have pitched more than 5 innings just once. Tanner Roark was looking to become the second starter to pitch past the 5th tonight. Cavan Biggio was back at 2B after a start in RF last night. Vlad was also back at first base after serving as DH last night (Rowdy Tellez was the DH tonight). Finally Teoscar Hernandez was in RF after a day off last night. Danny Jansen was back behind the plate after a night off last night Could the Blue Jays start the weekend with a win? Here is tonight's game recap.

Game Highlights:

  • The Blue Jays opened the scoring in the top of the 1st as Cavan Biggio led off the game with an opposite-field shot over the green monster 
  • The Red Sox answered back in the bottom half of the inning on a bases loaded walk to Mitch Moreland that forced in Andrew Benintendi
  • The Red Sox took the lead in the bottom of the 2nd as Alex Verdugo smashed a solo blast to left and over the green monster 
  • The Blue Jays tied the game in the top of the 3rd as Bo Bichette doubled home Biggio
  • The Red Sox retook the lead in the bottom half of the inning as Moreland smacked a two-run bomb to right also scoring Xander Bogaerts
  • Nate Pearson pitching line: 3IP 3H 4R (all earned) 5BB 1K 68 pitches (41 for strikes)
  • Ryan Weber pitching line: 3IP 5H 2R (both earned) 2BB 3K 64 pitches (39 for strikes)
  • The Blue Jays got one back in the top of the 6th as Vladimir Guerrero Jr. doubled scoring Rowdy Tellez. Guerrero was thrown out at 3rd, trying to stretch the double into a triple
  • The Red Sox added a run in the bottom of the 8th as Verdugo absolutely clobbered one, almost out of the ballpark over the green monster 
  • Brandon Workman pitched a scoreless 9th for his 3rd save of the season
  • Final score: Red Sox 5 Blue Jays 3

My Take:

  • It wasn't a stellar game for either starting pitcher. Tanner Roark did not have his best stuff tonight, issuing 5 walks, 2 HR and 4 runs total. You have to wonder if so much extra time off is affecting the pitchers this week. For the 10th time in 12 games, the starting pitcher for the Blue Jays failed to get past the 5th inning. In fact, Roark barely made it through three innings and Jacob Waguespack was throwing in the 2nd inning. Ryan Borucki got up and threw in the 3rd inning, before coming into the game to start the 4th.
  • Cavan Biggio had a strong game, getting on base 3 times, including a leadoff HR
  • Teoscar Hernandez continues to swing a hot stick, getting 2 more hits 
  • Up next, the Blue Jays look to even the series. Chase Anderson makes his Blue Jays debut against Red Sox righty Zack Godley 

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Game #10 Toronto Blue Jays (4-6) @ Atlanta Braves (9-5) - game recap

Lourdes Gurriel Jr. was 2-4 in a losing effort as the Braves walked off the Blue Jays 4-3

After edging the Braves last night, the Blue Jays were back at it a day later, looking for their first series win of the season.Rowdy Tellez saw his first action of the series, playing first base with Vlad getting the half day off, serving as the DH today..Randal Grichuk was back in CF after serving as DH last night. Travis Shaw was back in the lineup and playing the hot corner after missing a couple of weeks dealing with a family matter. Joe Panik got the start at second base with Cavan Biggio occupying RF today. Reese McGuire got the start behind the plate. Could the Blue Jays make it two in a row and notch the series win? Here is tonight's game recap.

Game Highlights:
  • The Braves opened the scoring in the bottom of the 1st as Freddie Freeman smashed a 2-run blast to right-center; also scoring Dansby Swanson
  • The Blue Jays got one back in the top of the 4th as Bo Bichette lined a screamer to left-center
  • The Braves added a run in the bottom half of the inning on a sac fly by Adam Duvall that scored Marcell Ozuna
  • Nate Pearson pitching line: 5IP 2H 3R (all earned) 3BB 5K 79 pitches (48 for strikes)
  • The Blue Jays got one back in the top of the 7th as Lourdes Gurriel Jr. scored on a groundout by Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
  • Two batters later, Teoscar Hernandez singled home Rowdy Tellez
  • Touki Toussaint pitching line: 6.2IP 4H 3R (all earned) 0BB 9K 83 pitches (59 for strikes)
  • The Braves won it in the bottom of the 9th as Nick Markakis hammered the first pitch he saw to right
  • Final score: Braves 4 Blue Jays 3
My Take:
  • Nate Pearson pretty much made 1 mistake today, the 2-run HR he gave up in the 1st to Freddie Freeman. His command was just ok (he walked three batters, including one on four pitches). It would have been nice to see him at least start the 6th inning. Just one Blue Jays starter (Matt Shoemaker in the second game of the season) pitched into the 6th inning. The Blue Jays have used at least three relievers every game this season. I know it's a short season, but still, you have to let the starters go a bit deeper into the ball game and maybe gain some confidence. I'm a baseball purist and I can't stand the idea of pitching counts in general. The starting pitchers should be capable of throwing at least 90+ pitches in a start.
  • I thought the best inning the Blue Jays had offensively today was the 7th when they manufactured a pair of runs and neither came off the long ball. While it's fun to see a player hammer the ball into outer space, or right out of the ballpark if you are playing at Fenway, unless you're the NY Yankees, you won't win many ball games just hitting HR. Pitchers will adapt and throw more pitches lower in the strike zone
  • The Blue Jays were too impatient at the plate, striking out 10 times today, including 9 to starter Touki Toussant. Even worse, none of the Blue Jays drew a walk.
  • What a bizarre day for Jacob Waguespack, who started off on the big league roster, was sent to the taxi squad as teams were required to trim rosters by 2 today, was put back on the MLB roster a few hours later when Trent Thornton was put on the IL with an inflamed pitching elbow, warmed up in the bullpen only to be told he couldn't pitch today because he was sent to the taxi squad and I guess you need 24 hours between roster moves?
  • Up next, the Blue Jays travel to Boston in the last stop of this ridiculously long road trip to start the season. Technically the Blue Jays were considered the home team for 2 games last week in Washington, but for all intents and purposes they played in a road ball park for 3 series and saw a 4th series in Philadelphia cancelled after the Miami Marlins played the Phillies the Sunday of opening weekend DESPITE knowing that four players had tested positive for COVID-19 (eventually became 20 and messed up the schedules for 6 teams). Tanner Roark makes his second start in a Blue Jays uniform, while the Red Sox will counter with righty Ryan Weber.

Game 10...I think. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Jays (5-4) @ Braves (8-5)

                                               🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥

   🔥     🔥

🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥Happy Pearson Day! 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Game #9 - Toronto Blue Jays (4-5) @ Atlanta Braves (8-5) - game recap

Hyun Jin Ryu allowed just one hit and 3 walks in five solid shutout innings to earn his first regular season win in a Blue Jays uniform in a 2-1 victory over the Braves 

After an ugly game yesterday, the Blue Jays were looking to rebound and snap a 3-game losing streak. Hyun-Jin Ryu was also looking to rebound after getting knocked around in his second start as a Blue Jay. Pretty much the same lineup as yesterday, except Randal Grichuk had the half day off as DH (probably a precaution coming off with Grichuk coming off an injury), Lourdes Gurriel Jr. was in LF after serving as DH yesterday, and Anthony Alford went one position to the left  (his left) to play center field after playing in LF yesterday. Could the Blue Jays rebound from a bad day yesterday? Here is tonight's game recap.

Game Highlights:
  • The Blue Jays opened the scoring in the top of the 2nd as Vladimir Guerrero Jr. scored on a sac fly by Danny Jansen
  • The Blue Jays added a run in the top of the 5th as Cavan Biggio singled home Bo Bichette
  • Sean Newcomb pitching line: 4.2IP 5H 2R (both earned)1BB 4K 92 pitches (58 for strikes)
  • Hyun-Jin Ryu pitching line: 6IP 1H 0R 3BB 8K 84 pitches (52 for strikes)
  • The Braves got one back in the bottom of the of the 7th as Adam Duvall cranked a solo blast to right-center 
  • Anthony Bass pitched a scoreless 9th for his 2nd save of the season
  • Final score: Blue Jays 2 Braves 1
My Take:
  • Hyun-jin Ryu had a strong rebound game after a rough outing last time out. He allowed just one hit, while walking three and striking out 8 over 5 solid innings. Ryu still needs to work through his command issues as he had a lot of deep counts, which drove up his pitching count. To my eye, there seems to be some inconsistency with his delivery pitch to pitch and perhaps his release point is a tad off. He now has, at least, 5 days to work on things.
  • The bullpen was excellent tonight, allowing just a solo HR in the 7th and a single and walk in the 9th. It looks like Anthony Bass will be the closer while Giles is out. He throws almost as hard as Giles (topped out at 96MPH tonight.
  • Vlad is having better AB's and is looking better in the field this week.
  • Joe Panik might be a better option at 3B than Brandon Drury, who is batting a miserable .095 and gets on base less than a third of the time. He also mishandled a rather routine grounder, forcing Ryu to face an extra batter.
  • Up next, the Blue Jays wrap up the series with Atlanta, turning to Nate Pearson, who makes his second career start. The Braves will counter with righty Touki Toussaint, as the Braves try to find some reliable starters who can eat some innings.

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Game #8 - Toronto Blue Jays (3-5) @ Atlanta Braves (8-4) - game recap

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. got on base three times and scored the only Blue Jays run as the Braves routed the Blue Jays 10-1

After an unexpected four day break due to the Miami Marlins  getting COVID-19 and stupidly electing to play the Philadelphia Phillies on the Sunday of opening day weekend knowing they had 4 positive COVID-19 tests, effectively screwing up the schedules of 6 teams in the process, The Blue Jays were finally back in action, taking on their foes from the 1992 World Series Atlanta Braves. Matt Shoemaker made his second start of the season after 5 shutout innings in his first regular season start since tearing his ACL in his fifth start last season. Meanwhile Atlanta pitcher and Canadian Mike Soroka is going to be out a loooonng time after tearing his Achilles tendon trying to hustle to cover first base last night. Randal Grichuk was back in the lineup after missing a week with an SI joint injury. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. got a half day off, serving as the DH tonight. Teoscar Hernandez made his first start of the season in RF with Anthony Alford starting in left. Could the Blue Jays snap the 2 game losing streak? Here is tonight's game recap.

Game Highlights:

  • The Braves took the lead in the bottom of the 2nd as Mike Adams hammered a solo bomb to dead center
  • Three batters later, Tyler Flowers smacked a solo blast to left-center
  • The Blue Jays got one back in the bottom of the 5th as Anthony Alford singled scoring Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
  • Adams left the game in the bottom of the 4th after pulling a hammy on a groundout 
  • The Braves added a run in the bottom of the 5th when Ronald Acuna beat the throw home on a fielder's choice hit by Freddie Freeman to SS Bo Bichette 
  • Three batters later, Austin Riley lined a three-run shot out to left and into the Blue Jays bullpen, also scoring Freeman and Johan Camargo
  • Matt Shoemaker pitching line: 4.2IP 6H 6R (all earned) 3BB 2K 88 pitches (56 for strikes)
  • Max Fried pitching line: 6IP 4H 1R (earned) 2BB 3K 80 pitches (48 for strikes)
  • The Braves added two runs in the bottom of the 8th as Dansby Swanson doubled home Ender Inciarte and Acuna
  • Two batters later, Adam Duvall singled scoring Swanson
  • The next batter, Camargo doubled home Duvall
  • Final score: Braves 10 Blue Jays 1

My Take:

  • The long ball hurt Blue Jays starter Matt Shoemaker, who saw five of the six runs scored against him on the night courtesy of 3 HR (2 solo shots and a 3-run tater that came on his last pitch). Like Hyun-jin Ryu, he definitely wasn't as sharp in his second start of the season. Kind of concerning that he couldn't pitch past the 5th, but at least the bullpen was well rested after an unexpected and unprecedented 4 day hiatus. 
  • The bullpen didn't fare much better, giving up a combined 4 runs (all earned), 7 hits and 4 walks. After Matt Shoemaker threw 88 pitches to get 14 outs, Jacob Waguespack, Anthony Kay, Wilmer Font and Shun Yamaguchi needed 73 pitches to get the last 10 outs. It's fair to say that none of the Blue Jays pitchers were efficient tonight.
  • The one bright spot on the Blue Jays tonight was Vladimir Guerrero Jr, who had his best night (easily) of the season, getting on base three times (2 hits and a 9th inning walk) and looking real solid at first base. Hopefully he keeps it going tomorrow
  • I wonder if when Shun Yamaguchi signed on with the Blue Jays, he knew that he'd be coming into the ball game with a runner on second base. For the 3rd time in a row, Yamaguchi had to contend with a runner on second base (his first 2 appearances were both to start the 10th inning, once with a lead and once with the game tied). He was much better tonight, allowing just a walk. 
  • Up next, the Blue Jays turn to ace Hyun-jin Ryu, who will be looking to rebound from a rough outing last start where he gave up 5 runs on 9 hits while walking 1 and striking out 5. The Braves will counter with lefty Sean Newcombe.

Monday, August 3, 2020

Game 8: The season is still going? - Shapkins' (3-4) @ Anthopoulos' (7-4)




Shoemaker (0-0, 1.50 ERA) vs. Fried (1-0, 2.31 ERA)

Ten weekly random thoughts - week 2 -July 27-August 2


What a wild week in the world of baseball. Typically, this random thoughts post focuses on Blue Jays baseball and the week that was. However, before the first pitch was even thrown for this week, the baseball world was essentially turned upside down with the bombshell that 18 Miami Marlins had tested positive for COVID-19. Last Sunday, the Marlins voted to play the Philadelphia Phillies, despite four of their players testing positive for COVID-19. Twenty-four hours later, this decision proved to be unwise to say the least. By mid-week six teams were affected directly and/or indirectly (Miami Marlins, Philadelphia Phillies, the Blue Jays, New York Yankees, Washington Nationals, and Baltimore Orioles. The Yankees and Orioles played a three-game series this week to allow for scheduling flexibility. The Marlins were the most severely affected leading to alter the roster in order to field a baseball team for next week. they signed three players, and the 20 ill staff members and players were bused back to Miami. Both the Marlins and the Phillies must now try to make up 7 games each cramped schedule of 60 games in 66 days. Oh, and the Milwaukee Brewers and St Louis Cardinals had their weekend series wiped out after some Cardinals players tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday The Blue Jays got an unexpected long weekend out of this fiasco, not a bad thing with the injuries that are piling up. The Blue Jays split the four games they played this week against the defending world series champions, the Washington Nationals. They won the first two games lost to arguably the best pitcher in the National League, then saw ace Hyun-Jin Ryu knocked around to the tune of 5 earned runs on 9 hits while walking 1 and striking out 5. Will there be any baseball to talk about in a week? Here are 10 random thoughts from week 2 of the MLB.

1. Obviously the big news of the week was the bombshell of an entire team about contracting COVID-19. This was the worst nightmare of MLB commissioner Rob Manfred. Teams were expecting there to be some positive results, given that they were not using hub cities as the NBA, MLS, and NHL wisely chose to do. Instead, teams were playing out of the regular stadiums, save for the Blue Jays, and travelling and buses the other team's home parks. The rules around conduct were much less stringent. Reportedly, several Marlins players decided to go to a night club after a game in Atlanta, which is where they contracted COVID-19. It's a miracle that none of the Toronto Blue Jays or Tampa Bay Rays got COVID--19 when the two teams met in Florida last weekend, the worst state by far in terms of COVID-19 cases. I just looked at the schedules again and the Phillies and Marlins will actually have 10 games to make up (the entire week from this week and the three games the two teams are scheduled to play in Miami next week). Even with doubleheaders there's no way the Phillies and Marlins can possibly make up that many games with such a compact schedule already. Neither team plays in a domed stadium. They better hope that there are no rain delays that cancel further games for either team.

2. The MLB introduced another temporary rule change for this season only. Starting Saturday, all doubleheaders were a minimum of 7 innings as opposed to 9. There are probably a couple of reasons why this temporary rule came into effect. First, pitchers have not been able to pitch deep into games, forcing teams to use a lot of relievers early on. Second, there are likely to be a lot of doubleheaders this season because of COVID-19 positive results, on top of games that are postponed due to inclement weather. The MLB needed to shorten the length of games in a double-header to keep players fresh through  the remainder of the season. Also, the stadium workers needs time to sanitize the playing surface after games. I understand the need to shorten double header days. However, I wonder if it makes the game more like a beer game as opposed to a major league game. If the MLB can't manage to play baseball with the normal length of game (nine innings or more) then they should just stop playing altogether.

3. Another temporary rule change that I feel I can comment on this week is the one that for extra innings, a runner starts on second base at the beginning of each inning. The Blue Jays have played two extra inning games this season so far and lost both. Teams that are going to succeed with this format have a strong back end bullpen and clutch hitters that can come through. In the first game that went extra-innings, last Sunday in Tampa Bay, the Blue Jays manufactured a run to take the lead. However, in the bottom half of the inning, new Blue Jays reliever Shun Yamaguchi gave up a game-ending triple after walking the first batter he faced. Closer Ken Giles had already been used in the ninth and he blew a save by giving up two runs in the ninth. On Wednesday, the Nationals battled the Blue Jays to a scoreless draw through 9 Innings. Yamaguchi had another rough inning, this time allowing four runs, including a bases-clearing triple that scored three runs. You can't put all the blame on Yamaguchi. He was put in a difficult situation twice, having to start an inning with a runner on second base. Also, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. should have had the grounder that got by him on Wednesday. Overall, I don't like the rule of starting a runner on second base. Why not just start the runner on third base if you want to increase the chances of a run scoring. Besides, it didn't help the Dodgers and Astros, who's game went 13 innings on Wednesday.

4. Another reason why the MLB should just shut down play because at least one player, Red Sox Lefty Eduardo Rodriguez suffered long-term effects from COVID-19. He has been shut down for the remainder of the season with myocarditis, a disease that can cause heart failure. MLB players are a unique bunch of athletes, in that, they may not be as physically fit as a hockey player or a football player, for example. The physical demands of baseball are vastly different from other sports. The MLB is more likely to have players at risk of the long-term effect of COVID-19. Umpires and the various staff members tend to be older and more out of shape as well and are also more at risk of the long-term effects of COVID-19. Will it take a death for the MLB to wake up and do the right thing and cancel the season already. There is no way that the MLB can hope to contain the COVID-19 virus from spreading to most, if not all of the teams with everyone travelling and not enough people wearing masks during play (those players who opted wear masks are often seen with them underneath their chin, which has no benefit). Players not inside any sort of a bubble. It's a miracle that the virus is not widespread among more teams as of yet. At this point, it's a matter of when, not if, the season will be cancelled.

5. One effect that is already taking place from playing too many games in a short period of time injuries. Consider your Blue Jays. In no short order, the Blue Jays are missing closer Ken Giles, right fielder Randal Grichuk, outfielder Derek Fisher, corner infielder Travis Shaw (away from the team for personal reasons, not injured), and shortstop Bo Bichette.  Giles' injury appears to be the most serious and is the most concerning. The flame-throwing righty is far and away the best pitcher in the Blue Jays bullpen. On most nights that he comes into the game in the 9th and the Blue Jays have a three run or less lead, nine times out of 10 the Blue Jays will win the game. Giles has a forearm strain injury, which can often be a precursor to Tommy John surgery. The right-hander also issues last season that prevented him from pitching on back-to-back nights often. Bichette was able to return to the lineup Thursday after missing three games with a hamstring strain. Fisher was injured on Thursday (left quad strain), so he may not be ready to return to the lineup when the Blue Jays return to play on Tuesday. Grichuk is coming along nicely from his SI joint injury and is expected to return to the lineup Tuesday in Atlanta. It was great to see Ryan Borucki get into a game for the first time since injuring his elbow at the beginning of the 2019 season. The Blue Jays will be very cautious with using him this season and expect him to remain in the bullpen pitch an inning or two at most. Maybe at some point next season he might go back into the starting rotation, but for this season, he'll be in the bullpen

6. There has to be some major concerns on the Blue Jays about Vladimir Guerrero Jr. He is learning a new position this season, going across the diamond to play first base after spending last season at the hot corner. Guerrero Jr. has directly blown two games because of fielding  mistakes, so far. Last Sunday, Guerrero Jr. dove for a ball when he should have been running to cover first base. Reliever Brian Moran was unable to get to the back in time to get what would have been final out of the game. On Wednesday, he had a ground ball down the first-base line glance off his glove and into the right field corner for a bases-clearing triple that put away the game in the 10th inning. Guerrero Jr. is also struggling as a plate. Like last season, he is hitting into a lot of ground outs or striking out. Unfortunately, the minor league is cancelled for the year, so he might as well just continue to get better in the majors this season. Hopefully the Blue Jays gave Vlad lots of reps at first base during four days off. The Blue Jays should also consider having the Guerrero Jr. play first base the majority of the week instead of alternating him at first base and DH as they have been doing this season so far. He needs all the playing time he can get at first base to learn the new position.

7. To the surprise of no one, believer Sam Gaviglio was optioned to the minor league team on Saturday after a nervous couple of outings. He has given up three earned runs while walking three and striking out one batter into an inning of work in two appearances. The 30 year old pitched exclusively out of the bullpen last season and made 52 appearances last season. Manager Montoyo threw Gaviglio into a high pressure situation, pitching in the eighth inning of a tied ball game. Unfortunately, Gaviglio had a rough inning on a triple and a balk to the next batter to hands the Rays the game last Saturday. He is one of the returning relievers so Montoyo should have known better than to put the righty in such a situation. His whole career, Gaviglio has been an average pitcher at best. It's only been the last two Gaviglio has transitioned to becoming a reliever. In Seattle, Kansas and  his first year in Toronto, Gaviglio was primarily a starting pitcher.  It is a completely different mentality being a reliever versus a starting pitcher. When you're coming out of the bullpen, you are expected to throw strikes and get outs in a timely manner. As a starting pitcher, you're going to face the same lineup two to three times. Also, relievers are generally not built up to throw more than 20-30 pitches in a night. Perhaps the Blue Jays to consider turning Gaviglio into a long reliever/spot starter.

8. Next, I want to talk about the performance of Charlie Montoyo for a minute. There has been a lot of critique over how Montoyo has used the bullpen and made the line up early on this season. Montoyo is in the second year as manager of the Blue Jays. Looking at the bullpen, there have been many changes. New to Montoya are Ryan Borucki (made all of two starts last season and pitched 6 2/3 of an inning before missing the rest of the season with elbow issues), Anthony Bass, AJ Cole, Rafael Dolis, Brian Moran, and Shun Yamaguchi. With that many new relievers, Montoyo needs to learn where they fit best in the bullpen and in what role. at the moment, closer Ken Giles is out with a forearm strain, so we have to figure not only how to get to the 9th Inning but how to get the last 3 outs with what they have to work with. As far as his decision to alternate Vladimir Guerrero Jr. between first base and designated hitter. he may not have a choice there either. There have been huge question marks about Guerrero Jr's commitment to working out in the gym as a pro. He may be  alternating every game to save him for the rest of the season. Maybe Vlad can't handle the pressures of playing in the field two days in a row. If that's the case, then the high performance team and the strengthening and conditioning coaches are to blame for the decision here. Injuries have forced Montoya to use players that he wouldn't normally use and in different positions/situations. Besides, if you're going to fire Montoyo, who are you going to replace him with? No, Montoyo needs to work through these challenges, and then the Blue Jays can re-evaluate him in the off-season.

9. Finally, after watching a week's worth of games, I now feel that I can make a comment on playing in an empty stadium. Most teams are using fan cutouts to fill some of the empty seats. MLB could do a better job covering home plate because all of those are empty seats and that is what the TV viewing fan sees most of the game when the pitcher pitches to the batter. A lot of the cutouts are spread either around the outfield where fans would sit to catch a ball for a home run. It's good to see them playing the batter's walk-up music. I have been watching the games on mute because I'm not a big fan of fake crowd noise. The MLB is doing something pretty cool this season. You can join in with a virtual cheer for your team. Each game, on top of the link for watching online on MLB.TV and the link for gameday (which is essentially a play-by-play so fans can follow games live without watching them and paying money), there is a link in the shape of a megaphone you can click and then click on your team and do a virtual cheer for them. It's a great way for fans to be in the stadium, without actually being in the stadium, however long games keep happening until the MLB is forced to pull the plug on the season.

10. Blue Jay of the week: Nate Pearson. The hard-throwing right-hander made his MLB regular season debut on Wednesday, tossing five shutout innings, allowing a pair of hits, walking two and striking out five. His fastball topped out at 99mph. No doubt Pearson will only get better and will likely win the first Cy Young Award since Roy Halladay in the coming years.

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Game #7 Washington Nationals (3-4) @ Toronto Blue Jays (3-4) - game recap

Teoscar Hernandez was 3-4, including 2 solo HR, in a losing effort as the Nationals defeated the Blue Jays 6-4

After a tough 4-0 shutout loss in extra innings yesterday, the Blue Jays wrapped up the four-game set with the Nationals, looking for their 1st series win of the season. Prior to the game, it was announced that the weekend series against Philly is cancelled after 2 Phillies staff members tested positive for COVID-19. It's possible that the Blue Jays and Nationals could continue the series, now that both teams have three games to make up. Hyun-jin Ryu got his second start of the season. Bo Bichette returned to the lineup after missing a pair of games with a hamstring injury. Vlad was back at DH. There has to be major concerns that he is physically unable to handle being in the field more than one game at a time. Derek Fisher got the start in RF with Randal Grichuk still out with an SI joint injury. Could the Blue Jays take three of four from the defending World Series champs? Here is today's game recap.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Game #6 Washington Nationals (2-4) @ Toronto Blue Jays (3-3) - game recap

Nate Pearson tossed 5 shutout innings in a losing effort as the Blue jays were defeated 4-0 in 10 innings by the Nationals 

The Toronto Blue Jays have looked like a playoff contender this week with two huge wins over the defending world series champs. Tonight, Nate Pearson made his MLB debut, after shamelessly having his service time manipulated and starting the season on the taxi squad. Pearson was roughed up in the first inning of the first exhibition game in Boston a week ago, but settled down after that. Danny Jansen was back behind the plate after a night off last night.. Bongo moved back to his natural position at 2B with Derek Fisher getting the start in right field. Glad was also back in the field playing 1B with Rowdy Tellez DH'ing. Joe Panik switched positions for the third straight day, playing the hot corner tonight. Could the Blue Jays make it there since in a row? Here is tonight's game recap.

Game 6. Big Nate and the Amazing, Awesome, Fabulous, Very Good Start. Jays (3-2) @ Expos (1-3)



Big Nate vs. Mad Max

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Game #5 Toronto Blue Jays (3-2) @ Washington Nationals (1-4) - game recap

Tanner Roark pitched 5 strong innings as the Blue Jays knocked off the Nationals 5-1

After a solid victory over the Defending World series Champs on the back of 4 solo shots and a lights out performance over the game's final five innings by the bullpen, the Blue Jays were looking to make it two in a row for the first time this season. Tanner Roark made his Blue Jays debut tonight. Randal Grichuk and Bo Bichette remain out with minor injuries, so players were shuffled around. Cavan Biggio moved to Right field for the 8th start of his career at that position, Joe Panik moved to 2B after starting at SS last night, Danny Espinal got his second big league start - first as a SS and Vlad got another half day off, serving as the DH, with Rowdy Tellez at 1B. Reese McGuire got his second start of the season behind the plate. Could the Blue Jays make it a two game winning streak? Here is tonight's game recap.

Game 5: Survival. Blue Jays (2-2) @ Expos (1-3)

Monday, July 27, 2020

Game #4 Toronto Blue Jays (2-2) @ Washington Nationals (1-3) - game recap

Teoscar Hernandez smacked two solo home runs to lift the Blue Jays to a 4-1 victory over the defending World Series champs, Washington Nationals 

After a disappointing loss yesterday that saw Randal Grichuk and Ken Giles leave the game with injuries, the Blue Jays travelled north to Washington to take on the defending World series champs. There is much uncertainty about the season continuing after 14 Miami Marlins players tested positive for COVID-19. By the way, Geovany Soto has previously tested positive as well. Trent Thornton got his first start of the season. In 2019, he was 4-9 in 32 starts with a 4.84ERA and 1.41WHIP. Derek Fisher was in RF in place of the injured Grichuk tonight and Joe Panik made his Blue Jays debut at the hot corner. Could the Blue Jays snap the 2 game losing streak? Here is today's game recap.

Game 4 of the season that shouldn't be: Jays (1-2) vs Nats (1-2)


Mon, Jul 27 • 6:05 PM EDT
At Nationals Park
Trent Thornton vs Anibal Sanchez

Ten weekly random thoughts week 1 - April 20-26


Here's something I never thought I would be saying in 2020 (then again I never thought I would get living through a pandemic), Blue Jays baseball is back this week. The Blue Jays opened the 2020 regular season with a weekend series against the Tampa Bay Rays, in Florida, the worst states to be in with the COVID-19 pandemic. In the week leading up to the series, the state of Florida had been reporting daily  increases of 10,000+ cases of COVID-19. Have I mentioned yet that the MLB is nuts to even try playing baseball in the midst of a pandemic, without using the hub city approach as the NHL, NBA, and MLS are doing? All sports essentially stopped when NBA player Rudy Gobert was diagnosed with COVID-19. In the ensuing weeks and months, all leagues worked to try and come up with plans to restart is there sports. Meanwhile, in the MLB, players and owners were fighting over money and in particular, player compensation for the 2020 season with the owners trying to pay, of course, the least amount of money. Another point of difference between the players and the owners was number of games played. The owners wanted as few as 50 games and the players wanted as many as 120 games. The baseball season is supposed to be 162 games but of course, that was going to be unfeasible without  the season into December, and then you would be contending with issues and you would see more injuries next season because players would have a much shorter off-season to recover from this season. Here are 10 random thoughts from Week 1 of the MLB.

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Game #3 Toronto Blue Jays (1-2) @ Tampa Bay Rays (2-1) - game recap

Randal Grichuk was 2-2 with a walk and run scored before leaving the game in the bottom of the 6th in a losing effort as the Rays came from behind to win 6-5 in 10 innings

After suffering their first loss of their season when Sam Gaviglio coughed up three runs in the 8th, the Blue Jays were back at it, trying to win their first series in Tampa Bay since August 5-7, 2019. Thomas Hatch got the start and made his big league debut. Vlad was back at first base after a half night off DH'ing last night. Brandon Drury saw his first action of 2020, playing the hot corner today. Rowdy Tellez served as DH and Danny Jansen was back behind the plate after a night off yesterday. Could the Blue Jays take the rubber match and win their first series of the season? Here is today's game recap.

Game 3. The Vladdening. Jays (1-1) @ Rays (1-1) | House of Horrors, Florida | June 26, 2020 1:10PM EST

HATCH?! vs. Snell :( 


Saturday, July 25, 2020

Game #2 Toronto Blue Jays (1-1) @ Tampa Bay Rays (1-1) - game recap

Matt Shoemaker threw 6 strong innings in a losing effort as the Blue Jays fell to the Rays 4-1

After a solid opening day win at Tropicana Field, the Blue Jays were looking to make it two in a row at their own personal house of horrors. Matt Shoemaker got his first regular season start since tearing his ACL in a rundown 15 months ago. Reese McGuire got his first start of the season behind the plate. Santiago Espinal made his big league debut at the hot corner, with Travis Shaw moving across the diamond to cover 1st base and Vlad DH'ing today. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. also made his season debut after missing last night with a minor injury. Coild the Blue JJays make it 2 in a row? Here is today's game recap.

Game 2 of the season that shouldn't be (Jays 1-0 @ Rays 0-1)



Sat, Jul 25 • 3:10 PM EDT
House of Horrors
Matt Shoemaker vs Ryan Yarbrough

Friday, July 24, 2020

Game #1 Toronto Blue Jays (1-0) @ Tampa Bay Rays (0-1) - game recap

Cavan Biggio smacked a 3-run blast to lead the Blue Jays to a 6-4 victory over the Rays

Four months and 12 days after sports stopped due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Blue Jays kicked off a truncated 2020 regular season against division rivals Tampa Bay Rays. The Blue Jays will play the bulk of their games at their AAA facility in Buffalo (except for next week's series against Washington where they will be the "home" team in DC) and maybe the following series). Some new faces in today's lineup, including new "ace" pitcher Hyun-jin Ryu. The Japanese import signed a 4 year deal in the off-season worth $20million/season. Another new Blue Jay is 3B Travis Shaw. Vlad is moving across the diamond where he will be the new first baseman, replacing the departed Justin Smoak, who is now in Milwaukee. Can the Blue Jays open this odd season with a victory in their own house of horrors? Here is today's game recap.

Game 1. Welcome to Fake Real Baseball. (Jays @ Rays | 6:40pm EST | July 24 2020)



MORTON (0-0) vs. RYU! (0-0)

Friday, July 17, 2020

Obligatory Weekend Post!

this is one of the cats i'm thinking of adopting. she reminds me of me.

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Half-assed Intrasquad Game Thread #1



Yeah, I worked a 10.5 hour day, came home to my weekly bridge night, then went right to bed. What's it to ya? Here's your thread. Anyone wants to post lineups RADAR can work the Featured Comment magic on it.

And screw the new Blogger interface that just made this so much harder than it needs to be.

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

This has started well



Let's just say I'm not a big fan of this whole let's start up MLB again thing. In most places, the numbers are worse than when things were first shut down but nah, fuck it, let's play ball! After all, an infectious disease specialist think the risk is low!

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Canada: America's Umbrella!


not a bad shape to the ol' gal. i like that Quebec resembles a dog's head.

Monday, June 22, 2020

Monday Support




So Joe's comment on the last post really got me thinking about how I eliminated all the negative talk in my head and I realized it all started with the Sedona Method.

Friday, June 19, 2020

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Monday, June 1, 2020

Monday Support

Photo by Alexander Abero on Unsplash

I get it. It's distressing watching what is going on in the world today. However, I do want to remind you that what you are seeing is what has always been there and that it's actually a positive thing that so much that was hidden is now being revealed. That's the first step to healing this world.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Play in the MLB During the COVID-19 Pandemic - My View


It is July 4th and we are ready to play some baseball. All the players, team staff and coaches have been tested daily and players who test positive have been placed in quarantine away from teammates and the other teams. The purpose of this blog post will be how I see the game of baseball progressing once play resumes (with social distancing measures in place). Some of my ideas will jive with what the MLB is proposing. Anyway, here goes.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Hump Day Gratitude


I'm grateful that my job is getting progressively better. I'm also grateful I live in a world where I can listen to music whenever I want. This song popped into my head after work last night and voila, I could listen to it!


What are you grateful for?

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

My COVID-19 story


It's been two months since the Blue Jays last played a game (a 7-5 spring training win over the Pittsburgh Pirates). As I write this, the Blue Jays should be wrapping up a series in Texas before moving onto the windy city to take on the White Sox. Instead, we are left to watch occasional bullpen sessions from Marcus Stroman when he posts on twitter, or go onto YouTube and watch retro games from season's past or watch retro games on Sportsnet. Nobody has a clue when players will be able to pick up a ball again or swing at a pitch. The MLB has currently sent a proposal to the player's association on a possible truncated season scenario. It may involve something like the NHL is doing with various teams gathering in hubs and isolating in the nearly empty hotels. Of course any start-up plan will be foiled the moment a player or team official tests positive for the COVID-19 virus. The other question is whether players would be willing to sacrifice several months away from their families. Blue Jay's pitcher Hyun-jin Ryu and his wife are expecting a child in the summer. Will he want to be in Toronto while his pregnant wife is in Florida? Anyway, there's still lots of hurdles to overcome, but I want to get to the point of this post.

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Hump Day Gratitude


I'm grateful that my mom is out of isolation and being able to hear my dad laugh. What are you grateful for?

Friday, May 1, 2020