Saturday, September 19, 2020

Game #52 Toronto Blue Jays (26-26) @ Philadelphia Philies (27-25) - game recap

 

Hyun-Jin Ryu threw six strong innings in a losing effort as the Phillies knocked off the Blue Jays 3-1

After a rough day yesterday, where the Blue Jays dropped both games of the double header by a combined score of 15-7, the Blue Jays were back at it today trying to snap a season-high 5 game losing streak. Santiago Espinal was optioned back to the taxi squad in favor of Patrick Murphy as the Blue Jays opted for an extra arm in the bullpen tonight. Ace Hyun-jin Ryu was on the mound and looking to give his team a fighting chance. Vlad got the full day off (not surprising after a scary hit by pitch off his batting helmet in the second game. Travis Shaw was at 1B and Teoscar Hernandez got the half day off as the DH.  Could the Blue Jays snap the five game losing streak? Here is tonight's game recap.

Game Highlights:

  • The Blue Jays opened the scoring in the top of the 5th as Travis Shaw crushed a solo bomb to right-center 
  • The Phillies tied it up in the bottom half of the inning as Andrew Knapp singled home Jay Bruce
  • Two batters later, Andrew McCutchen singled home Knapp
  • Vince Velasquez pitching line: 6IP 2H 1R (earned) 3BB 6K 104 pitches (64 for strikes)
  • Hyun-Jin Ryu pitching line: 6IP 6H 2R (both earned) 1BB 8K 99 pitches (62 for strikes)
  • The Phillies added a run in the bottom of the 8th as Adam Haseley singled scoring Phil Gosselin
  • Tommy Hunter pitched a perfect 9th for his 1st save of the season.
  • Final score: Phillies 3 Blue Jays 1

My Take:

  • After surrendering 15 runs yesterday, Hyun-Jin Ryu and three relievers held the Philies to three runs, which on most days should give you a win. Not tonight. Ryu was pretty sharp through the first 4 innings, retiring 12 of the 14 batters, allowing an infield single, a walk and another single. The Phillies got to him in the 5th with 2 runs on 5 hits.. The Phillies added an insurance run in the 8th and it might as well have been 100-1 - the Blue Jays weren't coming back in this one
  • Aside from Travis Shaw's solo shot in the 5th, the Blue Jays only managed 4 other base runners, 3 on walks. The biggest threat the Blue Jays had to score was the 1st inning, when they had runners on 1st and 2nd with 1 out, only to have Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and Randal Grichuk go down swinging
  • This might have been the worst game offensively. After the Shaw HR, 14 straight Blue Jays were out. You can see the Blue Jays have no confidence at the plate right now. Bo Bichette and Teoscar Hernandez are still trying to get their timing back after lengthy absences on the IL, but the rest of the team has no excuse
  • Up next, the Blue Jays try to salvage a game in this series before they go home for the final week of the season where they will face the Yankees and Orioles in critical series. Taijuan Walker gets the start for the Blue Jays against an unknown Phillies pitcher.

Games #50 and 51 Toronto Blue Jays (26-25) @ Philadelphia Phillies (26-25) - game recap (records reflect what they were after the second game today)

 

Teoscar Hernadez was 3-4 with 2 runs scored and an RBI in the second game of the double header in a losing effort as the Phillies took both games of the double header by scores of 7-0 and 8-7

After a thorough beatdown for three straight days at Yankee Stadium, the Blue Jays moved onto Philadelphia where they will wrap up the road portion of the schedule. Today, barring any inclement weather, was to be the final double header of the season. Toronto was the 'home" team for the 1st game. Lefty Robbie Ray got the start in the 1st game and Ross Stripling was the 1st pitcher up for the 2nd game. Alejandro Kirk was behind the plate for the 1st game and Danny Jansen got the 2nd game. Vlad was in the field for both games (shock). Cavan Biggio was DH'ing the 1st game (Bo Bichette DH'd the 2nd game after being in the field game 1. Santiago Espinal got the start at SS in game 2) and at the hot corner (Travis Shaw was there in game 1) in game 2. Jonathan Villar was at 2B game 1 and Joe Panik got the start there in game 2. Randal Grichuk, Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and Teoscar Hernandez were the outfielders both games at their usual positions. Could the Blue Jays sweep (or at least split the double header)? Here is/are today's game recap(s)

Game Highlights (1st game):

  • The Phillies opened the scoring in the top of the 1st as Didi Gregorius doubled home Bryce Harper 
  • The Phillies added a pair of runs in the top of the 5th as Harper hammered a 2-run bomb to right; also scoring Andrew McCutchen
  • Three batters later, Phil Gosselin singled home Alec Bohm
  • Two batters later, Andrew Knapp tripled scoring Gregorius and Gosselin
  • Robbie Ray pitching line: 4.1IP 5H 5R (all earned) 4BB 6K 92 pitches (56 for strikes)
  • The Phillies added a run in the top of the 6th as Bohm singled home Roman Quinn
  • Zach Eflin pitching line: 7IP 4H 0R 2BB 9K 92 pitches (59 for strikes)
  • Final score: Phillies 7 Blue Jays 0

My Take (1st game):

  • Both starters threw 92 pitches, one being much more efficient than the other.  Take the 1st inning for example. Robbie Ray needed 30 pitches to get through the 1st and allowed a run on a double after a pair of walks. Eflin struck out the side after allowing a leadoff single to Cavan Biggio and threw half the number of pitches as Ray did. Ray retired 11 of the next 13 batters he faced after the RBI double. However, after striking out Roman Quinn, he walker McCutchen, Harper took him yard and the next 2 batters, who both eventually came around to score, hit singles off him. It's too bad about the start by Ray, because he showed a lot of promise last time out
  • Offensively, the Blue Jays (except Cavan Biggio, who reached base all three times with a pair of hits and a walk) were stymied by Phillies righty Zach Eflin. The best chance the Blue Jays had to score was in the 7th when they had runners on 2nd and 3rd with two outs, only to see Travis Shaw strike out to end the game
  • Is Alejandro Kirk the right backup catcher? Or should the Blue Jays give Reese McGuire another chance or go with the more experienced backstop Caleb Joseph?
  • Up next, game two of the double header. Ross Stripling starts for the Blue Jays and the Phillies will counter with righty David Hale

Game Highlights (2nd game):

  • The Phillies opened the scoring in the bottom of the 1st as Didi Gregorius singled home Alec Bohm
  • The Phillies added a run in the bottom of the 3rd as Andrew McCutchen smacked a solo blast to right
  • The Blue Jays got one back n the top of the 4th as Teoscar Hernandez hammered a solo bomb down the line in left
  • Two batters later, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. singled home Randsl Grichuk
  • Two batters later, Santiago Espinal singled scoring Guerrero Jr.
  • Two batters later, Cavan Biggio singled home Espinal and Joe Panik
  • David Hale pitching line: 3.1IP 4H 2R (both earned) 0BB 1K 34 pitches (27 for strikes)
  • The Phillies tied the game in the bottom half of the inning as Rafael Marchan annihilated a 3-run bomb to right-center; also scoring Scott Kingery and Mickey Moniak
  • Ross Stripling pitching line: 3.1IP 4H 3R (all earned) 3BB 4K 65 pitches (36 for strikes)
  • The Blue Jays retook the lead in the top of the 5th on a sac fly by Randal Grichuk that scored Lourdes Gurriel Jr.
  • Scary moment a batter later as Vlad was hit by a 94MPH fastball that deflected off the side of his batting helmet. Luckily he was ok to finish the game. We'll see how he feels tomorrow because concussion symptoms can take time to appear
  • Three batters later, Hernandez scored on a bases loaded walk by Danny Jansen
  • The Phillies tied the game in the bottom of the 6th as Bryce Harper doubled home Moniak and Marchan
  • A batter later, Alec Bohm beat out an infield single. Harper scored after a terrible throw by Panik deflected off the glove of Rafael Dolis, who was forced to leave the game with knee discomfort on the play
  • Hector Neris pitched the 7th for his 5th save of the season
  • Final score: Phillies 8 Blue Jays 7

My Take (2nd game):

  • Welp, 2 games where bad pitching sunk the Blue Jays. Ross Stripling and Robbie Ray needed a combined 58 pitches to get through the 1st inning of their starts. Ray then had a rough inning in the 5th with 5 consecutive batters reaching base (Bryce Harper launched one out of the park and the 5th hit was given up by Thomas Hatch). In the second game, The bullpen was unable to hold two separate leads (Vlad didn't help on what would be the winning run, but more on that on the next point). The bullpen bending and breaking as of late is a direct result of a complete mismanagement by Charlie Montoyo, who has asked them to get at least 9, and often more outs night after night. Sure, he tried to spread out the workload as best he could, but he should have let the starters keep rolling in a few of the games, when their pitch count was still decent
  • OK, onto Vlad, who directly cost the Blue Jays the game in game 2. It was on a routine grounder that Joe Panik fielded cleanly, but for whatever reason, Vlad was running to seemingly cover second base (why he did that when Bryce Harper was either going to stay where he was or advance to 3rd on the play I have no idea), forcing Rafael Dolis to hustle over to cover 1B, forcing Panik to panic and rush the throw a bit. The ball deflected off Dolis's glove, allowing Harper to score from 2nd base. Even worse, Dolis slipped on the bag and injured his knee. If he's forced to the 10-day IL, it'll mean two closers (Ken Giles and Dolis) unavailable for the last week of the season. I'm wondering if the hit to the head Vlad took in the 5th affected his judgment.
  • Cavan Biggio, Lourdes Gurriel Jr., and Randal Grichuk were the only Blue Jays with hits in both games
  • The losses mean the Blue Jays were unable to take advantage of the Orioles, Tigers and Mariners all losing today. The last series of the season against the Orioles next weekend could be huge
  • Up next, the Blue Jays try to snap the 5 game losing streak. They'll have ace Hyun-jin Ryu on the mound. The Phillies will counter with righty Vince Velasquez

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Game #49 Toronto Blue Jays (26-23) @ New York Yankees (29-21) - game recap

 

Lourdes Gurriel Jr. was 4-4 with 3 runs scored and 2 RBI in a losing effort as the Blue Jays fell to the Yankees 10-7

Afer two blowout losses to the Yankees, the Blue Jays were looking to salvage a game of this series. It was a bullpen day for the Blue Jays who sent righty Julian Merryweather out first. Jacob Waguespack was placed on the 10-day IL with a left back sprain and Hector Perez was optioned back to the taxi squad. Wilmer Font was activated from the IL and TJ Zeuch was recalled from the taxi squad. Teoscar Hernandez made his return to the lineup and was in RF. Vlad got the half day off, serving as the DH with Travis Shaw at 1B. The rest of the lineup was the same as yesterday. Could the Blue Jays salvage a game? Here is tonight's game recap.

Game Highlights:

  • The Yankees opened the scoring in the bottom of the 1st as Giancarlo Stanton singled home DJ LeMahieu
  • A batter later, Luke Volt scored on a fielder's choice hit by Gleyber Torres 
  • Julian Merryweather pitching line: 1IP 2H 2R (both earned) 2BB 0K 21 pitches (10 for strikes)
  • The Blue Jays got one back in the top pf the 3rd as Lourdes Gurriel Jr. cracked a solo blast to dead center 
  • Four batters later, Bo Bichette singled home Danny Jansen
  • The Yankees added a run in the bottom of the 4th as Gary Sanchez doubled scoring Clint Frazier
  • A batter later, Brett Gardner smashed a 2-run bomb to dead center; also scoring Sanchez
  • A batter later, LeMahieu cranked a solo drive to right
  • A batter later, Volt lined a screamer to right-center 
  • Two batters later, Stanton cracked a solo blast to right-center 
  • A batter later, Torres cracked a solo blast to left-center
  • Both the Yankees and Blue Jays set franchise records for the most home runs hit/most home runs given up in a single inning
  • The Blue Jays got one back in the top of the 5th as Gurriel Jr. lined a solo blast to right-center
  • The Yankees added a run in the bottom of the 7th as Sanchez smacked a solo shot to left
  • Masahiro Tanaka pitching line: 7IP 7H 3R (all earned) 0BB 5K 91 pitches (62 for strikes)
  • The Blue Jays got one back in the top of the  9th as Jansen singled scoring Travis Shaw
  • A batter later, Gurriel Jr. scored on a bases loaded walk by Cavan Biggio
  • A batter later, Bo Bichette singled home Joe Panik and Jansen
  • Aroldis Chapman got the final 2 outs for his 3rd save of the season
  • Final score: Yankees 10 Blue Jays 7
\My Take:

  • Today, it was two ugly innings for the Blue Jays pitchers. Julian Merryweather started off the game giving up a pair of runs on 2 hits while walking 2. Chase Anderson had a real ugly inning in the 4th, giving up 7 runs on 7 hits (including 5HR and a walk). That was pretty much the difference in this one. The Blue Jays made a valiant effort with a 9th inning rally, but it was too little too late
  • Ten days ago, the Blue Jays scored 10 runs off Chad Green and Adam Ottavino. Tonight, Ottavino held the Blue Jays to a single, that took an overturned challenge. The Blue Jays did get to Josh Holder in the 9th with 4 runs on 3 hits and a pair of walks before Aroldis Chapman came in an literally blew the door shut with 2 swinging strikeouts on returning player Teoscar Hernandez and Randal Grichuk.
  • Hernandez was 0-5 with 4 strikeouts
  • Lourdes Gurriel Jr. was absolutely on fire, going 4 for 4 with 3 runs scored and 2 RBI
  • Up next, the Blue Jays head to Philadelphia, where they will begin the weekend series with a double header. Game 1 will see Robbie Ray starting and in game 2, Ross Stripling will get the ball to start. The Phillies have yet to name their starters for the double header tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Game #48 Toronto Blue Jays (26-22) @ New York Yankees (28-21) - game recap

Joe Panik hit a late-inning solo HR in the second consecutive blowout loss to the Yankees. Toronto fell 13-2 to the Bronx Bombers tonight


After a 20-6 blowout loss last night, the Blue Jays were looking to right the ship, taking on one of the best pitchers in the MLB, Gerritt Cole. Lots of moves ahead of this one (some necessitated by injury, some based on performance). First the bad news, Ken Giles is heading back to the IL with an elbow injury and is likely done for the season. Derek Fisher is also heading to the IL with a knee contusion after getting hit by a pitch during batting practice. Teoscar Hernandez was activated from the IL and available off the bench. Nate Pearson and Matt Shoemaker both threw to live hitters today and one or both could return soon. Hector Perez and Jacob Waguespack were also activated. Anthony Kay was optioned to the taxi squad after a rough outing last night. Tanner Roark, who made some not so nice comments after getting pulled in the 4th inning after throwing 68 pitches last start, was on the mound again. Vlad was back in the field after DH'ing last night (Joe Panik was DH tonight). Danny Jansen was back behind the plate after sitting out last night. Cavan Biggio was in RF tonight with Jonathan Villar at 2B. Could the Blue Jays rebound from last night's blow-out loss? Here is tonight's game recap.

Game Highlights:

  • The Yankees took the lead in the bottom of the 1st on a lead-off solo blast to right by DJ LeMahieu
  • The Yankees added a pair of runs in the bottom of the 3rd as Kyle Higashioka hammered a 2-run bomb to dead center; also scoring Tyler Wade
  • The Yankees added a run in the bottom of the 4th as Clint Frazier whacked a solo blast to left-center 
  • Four batters later, LeMahieu smashed a 2-run bomb to right; also scoring Gary Sanchez
  • Tanner Roark pitching line: 4IP 6H 6R (all earned) 2BB 4K 91 pitches (52 for strikes)
  • The Yankees added a run in the bottom of the 5th as Frazier singled home Aaron Hicks 
  • The Blue Jays  got one back in the top of the 6th on a wild pitch by Gerritt Cole that scored Jonathan Villar
  • The Yankees added a run in the bottom half of the inning as Higashioka smashed a solo blast to left
  • Four batters later, Luke Volt smashed a three-run blast to left; also scoring Le Mahieu and Hicks 
  • The Yankees added 2 runs in the bottom of the 7th as Higashioka smacked a 2-run blast to right-center; also scoring Wade
  • Gerritt Cole pitching line: 7IP 3H 1R (earned) 2BB 8K 95 pitches (64 for strikes)
  • The Blue Jays got one back in the top of the 9th as Joe Panik whacked a solo shot to right
  • Final score: Yankees 13 Blue Jays 2

My Take:

  • Welp, Tanner Roark can't say he was pulled too early in this one. The long ball hurt him big time today. Roark allowed 4 HR, bringing in 6 runs. The Blue Jays let him throw 91 pitches today. He certainly hasn't lived up to expectations this season.
  • The Blue Jays were 0-8 with runners in scoring position and stranded 6 (which would have still left them behind by 5 runs
  • Bullpen was about as bad as last night, giving up 7 runs on 8 hits, while walking 4 and striking out 4. Anthony Bass was the only reliever to have a good outing (mind you he threw only one pitch)
  • Up next, the Blue Jays try to salvage a game in this series before moving onto Philadelphia. Chase Anderson gets the start against Jays killer Masahiro Tanaka

Game #47 Toronto Blue Jays (26-21) @ New York Yankees (27-21) - game recap

 

Lourdes Gurriel Jr. was 3-4 with 2 runs scored and a pair of RBI in a 20-6 loss to the Yankees
Lourdes Gurriel Jr. was 3-4 with 2 runs scored and 2RBI in a 20-6 loss to the Yankees

The Blue Jays opened up the final road trip of the season at Yankee stadium. Taijuan Walker got the start. Alejandro Kirk got his second career start behind the plate. Vlad got the half day off, serving as the DH, with Travis Shaw at 1B. Cavan Biggio was at the hot corner for the second straight game with Joe Panik playing 2B. Derek Fisher got the start in RF. Could the Blue Jays start the week with a win? Here is tonight's game recap.

Game Highlights:

  • The Blue Jays opened the scoring in the top of the 2nd as Vladimir Guerrero Jr. lined a solo blast to right-center
  • The Yankees tied the game in the bottom half of the 2nd inning as Brett Gardner singled home Gio Urshela 
  • Two batters later, Tyler Wade singled scoring Clint Frazier 
  • A batter later, DJ LeMahieu singled home Gardner 
  • A batter later, Luke Volt smashed a 3-run bomb to left ; also scoring Wade and LeMahieu 
  • A batter later, Aaron Hicks whacked a solo blast to right
  • Taijuan Walker pitching line: 1.2IP 6H 7R (1 earned) 0BB 2K 43 pitches (28 for strikes)
  • The Yankees added a run in the bottom of the 3rd as Gary Sanchez was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, forcing in Urshela
  • A batter later, Wade was plunked by a pitch, forcing in Frazier 
  • A batter later, LeMahieu cleared the bases with a double scoring Wade, Sanchez and Gardner 
  • The Blue Jays got a pair back in the top of the 4th as Lourdes Gurriel Jr. hit a 2-run blast to left; also scoring Guerrero Jr.
  • The Yankees added three more runs in the bottom half of the inning on a 3-run bomb to left by Sanchez; also scoring Urshela and Frazier 
  • Three batters later, Volt singled home LeMahieu
  • The Yankees added a run in the bottom of the 6th as Volt smacked a solo blast to left-center 
  • The Yankees added 2 more runs in the bottom of the 7th on a 2-run bomb to right-center by Frazier; also scoring Thairo Estrada
  • Deivi Garcia pitching line: 7IP 6H 3R (all earned) 2BB 6K 88 pitches (58 for strikes)
  • The Yankees added a run in the bottom of the 8th as LeMahieu whacked a solo blast to left
  • The Blue Jays got one back in the top of the 9th as Panik doubled home Gurriel Jr.
  • Two batters later, Panik scored on a fielder's choice hit by Fisher 
  • Two batters later, Bo Bichette doubled home Fisher 
  • Final score: Yankees 20 Blue Jays 6

My Take:

  • What an ugly 2nd inning for Taijuan Walker and the Blue Jays, who got lit up for 7 runs (just 1 earned thanks to a missed catch by Derek Fisher) while walking none and striking out 2 
  • The next inning, 2 of the five runs were largely self-inflicted by Shun Yamaguchi, who walked the bases loaded, then hit two batters in a row, before giving up a bases clearing double
  • Santiago Espinal pitched the 8th inning, as he did 5 days ago when the Mets blew out the Blue Jays. 
  • Innings 2-4, the Yankees sent 29 batters to the plate and scored 16 runs on 11 hits, a horrible fielding error by Derek Fisher, 2 hit batters, 4 walks (and 2 more walks after the 16th run had scored). And the damage could have been even worse with a runner stranded on 2nd base in the 3rd inning and the bases left loaded in the 4th inning
  • Ken Giles' 2nd appearance went slightly better. Although he gave up a HR on the 3rd pitch (he gave up a HR Friday on his first pitch coming off the IL), he had a strikeout and needed just 8 pitches to get through the inning
  • Vladimir Guerrero and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. combined for half the offence tonight (6-9 with 4 runs scored and 3RBI)
  • The Blue Jays left 8 runners on base, which would have still left them trailing by 6 had they cashed in all 8
  • Up next, the Blue Jays try to even the series and back into a tie for 2nd in the AL East. They will be  in tough with 2019 Cy Young finalist Gerritt Cole on the bump for the Yankees. The Blue Jays will counter with Tanner Roark 

Monday, September 14, 2020

Ten random thoughts- August 10-September 11

 


It's been a month since I last posted a weekly random thoughts post. Normally, I would provide updates on each post with with each individual game. This time I will take a broader view of the last month and go series by series. The middle of the month started with a two split of series with the Miami Marlins, including a 14-11 loss. Then the Blue Jays routed the Tampa Bay Rays before the Rays edged the Blue Jays in the next 2 games. The Blue Jays then went on a bit of a run winning the next six games, including sweeps over the Orioles and the Phillies (a one day double header). The Blue Jays then dropped two of the next three games. On August 23rd the blue Jays  acquired Daniel Vogelbach from the Seattle Mariners. Vogelbach only lasted four games, in which he came in as a pinch-hitter before being DFA'd and picked up by the Milwaukee Brewers. Toronto was supposed to have embarked on 30 game in 29 game stretch starting August 14th however, the Blue Jays and Red Sox postponed their game on August 27th in protest of the shooting in Wisconsin. This was in collaboration with NBA, and NHL who also postponed their games for a couple of days. August 27th was also the day that the Blue Jays acquired Taijuan Walker from the Seattle Mariners. Walker made his Blue Jays debut on the 29th, firing six shutout innings. Two days later, the Blue Jays acquired three more players: Jonathan Villar, Robbie Ray, and Ross Stripling. Since the trade deadline the Blue Jays split the two games in Miami, won 3 of 5 against Boston in a rare series, thanks to a doubleheader, which the two teams split. They then came home to Buffalo and took two or three from the Yankees, then got blown out in the opener against the Mets 18 to 1, and beat them the next night. In the rubber match on Sunday, the Blue Jays responded with a pair of runs in the 2nd inning after the Mets took the lead in the 1st inning, before breaking the game open with a s-spot in the 6th. Hyun-Jin Ryu was solid in 6 innings. Looking ahead, the blue Jays embark on their final road trip of the season after a final off-day Monday with series in New York and Philadelphia, where they will play a doubleheader to start the series on Friday. Blue Jays then end the regular season with a key series against the Yankees that will go a long way to deciding who wins second place in the AL East. The Blue Jays end the regular season with a weekend series against the Baltimore Orioles who are 4.5 games back of a wild card spot. Here are 10 random thoughts from the last month of the MLB.

1. First off, the MLB has to be commended for largely making it the pandemic to date. Unlike the NHL and NBA, the MLB chose to forgo using a bubble to isolate teams in a few cities. Instead, the MLB combined regional divisions (AL east teams played NL east teams (as well as the teams in their own division) and AL Central teams played NL Central teams (plus the teams in their own division) and AL West teams played NL West teams (on top of the teams in their own division). This meant that teams were flying from city to city. Also, teams were living out of their regular homes and not staying in a hotel. Right off the bat, the MLB saw a major setback when virtually the entire Miami Marlins team (20 players and staff when the dust settled) were infected with the COVID-19 virus. Because the Marlins and Phillies voted to play on the first Sunday of the season when they knew that four players on the Marlins had already positive for COVID-19, the MLB was forced to cancel the schedules of the Phillies and Marlins for an entire week, affecting the schedules of 7 teams. Since then, St Louis Cardinals also an outbreak of COVID-19 and had a week's worth of games postponed. Cleveland Indians pitchers Mike Clevenger (he would later be traded to San Diego at the trade deadline after relationships with the Cleveland Indians soured following the incident) and Adam Plesac were sent home after violating team protocol on a road trip to Chicago. The vast majority of teams have done extremely well with their conduct both on and off the field and that is why baseball is still being played. The MLB is wrapping up negotiations with the MLBPA on the terms with which the playoffs will be played. At this point, it looks like for the first round, teams will play all three games at the home field of the higher-seeded team. Then for the next rounds until the World Series, teams will play either in the home ball parks of the San Diego Padres or LA  Dodgers if they are an AL team or the home ball parks of the Houston Astros or Texas Rangers if they are an NL team. The home ball park of the LA Angels is also being considered as one of the stadiums. Contending teams will start to quarantine in hotels during the final week of the regular season. I like that the MLB is taking away home field advantage the Astros Dodgers, padres and Rangers. 

2. No doubt the MLB will be watching NFL fairs with their COVID-19 protocol. The NFL is using a similar strategy for playing their season as the MLB has done. The difference is, the NFL is going to allow fans at some of their games. Some of the NFL teams are waiting at least a week or two before allowing fans in. One thing to keep in mind is football is a much more physical sport than baseball and there is less physical distancing in football, especially at the start of plays. Like the MLB, the NFL plays most of their games in outdoor stadiums with a few domed arenas. That may affect the ability of the virus to spread.

3. Ok, let's get back to baseball. As one might expect, the Blue Jays had to adjust to several injuries. Closer Ken Giles missed almost 6 weeks with a strained forearm before returning this weekend. Bo Bichette also missed considerable time after injuring his knee stretching out before and at bat, and he made his return on Saturday. More recently, Rowdy Tellez (strained knee tendon) and Teoscar Hernandez (oblique injury) were placed on the injured list. Trent Thornton missed 10 days with a forearm strain, came back for one game, before undergoing season-ending elbow surgery to remove loose bodies from his elbow. Highly-touted pitching Prospect Nate Pearson has also missed time with in his pitching elbow. He's getting close to a return, but his role will change, as he'll be pitching out of the bullpen for the remainder of the season. Reliever Jordan Romano strained a tendon in his pitching finger. Matt Shoemaker, who was arguably the most consistent starter rotation this season, went down with a strained shoulder the same weekend as Thornton did with his elbow. It must have been frustrating for Shoemaker, who missed almost the entire 2019 season after tearing his ACL in his 5th start in a Blue Jays uniform. Finally, Wilmer Font is also on the injured list with an undisclosed injury. The Blue Jays have been smart juggling players around the lineup and in different positions to be ready to jump in if a player got hurt. Take Cavan Biggio, for example. His natural position is second base. However, he can also be used in right field or center fielder should Randal Grichuk need a day off. He even played at the hot corner for the first time Sunday. Travis Shaw Jonathan Villar, and Joe Panik can all play (and have played) multiple positions in the infield. this is a great luxury to have so much flexibility when it comes to making defensive substitutions late in games when the Blue Jays are leading, or in the event of injuries. 

4. Starter Tanner Roark was livid after he was taken out of the game after throwing 68 pitches through four Innings on Wednesday. All season, Charlie Montoyo has been  leaning towards giving pitchers the early hook as they near the 90 pitch threshold. This has put a lot of pressure on the bullpen, which on most nights has had to get at least 16 outs, if not more. the Blue Jays have been deploying an eight-man bullpen, and making roster changes as needed when pitchers aren't going to be available for at least a game due to having thrown a lot of pitches the past game or two. So far this season,  26 pitchers have thrown at least one inning for the Blue Jays. Rafael Dolis, who got his 6th save of the season Saturday, and Anthony Bass both made their 21st appearances of the season on Saturday and Dolis pitched Sunday to make it 22 appearances this season. Tim Mayza who blew out his elbow after being overused in 2019, is a tale of caution for overusing the bullpen. Many of the Blue Jays relievers are known to throw hard, and thus could be at a greater risk of getting injured. Ryan Borucki has already undergone Tommy John surgery, and had a similar elbow surgery that Thornton just had to remove loose bodies last year. The season could potentially go another six weeks if the Blue Jays make the world series.  They need the starters to start going deeper in games.

5. Another major issue for the Blue Jays has been base-running follies. As of September 3rd the Blue Jays had made 18 outs due to base running mistakes. Whether it be trying to stretch a single into a double, running through a stop sign in an attempt to score, or getting thrown out trying to steal a base, you have to pick your spots and be smart. When it comes to the playoffs, every scoring opportunity counts, and if the Blue Jays run themselves out of rallies, they will find themselves being eliminated rather quickly. Jonathan Villar has been guilty of a few of these running mistakes, and was nearly picked off first base in the 8th inning Saturday. Speaking of pick offs, the Blue Jays had been picked off five times as of September 3rd, with only the Marlins and Padres faring worse in that stat. the Blue Jays best spend the final off day of the season doing a lot of base running drills.

6. A huge part of baseball is executing the fundamentals and making the plays you should be making. Again, as of September 3rd, the Blue Jays had committed 20 errors (which was middle of the pack), but were minus-22 in defensive runs saves, which was among the worst in the league. Twelve different players have committed at least one error this season. Jonathan Villar (4 errors) has the most on the team, and he's only been on the Blue Jays for two weeks. You have to wonder if having players playing multiple positions is really such a good strategy, as opposed to having players play their natural positions every day, with the occasional day off, or until injuries arise. Further, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is supposed to be learning a new position (1B) and yet, he's playing every other game as the DH. Is it punishment for not following his strength and conditioning program?Are the Blue Jays trying to keep Guerrero Jr. from getting injured by limiting his time in the field? Whatever the reason, the Blue Jays should be playing Vlad in the field daily so he can learn his new position faster. Now that Tellez is out with an injury, maybe that will happen.

7. The Blue Jays have been playing musical chairs recently when it comes to the backup catcher. Danny Jansen has established himself as the clear number one catcher that will play the majority of games. He's been solid defensively and worked well with the pitchers. Reese McGuire was initially supposed to be the backup, playing 2 or 3 times a week. However, he's had a terrible time offensively, with just 3 hits in 41AB. McGuire was optioned to the taxi squad after making a terrible throw to third base when the bases were already loaded. The Blue Jays then recalled Caleb Joseph, who got into 3 games (2 starts) before being DFA'd. Joseph was 1-8 at the plate with 2 runs scored and 2 RBI, including a HR. Defensively, Joseph was 0-4 when trying to throw out base runners, had a passed ball and wild pitch when he was behind the plate. Top catching prospect Alejandro Kirk was recalled Friday and made his big league debut Saturday, catching lefty Robbie Ray. Offensively, Kirk was 1-3 with a run scored and a walk. The 9th inning was a bit of an adventure for him with a runner reaching on what should have been the last out of the game after the ball bounced to the back stop. On the next pitch, the ball deflected off Kirk again, but he managed to keep the ball close enough to keep the runner from advancing. It will be interesting to see who the Blue Jays decide to use in the final two weeks of the season. Will they stick with Kirk? Will Reese McGuire be given another chance?

8. I do want to touch a bit on the protests by teams August 26-28 in the NBA, NHL (only the 27-28), NFL (no games scheduled but teams opted to skip practices), and MLB (8 teams boycotted on the 26th and 14 teams boycotted on the 27th). I thought it was interesting that some teams in the MLB chose not to join the boycott. The MLB and it's players should have more of a vested interest in protesting given the history of black baseball players. Before Jackie Robinson, blacks weren't even allowed to play in the majors. There was a lot of backlash online about the players choosing to boycott the games with many saying that sports and politics should be separate. However, these athletes live and work in the communities where the shootings are taking place the majority of the year. The victims of these shooting are their friends and neighbors. The shooting victims have probably watched these athletes perform and even attended games live. Some of the victims may have even been lucky enough to meet some of the athletes and even get their autographs. I'm not going to get into the events that triggered the boycott. However, there's only so much the athletes can do to show their support for the BLM movement. They have knelt during anthems, NBA players have worn approved slogans on their backs instead of their last names, baseball has a stenciled logo supporting BLM on the mounds this season, athletes can wear patches on their jerseys. This time, they felt they needed to send a stronger message by sitting out a game. Will there be no more shootings because of this boycott? No, but the boycott got/kept the conversation going and forced people to step away from their TVs and address what's going on in the world. There will absolutely be fans that stop watching these sports because of this boycott, but the sports will play on and thrive without the ignorant fans that choose not to tune in because the athletes chose to have a voice.

9. Finally, with the sprint of a season about to wrap up, it's time to consider the awards for this season. I don't see how the MLB can really award an MVP, Cy Young winner or rookie of the year winner, because there just weren't enough games played to really weed out the top players. Take the Cy Young for example, can you really judge a starting pitcher after just 10-15 starts? I would honestly be inclined to award the Cy Young to a reliever this season, because they've been having to pick up the slack on a lot of nights with pitchers having to build up pitch counts after a really quick summer training camp and one or two exhibition games. For the batting title, you're judging on ~250AB. Generally, pitchers are ahead of hitters at the start of the season, and it might have taken a quarter of the season for some hitters to heat up. No, this year's awards should come with an asterisk.

10. Blue Jay of the week: Lourdes Gurriel Jr. He robbed two Mets of extra base hits on Saturday and Sunday and had a couple of clutch base hits. Gurriel Jr. has also been one of the more consistent Blue Jays hitters this season. 

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Game # 46 New York Mets (21-26) @ Toronto Blue Jays (26-20) - game recap

 

Santiago Espinal broke the game open with a bases clearing double n the 6th in a 7-3 victory over the Mets

After splitting the first 2 games of the series, the Blue Jays were looking to wrap up the series and homestand with a win before embarking on their final road trip of the season, starting Tuesday in NY after the final off-day of the season Monday. Hyun-Jin Ryu was on the mound looking for his 4th win of the season, which would put him in the top 20 in the MLB. Cavan Biggio got his 1st career start at the hot corner. Jonathan Davis got the start in RF, Jonathan Villar was at 2B and Vlad played his 3rd straight game at 1B (a new record!). Danny Jansen was back behind the plate after the day off yesterday. Could the Blue Jays make it two series wins vs. the NY teams this week? Here is tonight's game recap.

Game Highlights:

  • The Mets took the lead in the top of the 1st as Dominic Smith singled home Jeff O'Neil. Todd Frazier was thrown out at home trying to make it a 2-run single
  • Lourdes Gurriel Jr. made an outstanding catch in the outfield to end an inning for the second straight day
  • The Blue Jays took the lead in the bottom of the 2nd as Gurriel Jr.smashed a 2-run blast to left; also scoring Randal Gricuk
  • David Peterson pitching line: 5IP 3H 2R (both earned) 2BB 2K 81 pitches (52 for strikes) 
  • The Blue Jays added a run in the bottom of the 6th on a bases loaded walk by Jonathan Villar that forced in Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
  • Two batters later, Santiago Espinal doubled home Villar, Gurriel Jr. and Grichuk
  • A batter later, Danny Jansen singled scoring Espinal
  • Hyun-jin Ryu pitching line: 6IP 8H 1R (earned) 0BB 7K 92 pitches (62 for strikes)
  • The Mets got one back in the top of the 8th as Frazier singled scoring JD Davis
  • Two batters later, Michael Conforto scored on a fielder's choice hit by Smith
  • Final score: Blue Jays 7 Mets 3

My Take:

  • Hyun-jin Ryu had to work out of some jams early, but limited the damage in the 1st to a single run, thanks to Randal Grichuk's magnificent throw home. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. made another outstanding catch to get out of the 2nd inning (his second in as many days). Ryu got better as the game went on, and retired the last 8 batters he faced. If not for a long inning in the 6th by the Blue Jays, he might have started the 7th inning.
  • Bo Bichette was 0-4 with a pair of strikeouts. It might take a few games to get his timing back
  • Cavan Biggio extended his hitting streak to 4 games with a double in the 6th
  • Up next, after a final off-day Monday, the Blue Jays embark on the final road trip of the season, starting with a key series that opens Tuesday in NY. Tuesday's pitching match-up will be Taijuan Walker against Yankees righty Deivi Garcia

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Game # 45 New York Mets (21-25) @ Toronto Blue Jays (25-20) - game recap

 

Robbie Ray threw 5 solid innings as the Blue Jays edged the Mets 3-2

After a total beat-down to the Mets last night, the Blue Jays were looking to right the ship and even the weekend series at 1. The Blue Jays welcomed back Bo Bichette, after he missed a month with a knee sprain while stretching out before an at-bat. Robbie Ray made his second start since the Aug. 31st trade. It's been clear that he'll be Pete Walker's little pet project for the remainder of the season. Alejandro Kirk made his MLB debut. In a normal season, he would have been playing in the minors, but there is no minor league season this year, so why not? Cavan Biggio got the start in RF with Joe Panik at 2B. Jonathan Villar was at DH tonight. Could the Blue Jays rebound from last night's rout? Here is tonight's game recap.

Game Highlights:

  • The Mets opened the scoring in the top of the 4th as Jake Marisnick doubled home Michael Conforto
  • The Blue Jays tied the game in the bottom half of the inning as Randal Grichuk singled scorIng Bo Bichette 
  • The Blue Jays took the lead in the bottom of the 5th on a sac fly by Travis Shaw that scored Alejandro Kirk
  • Robbie Ray pitching line: 5IP 4H 1R (earned) 2BB 5K 90 pitches (55 for strikes)
  • The Blue Jays added a run in the bottom of the 6th as Jonathan Villar singled home Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
  • Seth Lugo pitching line: 5.1IP 7H 3R (all earned) 1BB 5K 91 pitches (60 for strikes)
  • The Mets got one back in the top of the 7th on a fielder's choice hit by JD Davis that scored Wilson Ramos
  • Final score: Blue Jays 3 Mets 2

My Take:

  • Robbie Ray had his best outing in a Blue Jays uniform, firing 5 innings, allowing 1 run on 4 hits while walking 2 and striking out 5. He had better command of his pitches today and was much more economical, allowing him to throw deeper into the ball game. You could see the work Pete Walker has done with him and the impact it has had.
  • Bo Bichette was 1-4 in his return and scored the Blue Jays first run of the ball game
  • Alejandro Kirk was 1-3 with a run scored and drew a walk in his big league debut. He had a bit of a rough 9th defensively, having a couple of balls get away from him, forcing Rafael Dolis to throw an extra pitch
  • The game ended on a pickoff by Dolis. The Blue Jays got lucky in the 8th when Jonathan Villar was nearly picked off. He stole second base on the next pitch
  • Weird play of the game: The Mets won a challenge in the 4th, preventing Bichette from scoring from 1st base when the play was ruled a ground-rule double. Grichuk drove him home 5 pitches later.
  • More base-running blunders: Travis Shaw was thrown out, trying to advance from 1st to 3rd on the play
  • Up next, the rubber match of the series in a battle of the southpaws. The Blue Jays will send ace Hyun-Jin Ryu to the mound against Mets lefty David Peterson.

Friday, September 11, 2020

Game # 44 New York Mets (21-24) @ Toronto Blue Jays (24-20) - game recap

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. drove in the only Blue Jays run in an ugly 18-1 loss to the Mets


After a sorely needed off-day, the Blue Jays were back in action, taking on one of the best pitchers, righty Jacob DeGrom, in the game today. It also was supposed to be the "home" return of Marcus Stroman, but he opted out of the season a few weeks back. The Mets, despite being 4 games under .500, are in the hunt for a WC spot, 2.5 games back of Miami for the final playoff spot. Milwaukee and Colorado are both a half game ahead of NY and both 2 back of Miami. Lots of roster moves ahead of this one. Top catching prospect Alejandro  Kirk was promoted to the bigs (Caleb Joseph was subsequently designated for assignment). Ken Giles was also activated for the first time since July 27. Billy McKinney was DFA'd for the second time this season and Sean Reid-Foley was optioned to the taxi squad for Jacob Waguespack. Chase Anderson started for the Blue Jays, still looking for his 1st win of the season.  Vlad was back in the field after three consecutive days at DH. Look for him to play more in the field with Rowdy Tellez out for a while with a knee tendon strain. Cavan Biggio was in right field, covering for the injured Teoscar Hernandez, who is also expected to miss some time with an oblique strain. Travis Shaw was at his familiar position at the hot corner, Lourdes Gurriel Jr. was back in LF, Jonathan Villar got the half day off serving as the DH, Danny Jansen was back behind the plate, Joe Panik got the start at 2B, Santiago Espinal was at SS (Bo Bichette is real close to returning, but not ready today), and of course, Randal Grichuk was patrolling CF. Could the Blue Jays bring down a giant? Here is tonight's game recap.

Game Highlights:

  • The Blue Jays took the lead in the bottom of the 2nd as Vladimir Guerrero Jr. singled home Randal Grichuk
  • The Mets took the lead in the top of the 3rd as Michael Conforto spanked a 3-run blast to left-center, also scoring Wilson Ramos and Brandon Nimmo
  • Five batters later, Jeff McNeil doubled home JD Davis
  • Chase Anderson pitching line: 2.2IP 4H 4R (all earned) 3BB 4K 67 pitches (34 for strikes)
  • The Mets added a run in the top of the 4th as Ramos scored when his counterpart Danny Jansen missed the throw home on a fielder's choice hit by Davis
  • A batter later, Dominic Smith belted a grand slam to right; also scoring Conforto, Davis and Nimmo
  • Five batters later, Ramos double scoring Jeff McNeil, Andres Gimenez and Robinson Cano
  • Two batters later, Conforto singled home McNeil
  • A batter later, Davis doubled scoring Conforto
  • The Mets added a run in the top of the 7th on a bases loaded walk by Cano that forced in Conforto
  • Two batters later, Davis scored on a fielder's choice hit by McNeil
  • Jacob deGrom pitching line: 6IP 3H 1R (earned) 2BB 9K 102 pitches (68 for strikes)
  • The Mets added a run in the top of the 8th as Ramos crushed the first pitch of Ken Giles return over the wall in dead center 
  • The Mets added a run in the top of the 9th as Gimenez doubled home Pete Alonso
  • Final score: Mets 18 Blue Jays 1

My Take:

  • In a word, that was an ugly game for pretty much every Blue Jays pitcher. After Chase Anderson gave up 4 runs on 5 hits (Anthony Kay actually gave up the 5th hit but the run scored was charge to Anderson) and a walk. Kay and Jacob Waguespack then combined to spot the Mets 10 runs (ironically coming 3 days after the Blue Jays magical 10 run inning vs. the Yankees) on 7 hits, 2 walks, a hit batter and a fielding error by Danny Jansen. Waguespack then saw two inherited runners score when Ryan Borucki walked the first batter he faced and then the Blue Jays gave up a run for an out. The only slight positive was seeing Ken Giles pitch a relatively tidy 8th inning (after seeing the first pitch he threw go over the wall for a HR). Giles then struck out the next two batters. The question will be how he feels tomorrow.
  • The Blue Jays actually retired the Mets in order in the 1st and 6th innings. Waguespack also faced the minimum in the 5th.
  • Offensively, besides the 1st inning where they scored their only run, the Blue Jays biggest threat to score came in the 6th, when they had runners on 2nd and 3rd with 2 outs. Randal Grichuk lined out on the 1st pitch
  • Up next, the Blue Jays try to snap the 2-game losing streak. Expect Reid-Foley back up from the taxi squad with Waguespack definitely needing a couple of days off after throwing 58 pitches tonight. Lefty Robbie Ray gets his second start in a Blue Jays uniform. The Mets will counter with righty Seth Lugo

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Game # 43 New York Yankees (22-21) @ Toronto Blue Jays (24-19) - game recap

 

Derek Fisher drove in both runs in a 7-2 loss to the Yankees

After two huge wins over their division rivals, The NY Yankees, the Blue Jays were going for a sweep over the Yankees for the 1st time since May 30-June 1st. The accomplish that, the Blue Jays had to get to Deivi Garcia, who was making his 3rd career start. Tanner Roark was on the bump for the Blue Jays, vying for his 3rd win of the season.Rowdy Tellez was out of the lineup after tweaking his knee chasing a foul ball. Travis Shaw got the start at 1st base with Vlad at DH for the 3rd straight day. Caleb Joseph was behind the plate and Jonathan Villar got the start at SS. Derek Fisher got the start in LF with Lourdes Gurriel Jr. getting the day off. Could the Blue Jays make it four wins in a row? Here is tonight's game recap.

Game Highlights:

  • The Yankees opened the scoring in the top of the 2nd as Gleyber Torres smashed a solo bomb to dead center 
  • The Blue Jays took the lead in the bottom half of the inning as Derek Fisher smashed a 2-run blast to right-center; also scoring Caleb Joseph
  • The Yankees tied it on the 1st pitch of the 3rd inning on a screaming line drive to right by DJ LeMahieu 
  • Tanner Roark pitching line: 4IP 2H 2R (both earned) 3BB 3K 68 pitches (38 for strikes)
  • The Yankees took the lead in the top of the 5th as  Luke Volt singled scoring Tyler Wade 
  • Three batters later, Torres doubled home Volt and Aaron Hicks 
  • Deivi Garcia pitching line: 7IP 5H 2R (both earned) 0BB 6K 95 pitches (63 for strikes)
  • The Yankees added a run in the top of the 9th as Clint Frazier singled home LeMahieu
  • A batter later, Hicks scored on a groundout by Torres
  • Final score: Yankees 7 Blue Jays 2

My Take:

  • Tanner Roark had an ok outing, tossing 4 innings, allowing a pair of runs on two hits, while walking three and striking out 3. After the game, Roark voiced his displeasure at the usage of the starting pitchers, in particular himself. Roark referenced not being a fan of the 3rd-time through the order analytics. In some ways, he has a point. Roark was at 68 pitches when he was pulled, and the pitcher right after him gave up 3 runs, which proved to be the difference. If Montoyo was worried that Roark might get hit hard 3rd time through, have a reliever throwing in the bullpen and ready if needed. Roark's in his 8th year in the bigs, he's earned the right to pitch an extra inning
  • The news on Rowdy Tellez seemed to keep getting worse. Halfway through the game, a picture of him sitting in the stands with crutches at his feet was tweeted out. Then word came down (unofficially) that Tellez had sustained an injury to his petellar tendon that would keep him out the remainder of the season. It was an interesting move that Lourdes Gurriel Jr., who has a grand total of 1 start and three games at 1st base at the big league level, pinch hit for Travis Shaw in the 8th and came in defensively the last inning. Of course, Vlad was DH'ing today and the Blue Jays would have had to pinch hit for the pitcher in the 9th as the DH would have been lost if he ha subbed defensively. Expect Vlad to platoon with Shaw going forward. If he's not at 1B Friday, there have to be serious questions about his health.
  • Like last night, the Blue Jays went pretty quietly into the night, the last 4 Blue Jays were retired in order, including Aroldis Chapman striking out the side in the 9th. It's not surprising that the Blue Jays were exhausted after playing 28 games since August 14, including a pair of double headers (it would have been 29 games, except for an unscheduled postponement due to a boycott on August 27. That game was made up September 4th in Boston). That's a lot of baseball. The Blue Jays best rest up now, because Monday is the final off day of the season and the Blue Jays play 14 times in the final 13 days of the regular season, due to a double header September 18
  • After an off day tomorrow to catch their collective breaths, the Blue Jays kick off a weekend series against the other NY team. No Marcus Stroman, as he has opted out of the 2020 season. The Blue Jays will be in tough with Jacob DeGrom set to start the opener of this series for the Mets. The Blue Jays will counter with righty Chase Anderson

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Game # 42 New York Yankees (21-21) @ Toronto Blue Jays (24-18) - game recap

 

Jonathan Davis hit a 2-run HR to lead the Blue Jays to a 2-1 victory over the Yankees

After a huge come from behind win last night thanks to a massive 10-run 6th inning capped off by a grand slam by catcher Danny Jansen, the Blue Jays were looking to make it two in a row against the Bronx Bombers and to improve their playoff positioning. Tonight's tilt featured a battle of two 2015 Mariners teammates (lefty JA Happ and righty Taijuan Walker). Jonathan Davis got his first start of the season at RF in place of the injured Teoscar Hernandez. Cavan Biggio was back at his natural 2B position, Joe Panik was at the hot corner and everyone else was in the same position as last night. Could the Blue Jays beat their old teammate? Here is tonight's game recap.

Game Highlights:

  • The Blue Jays opened the scoring in the bottom of the 2nd as Jonathan Davis smacked a 2-run blast to left-center; also scoring Joe Panik
  • Taijuan Walker pitching line: 4IP 2H 0R 5BB 3K 88 pitches (43 for strikes)
  • The Yankees got one back in the top of the 5th on a sac fly by Mike Tauchman that scored Luke Volt
  • JA Happ pitching line: 6.1IP 4H 2R (both earned) 2BB 10K 113 pitches (68 for strikes)
  • Rafael Dolis pitched a perfect 9th for his 3rd save of the season
  • Final score: Blue Jays 2 Yankees 1

My Take:

  • It was a tough go for Taijuan Walker who had zero command in the 1st inning, walking the bases loaded. He only allowed two base hits and no runs, but the walks and hit batter just killed his pitch count. He was at 58 pitches through 2 innings and needed another 30 to get through the next 2 innings. I read somewhere at some point and I think it might have been an ex-pitcher-turned-broadcaster, that something like 7 out of every 10 starters, the average pitcher has his best stuff going and the rest of the time he kind of has to feel it out (maybe he has a decent curve but the fastball command isn't great). Velocity looked ok, so it might just mean bullpen work needed.
  • After exploding for 10 runs a night ago, the Blue Jays offence scratched across 2 runs on a home run. The Blue Jays got a runner on base in each of the first 5 innings, but other than the 2-run dinger in the 2nd, they couldn't do anything with it.. In fact, the final 10 Blue Jays batters in a row were retired, 5 on strikeouts. The Blue Jays struck out 13 times on the night
  • The Blue Jays relievers also retired the final 10 batters they faced, including 3 strikeouts
  • Up next, the Blue Jays go for the series sweep and 4th win in a row. Tanner Roark starts for the blue Jays and the Yankees will counter with righty Delvi Garcia

Game # 41 New York Yankees (21-20) @ Toronto Blue Jays (23-18) - game recap

 

Danny Jansen hit a grand slam to cap off a 10-run inning in a 12-7 come from behind win over the Yankees 

Now the games are starting to get real. After hanging onto defeat the sad sack Red Sox yesterday, the Blue Jays began a crucial series vs. the NY Yankees, who they face 10 times in the next 20 games (7 of those games will be at "home" in Buffalo). Last season, the Blue Jays were 8-11 vs. the Bronx Bombers and were outscored 106-82. The Blue Jays and Yankees are both missing big bats (Bo Bichette and Teoscar Hernandez for the Blue Jays and Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton for the Yankees) who are out with injury.  Hernandez and Wilmer Font were placed on the 10-day IL. Jonathan Davis and righty Sean Reid-Foley were added to the roster. Hyun-jin Ryu got the start for the Blue Jays to start this series. Cavan Biggio was in RF, filling in for the injured Hernandez.Vlad got the half day off, serving as DH with Rowdy Tellez at 1B. Jonathan Villar got the start at 2B and Santiago Espinal was at SS. Could the Blue Jays make it two wins in a row? Here is tonight's game recap.

Game Highlights

  • The Yankees opened the scoring in the top of the 1st as Luke Volt smacked a solo blast to left
  • A batter later, Aaron Hicks jacked one out to left
  • The Blue Jays got one back in the bottom half of the inning as Rowdy Tellez doubled home Cavan Biggio
  • The Blue Jays tied the game in the bottom of the 2nd as Santiago Espinal singled scoring Travis Shaw 
  • The Yankees took the lead in the top of the 4th as Miguel Andujar smashed a solo bomb to left-center 
  • Jordan Montgomery pitching line: 3.1IP 6H 2R (both earned) 2BB 1K 84 pitches (46 for strikes)
  • The Yankees added a pair of runs in the top of the 5th as Clint Frazier doubled home DJ LeMahieu and Volt
  • Hyun-jin Ryu pitching line: 5IP 6H 5R (all earned) 2BB 5K 98 pitches (57 for strikes)
  • The Yankees added a run in the top of the 6th on a bases loaded walk by Hicks that forced in Thairo Estrada 
  • The Blue Jays got one back in the bottom half of the inning on a fielding error by Volt on a grounder hit by Tellez that allowed Espinal to score 
  • A batter later, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. singled home Biggio and Randal Grichuk
  • A batter later, Lourdes Gurriel Jr. singled scoring Tellez
  • Two batters later, Shaw singled home Guerrero Jr. and Gurriel Jr.
  • Two batters later, Danny Jansen hammered a grand slam to left-center; also scoring Jonathan Villar, Shaw and Joe Panik
  • The Yankees got one back in the top of the 9th on a ground out by Andujar that scored Frazier
  • Final score: Blue Jays 12 Yankees 7

My Take:

  • Hyun-jin Ryu worked in and out of trouble all game He gave up 3 solo shots and stranded 4 base runners. His defense let him down twice with fielding errors. Ryu's best inning was the 3rd when he walked a batter and quickly escaped the inning with a double play and threw just 12 pitches. This was probably the toughest lineup he's had to contend with thus far.
  • Despite having a tough inning himself (SRF gave up 1 run on 3 walks and a base hit), Sean Reid-Foley was the winning pitcher.
  • Some fun stats from the huge 6th inning:
    • The Blue Jays sent 13 men to the plate (10 different batters as Santiago Espinal was pinch hit for in by Joe Panik in his second plate appearance of the inning)
    • Relievers Chad Green and Adam Ottavino combined to allow 10 runs (9 earned) on 5 hits while walking 4 and striking out none. They threw a COMBINED 58 pitches.
    • The most unlikely hero in the inning was Danny Jansen, who capped the inning off with a grand slam. Jansen is hitting a paltry .155 on the season. It might have been his best game offensively. On top of the grand slam, he drew 2 walks
    • The last time the Blue Jays put up 10 runs in an inning was August 31, 2010 in a 13-5 win over the Rays. The Blue Jays lineup that day included DeWayne Wise, Jose Bautista (he was playing the hot corner that day and not his traditional RF position), Adam Lind, Aaron Hill and Travis Snider. The Blue Jays had another southpaw as their ace that season in Rocky Romero (who started the game). Tonight's game, the scoring was capped off by a grand slam, then it was capped off by a 3-run HR. That day 14 men came to the plate (tonight it was 13). Then the inning included 10 runs on 9 hits, a hit batter and 2 walks. Forty pitches were thrown in 2010, 27 less than tonight. Finally, both the 10-run innings occurred in the 6th inning of the game.
  • Every Blue Jays starter, except Jonathan Villar had at least one hit and every Blue Jay scored at least once
  • Up next, the Blue Jays face ex-teammate JA  Happ. The Blue Jays will counter with righty Taijuan Walker. Both Walker and Happ also pitched for the Mariners in 2015 (for Happ, it was just a 21 game stint before being traded). 

Sunday, September 6, 2020

Game # 40 Toronto Blue Jays (22-18) @ Boston Red Sox (14-28) - game recap

Lourdes Gurriel Jr. was 4-6 with 2 runs scored and an RBI as the Blue Jays came from behind and held on for a 10-8 win over the Red Sox 


After splitting the first four games of this rare 5-game series, thanks to a double header Friday, the Blue Jays were looking to snap the 2-game losing streak and end the road trip with a W. Robbie Ray got the start on the mound. Caleb Joseph got his first career start behind the plate, after coming in as a defensive replacement late last night. Randal Grichuk got the complete day off with Cavan Biggio in CF today and Joe Panik patrolling 2B. Jonathan Villar got the start at SS and Derek Fisher was in RF. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. was back in the field in LF after the day off yesterday. Could the Blue Jays snap the losing streak and end the road trip with a victory? Here is today's game recap.

Game Highlights:

  • The Red Sox too the lead in the bottom of the 1st as Kevin Plawecki hammered a 3-run bomb to dead center; also scoring Jonathan Arauz and Xander Bogaerts 
  • The Blue Jays got a run back in the top of the 3rd as Caleb Joseph got his first career hit and home run at the same time with a shot to left-center 
  • Andrew Triggs pitching line: 3IP 3H 1R (earned) 2BB 4K 63 pitches (36 for strikes)
  • The Red Sox added a run in the bottom of the 4th as Bobby Dalbec smacked a solo blast to right-center 
  • The Blue Jays got one back in the top of the 5th as Lourdes Gurriel Jr. singled scoring Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
  • A batter later, Joe Panik singled home Rowdy Tellez and Travis Shaw 
  • Two batters later, Derek Fisher singled scoring Gurriel Jr.
  • A batter later, Cavan Biggio doubled home Fisher and Panik
  • Robbie Ray pitching line: 4IP 6H 4R (all earned) 3BB 5K 83 pitches (48 for strikes)
  • The Blue Jays added a run in the top of the 6th as Tellez drilled a solo bomb to dead center 
  • Four batters later, Shaw scored on a fielder's choice hit by Joseph
  • A batter later, Fisher singled home Gurriel Jr.
  • The Red Sox got one back in the bottom half of the inning on a sac fly by Jose Peraza that scored Michael Chavis
  • The Red Sox got one back in the bottom of the 8th on a solo bomb to left-center by Peraza
  • Two batters later, Bogaerts cranked a 2-run blast to dead center; also scoring Arauz
  • Rafael Dolis pitched a perfect 9th for his 2nd save of the season
  • Final score: Blue Jays 10 Red Sox 8

My Take:

  • Robbie Ray had a rough 1st inning, taking 31 pitches to strike out the side (actually both starters struck out the side in the 1st inning). In between he gave up three runs on 3 hits (capped by a 3-run HR) and a walk. It took him a further 52 pitches to get through the next 3 innings. He gave up 3 more hits, 2 more walks and another run. Pete Walker has much work to do to help with the consistency of his delivery
  • Caleb Joseph is now the best hitting catcher on the team. He had on hit (a HR) in 5AB and drove in a pair of runs. Defensively, he made a bad throw in the 2nd inning, allowing Jose Peraza to advance to 3rd after stealing 2B. I suspect the Blue Jays will keep things rolling with Joseph to see how he fares for a bit.
  • No base running gaffes so, improvement!
  • Every Blue Jays starter had at least 1 hit
  • Up next, the Blue Jays head back to Buffalo, where they will begin a three game set with the Yankees, who they face 10 times in the final 20 games. These head to head games should decide 2nd place in the AL East. Ace Hyun-Jin Ryu gets the start against Yankees lefty Jordan Montgomery

Game #39 Toronto Blue Jays (21-18) @ Boston Red Sox (14-27) - game recap

 

Teoscar Hernandez was 3-5 with 3 runs scored and 2RBI in a losing effort as the Red Sox Came from behind to walk off the Blue Jays 9-8

The Blue Jays are close to having the Canadian sports market to themselves. The Vancouver Canucks were the last Canadian-based team eliminated from the Stanley Cup Playoffs after a lackluster 3-0 shutout defeat to the Vegas Golden Knights. The Toronto Raptors are down 2-1 in their playoff series against the Boston Celtics and needed a late buzzer beater to avoid facing a 3-0 deficit. The Blue Jays are in a good position as they battle for a playoff spot. After splitting the double header yesterday, the Blue Jays were looking for the series win. Reese McGuire was optioned to the taxi squad for Caleb Joseph. McGuire  Chase Anderson got the start on the pitching bump. Cavan Biggio got the complete day off with Joe Panik at 2B, Randal Grichuk in CF and Teoscar Hernandez in RF. Vlad was back in the field after a couple of days either half off or completely off. Rowdy Tellez got the half day off, serving as the DH today. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. was also completely off with Derek Fisher in LF. Jonathan Villar got the start at SS. Could the Blue Jays get the Series win? Here is today's game recap.

Game Highlights:

  • The Blue Jays opened the scoring in the top of the 2nd as Teoscar Hernandez cranked a solo blast to dead center 
  • The Red Sox tied the game in the bottom half of the inning as JD Martinez hammered a solo bomb to dead center 
  • Three batters later, Jackie Bradley Jr. cranked a 2-run blast to right center; also scoring Christian Vazquez
  • Two batters later, Bobby Dalbec whacked a solo blast over the green monster
  • The Blue Jays got one back in the top of the 4th as Travis Shaw doubled home Rowdy Tellez
  • The Red Sox added a pair of runs in the bottom half of the inning as Rafael Devers doubled scoring Dalbec and Alex Verdugo
  • Chase Anderson pitching line: 4IP 9H 6R (all earned) 1BB 3K 79 pitches (50 for strikes)
  • Ryan Weber pitching line: 5IP 5H 2R (both earned) 1BB 2K 66 pitches (40 for strikes)
  • The Blue Jays got 3 back in the top of the 6th on a 3-run bomb to left-center by Vladimir Guerrero Jr.; also scoring Tellez and Hernandez
  • The Blue Jays tied the game in the top of the 7th as Hernandez singled scoring Randal Grichuk
  • Three batters later, Joe Panik doubled home Hernandez
  • Two batters later, Lourdes Gurriel Jr. singled scoring Guerrero Jr.
  • The Red Sox got one back in the bottom half of the inning as Devers smacked a solo blast to right-center
  • The Red Sox tied the game in the top of the 9th as Xander Bogaerts smashed a solo bomb to dead center 
  • Three batters later, Vasquez scored on a fielder's choice hit by Yairo Munoz. The run happened after a comedy of errors by the Blue Jays defense. First, Caleb Joseph threw the ball away, allowing Vasquez to advance from 1st to 3rd. Then, a pitch later, Travis Shaw made a horrible throw trying to gun down Vasquez at the plate.
  • Final score: Red Sox 9 Blue Jays 8

My Take:

  • There were yet more base running follies. This time, Jonathan Villar was thrown out at 2B trying to stretch a single into a double in the 5th. In the 7th, Rowdy Tellez was thrown out at 3rd base trying go from 1st to 3rd in the 7th. This might be what sinks the Blue Jays playoff chances or leads to an early exit.
  • Chase Anderson had a rough outing, allowing 6 runs on 9 hits while walking 1 and striking out 3. He's pretty much back up to where he should be in terms of pitch count after missing the first couple of weeks with an oblique injury.
  • Caleb Joseph made his MLB debut, coming in defensively in the bottom of the 7th. He walked in his only AB, and had a rough go in the 9th, throwing the ball away to allow the winning run to advance from 1st to 3rd, then couldn't do anything about a wide throw by Shaw 
  • Every Blue Jays starter but Danny Jansen had at least one hit. 
  • The Blue Jays were a paltry 4-15 with runners in scoring position 
  • Up next, the rubber match of the series. After splitting the 1st 4 games in this rare 5 game seroes thanks to a double header, the blue Jays will try to end the road trip with a win and snap the 2 game losing streak. Robbie Ray gets his first start in a Blue Jays uniform (he has a relief appearance). The Red Sox will counter with righty Andrew Triggs 

Friday, September 4, 2020

Games #37 and 38 Toronto Blue Jays (13-27) @ Boston Red Sox (21-17) - game recap (records reflect what they were after the second game today)

 

Randal Grichuk knocked in the winning run in the first game of today's twin bill as the Blue Jays and Red Sox split the double header with the Blue Jays edging the Red Sox 8-7 in the first game and the Red Sox edging the Blue Jays in the second game.

After a thrilling come from behind extra innings win, Blue Jays fans got a double header today.  The Blue Jays were the "home" team in the second game. With the new (hopefully temporary) rules, there were only 14 guaranteed innings as opposed to the traditional 18 with each game being minimum seven innings in length. Tanner Roark started the 1st game. Ross Stripling made his Blue Jays debut and started the 2nd game. Vlad was at DH the 1st game and off the second game entirely with Rowdy Tellez at 1B. Travis Shaw was back in the lineup at the hot corner after the day off yesterday. Joe Panik was at SS and Cavan Biggio was back at his regular 2B position. Teoscar Hernandez DH'd in the 2nd game after playing in RF the 1st game. Reese McGuire was behind the plate for the 2nd game after Danny Jansen got the start in the 1st game. Jonathan Villar was at SS in the second game and got the 1st game off. Could the Blue Jays sweep the double header and extend the win streak to 4 games? Here are today's game recaps

Game highlights (1st game):

  • The Blue Jays opened the scoring in the top of the 2nd as Travis Shaw smashed a solo blast to dead center
  • Two batters later, Danny Jansen cranked a 2-run blast to dead center; also scoring Joe Panik
  • The Red Sox got a pair back in the bottom half of the inning as Yairo Munoz smacked a 2-run blast to left-center also scoring Kevin Plawecki 
  • Zack Godley pitching line: 3IP 5H 4R (all earned) 1BB 4K 51 pitches (31 for strikes)
  • The Blue Jays added a run in the top of the 4th on a double play ball hit by Teoscar Hernandez that scored Randal Grichuk
  • The Blue Jays added a run in the top of the 5th on a sac fly by Rowdy Tellez that scored Cavan Biggio
  • The Red Sox got one back in the bottom half of the inning as Jose Peraza doubled home Munoz
  • Two batters later, Peraza scored on a wild pitch by Tanner Roark 
  • Tanner Roark pitching line: 4.1IP 7H 4R (all earned) 1BB 6K 79 pitches (49 for strikes)
  • The Blue Jays added a run in the top of the 6th as Panik singled scoring Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
  • Three batters later, Grichuk singled home Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and Shaw
  • The Red Sox got one back in the bottom half of the inning as Munoz doubled home Plawecki
  • A batter later, Michael Chavis singled scoring Jackie Bradley Jr.
  • A batter later, Munoz scored on a fielder's choice hit by Peraza
  • Anthony Bass pitched a perfect 7th for his 5th save of the season
  • Final score: Blue Jays 8 Red Sox 7

My take (1st game):

  • This one was a back and forth contest that ended with the Blue Jays edging the Red Sox by one. Both teams scored in the 2nd, 5th, and 6th innings and the 1st, 4th, and 7th innings were scoreless. Essentially the difference in the ball game was the single run the Blue Jays produced in the 3rd and then holding Boston off the scoreboard in their half of the inning
  • It was an up/down day for Tanner Roark, who started the game striking out the 1st 4 batters he faced. Command was good, walking just the one batter. 5th inning was ugly with 2 runs on 3 hits, a walk and a wild pitch
  • Every Blue Jays starter, except Rowdy Tellez and Teoscar Hernandez scored at least one run. All but Hernandez got on base at least once.
  • Up next, the Blue Jays go for the double header sweep. Ross Stripling makes his Blue Jays debut against Red Sox righty Chris Mazza

Game Highlights (2nd game)

  • The Red Sox took the lead in the top of the 2nd on a ground-rule double by Tze-Wei Lin that scored Christian Vazquez
  • The Red Sox added a run in the top of the 3rd as Michael Chavis singled home Rafael Devers
  • The Blue Jays got one back in the bottom of the 4th as Rowdy Tellez smacked a solo blast to left and over the green monster 
  • The Red Sox added a run in the top of the 5th on a throwing error by Reese McGuire on a pick-off attempt that scored Yairo Munoz
  • Chris Mazza pitching line: 4IP 3H 1R (earned) 1BB 2K 67 pitches (41 for strikes)
  • Ross Stripling pitching line: 4.1IP 6H 3R (2 earned) 2BB 4K 81 pitches (51 for strikes)
  • The Blue Jays got one back in the bottom of the 6th as Jonathan Villar singled home Randal Grichuk
  • Matt Barnes pitched the 7th for his 4th save of the season.
  • Final score: Red Sox 3 Blue Jays 2

My take (2nd game)

  • Ross Stripling had an ok debut for the Blue Jays giving up 3 runs (2 earned) on 6 hits while walking 2 and striking out 4. His catcher Reese McGuire (who continues to have a horrible season at the plate - 0-3 on the day) didn't help his cause in the 5th, throwing the ball away with the bases juiced. Stripling got into jams in the 2nd and 3rd but limited the damage to a single run
  • The Blue Jays biggest threat came in the 6th when they had runners on 1st and 2nd with 1 out, but could only muster 1 run
  • Up next, the Blue Jays go for the series win in another bullpen day. The Red Sox will counter with righty Ryan Weber 

Game #37 + #38: A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. ༼ ͡° ͜ʖ ͡° ༽ Jays @ Sux starting at 4PM EST.

Game #36 Toronto Blue Jays (20-16) @ Boston Red Sox (12-26) - game recap

 

Teoscar Hernandez hit a go-ahead 3-run HR in the 10th as the Blue Jays came from behind to defeat the Red Sox 6-2

After splitting the two game series in Miami, the Blue Jays headed north to Boston to begin a rare 5-game series that includes a double header Friday. This will be a battle of two teams heading in opposite directions. The Red  Sox are dead last in the AL East and are engaged in a race to the bottom to try and get the best draft position. Boston said goodbye to outfielder Kevin Pillar for the second time and also sent relievers Heath Hembree and Brandon Workman packing in several deals. The Blue Jays, on the other hand are very much looking to make the playoffs. They added tonight's starter Taijuan Walker, Utility man Jonathan Villar, Daniel Vogelbach (he was DFA'd a couple of days ago), and pitchers Robbie Ray and Ross Stripling. Vlad was back in the field after getting the complete day off (though he did have a pinch hit appearance last night). Randal Grichuk was also back in the field after serving as DH yesterday. Cavan Biggio slid over to RF after playing CF yesterday, Joe Panik was at the hot corner, Santiago Espinal was at SS and Jonathan Villar started at 2B. Could the Blue Jays make it two wins in a row? Here is tonight's game recap.

Game Highlights:

  • The Red Sox took the lead in the bottom of the 2nd as Jackie Bradley Jr. whacked a solo blast to right-center 
  • The Red Sox added a run in the bottom of the 6th on a bases loaded walk by Bradley Jr. that forced in Rafael Devers
  • The Blue Jays got a run back in the top of the 7th as Joe Panik singled home Teoscar Hernande
  • Taijuan Walker pitching  line: 5.2IP 6H 2R (both earned) 1BB 4K 81 pitches (50 for strikes)
  • Martin Perez pitching line: 6.2IP 3H 1R (earned) 3BB 5K 96 pitches (54 for strikes)
  • The Blue Jays tied the game in the top of the 8th on a wild pitch by Ryan Brasier that scored Cavan Biggio
  • The Blue Jays took the lead in the top of the 10th on a 3-run bomb to right-center by Teoscar Hernandez; also scoring Biggio and Derek Fisher 
  • Two batters later, Gurriel Jr. smacked a solo blast to left and over the green monster 
  • Final score: Blue Jays 6 Red Sox 2 (10 innings)

My Take:

  • Taijuan Walker had another solid start, firing 5.2 innings pitched, allowing 2 runs on 6 hits while walking 1 and striking out 4. He really only got in trouble during the even number innings. He retired the Red Sox order in the 1st, 3rd and 5th. In the 2nd inning, he gave up his only run on a solo shot by Jackie Bradley Jr., then allowed a single before getting the final out. In the 4th inning, he escaped the jam with a double play. In the 6th inning, he left with the bases loaded, and Anthony Kay allowed one of the runs to score by walking the first batter he faced.
  • On the other side of the coin, it looked like the Blue Jays were going to be no-hit for the first time since James Paxton no hit the Blue Jays at the Rogers Center in 2018. Red Sox starter Martin Perez allowed just 4 base runners on three walks and a horrible error that was nullified by Vlad inexplicably trying to score AFTER Red Sox 2B Michael Chavis had picked up the dropped ball and was about to throw it back in the infield (I guess he was trying to catch Chavis napping?). The Blue Jays got to Perez in the 7th with 3 singles, the last breaking the shutout bid. The Blue Jays then manufactured the tying run on a wild pitch before taking the lead in the 10th on a huge 3-run blast by Teo. Gurriel Jr. tacked on another run with a bomb over the green monster 
  • Running gaffes continue to be a huge problem. After three gaffes a night earlier, Guerrero ran into the 3rd out against a pitcher who was dealing at the time. The next inning, Jonathan Villar chose to slide trying to beat out an infield single. Baseball is all about fundamentals and those count bigger in the playoffs 
  • Six of the seven hits the Blue Jays got belonged to three players (Teoscar Hernandez, Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and Joe Panik)
  • Up next, the Blue Jays try to make it three in a row. Tanner Roark pitches against Red Sox righty Zack Godley

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Game #35 Toronto Blue Jays (19-16) @ Miami Marlins (16-16) - game recap


Hyun-jin Ryu threw 6 strong innings in a 2-1 victory over the Marlins


After a heartbreaking late game loss to the Marlins last night, the Blue Jays turned to ace Hyun-jin Ryu to right the ship and snap the 2 game losing streak. Lots of lineup changes for this one. Vlad received the complete day, while Randal Grichuk got the half day off, serving as the DH, While Rowdy Tellez was at 1B and Cavan Biggio played in CF. Newcomer Jonathan Pillar was at 2B with Espinal Santiago getting the start at SS. Danny Jansen was back behind the plate after a day off last night. Could the Blue Jay split the series? Here is tonight's game recap.

Game Highlights:

  • The Blue Jays opened the scoring in the top of the 5th as Lourdes Gurriel Jr. lined a 2-run blast to left-center; also scoring Rowdy Tellez
  • The Marlins got one back in the bottom half of the inning as Garrett Cooper singled scoring Jon Berti
  • Hyun-jin Ryu pitching line: 6IP 5H 1R (earned) 2BB 8K 99 pitches (65 for strikes)
  • Sixto Sanchez pitching line: 7IP 6H 2R (both earned) 0BB 5K 79 pitches (56 for strikes)
  • Anthony Bass pitched a perfect 9th for his 4th save of the season
  • Final score: Blue Jays 2 Marlins 1

My Take:

  • Hyun-Jin Ryu continued his impressive start to his Blue Jays career, pitching 6 innings, allowing a run on 4 hits while walking 2 and striking out 8. He and Danny Jansen have formed a nice tandem and have figured out good game plans together
  • Jonathan Pillar had a night to forget. He was thrown out at 2nd base trying to stretch a single into a double in the 1st inning, he threw the ball away in the 2nd inning on an attempted fielder's choice and he was picked off at 3rd base to end the 4th inning. Charlie Montoyo should be sitting him down and telling him to relax and let the game come to him instead of trying to force plays.
  • Lourdes Gurriel Jr. was also picked off on a wild pitch by Sixto Sanchez in the 2nd inning. He started going to 2nd base and quickly slammed on the brakes and tried to come back to 1st base, but he had strayed too far
  • The bullpen was excellent tonight, allowing 1 hit and walking one (and both those came in the 7th inning)
  • Up next, the Blue Jays head north to Boston for an uber rare 5-game series (Friday will be a double header). Taijuan Walker makes his second start as a Blue Jay. He threw 6 shutout innings in his last start. The Red Sox will counter with lefty Martin Perez

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Game #34 Toronto Blue Jays (18-16) @ Miami Marlins (16-15) - game recap

 

Vlad hit a pair of singles in a 3-2 loss to the Marlins

As expected after a busy trade deadline yesterday, the Blue Jays made a series of moves to create space on the active roster. Jacob Waguespack was optioned and added to the taxi squad. Jonathan Davis, Alejandro Kirk and Patrick Murphy were added to the taxi squad. Brandon Drury, Daniel Vogelbach and Sam Gaviglio were all DFA'd. Jonathan Villar and Robbie Ray were added to the active roster. There were also several injury updates. Trent Thornton underwent surgery to remove loose bodies from hos elbow and is done for the season. Bo Bichette did some sprints, took ground balls and hit in the batting cage Tuesday. Ken Giles threw a bullpen to live hitters and felt well after. He'll do it again Saturday in Boston. Finally Nate Pearson progressed to throwing 120 feet. For today, Julian Merryweather got the start in a bullpen day for the Blue Jays. Charlie Montoyo thinks the team will ease newcomer Robbie Ray in with a relief appearance, before likely joining the rotation. Villar jumped right in the deep end, batting 3rd and playing SS tonight. Vlad got the half day off as DH with Rowdy Tellez at 1B. Derek Fisher was in RF and Reese McGuire got the start behind the plate. Could the Blue Jays start the road trip with a win? Here is tonight's game recap.

Game Highlights:

  • The Blue Jays opened the scoring in the top of the 1st on a groundout by Jonathan Villar that scored Cavan Biggio
  • Elieser Hernandez pitching line: 2IP 2H 1R (earned) 1BB 2K 39 pitches (24 for strikes)
  • Julian Merryweather pitching line: 2IP 0H 0R 1BB 3K 31 pitches (21 for strikes
  • The Marlins tied the game in the bottom of the 3rd as Jon Berti smashed a solo bomb to dead center
  • The Blue Jays took the lead in the top of the 4th on a sac fly by Derek Fisher that scored Rowdy Tellez
  • The Marlins retied it in the bottom of the 6th as Garrett Cooper doubled home Starling Marte 
  • The Marlins took the lead in the bottom of the 8th as Marte cranked a solo blast to left-center
  • Brandon Kintzler pitched a perfect 9th for his 8th save of the season
  • Final score: Marlins 3 Blue Jays 2
My Take:

  • Julian Merryweather had a solid outing, walking a batter and striking out 3 over the 1st 2 innings. Based on a small sample size, Merryweather has a bright future ahead of him.
  • This one turned into a battle of the bullpens when Marlins starter Elieser Hernandez called for the trainer after throwing three balls to the first batter he faced in the 3rd inning. Hernandez left with a back strain
  • Robbie Ray was decent in his Blue Jays debut, firing 3.1 innings, allowing 2 runs (1 earned) on 4 hits while Pete Walker can iron out the kinks
  • Jonathan Villar's debut wasn't as great. He was 0-4 at the plate (drove in a run with a ground out) and made a costly error to start the 6th that eventually led to a tying run
  • Reese McGuire continues to struggle at the plate - he was 0-3 today and is batting a paltry .083
  • Up next, the Blue Jays go for the series split. Ace Hyun-jin Ryu gets the start against Marlins righty Sixto Sanchez.