The Blue Jays had a short week this week with the MLB reaching the midway point of the season, and gearing up for the Home Run Derby and All-Star game. That meant that the 3 game series with the Tampa Bay Rays would be the only series of the week. It was a good chance for the Jays to close the gap on the team right in front of them in the AL East.
Game 1: Jays 1 – 7 Rays
Alek Manoah got the start for Toronto, and unlike his last performance, this was a tough outing. While Manoah did manage 9 strike outs, he couldn’t get out of the 4th inning. He gave up 3 runs, and plunking Ji Man Choi with the bases loaded got him the hook. The Jays offense only produced 1 run, a single by George Springer that cashed Bo Bichette, and that wouldn’t be nearly enough. The Rays put 4 more runs up on the Jays pen, and took the opener 7-1.
Game 2: Jays 2 – 5 Rays
This game was very similar to game 1. The Jays Starter, Ross Stripling, struggled early and couldn’t keep the ball in the park. He gave up 4 runs in 3 2/3 innings, and surrender 3 home runs. Again, that would be enough for Tampa Bay, as the Blue Jays’ offense didn’t have much going on. Marcus Semien hit his 22nd home run of the season, but that was the only 2 runs in the game for Toronto. It looks like the all star break is much needed for Toronto at this point.
Game 3: Jays 3 – 1 Rays
It looked like if Toronto didn’t want to get swept, they were going to need a monster performance by their starting pitcher, and that’s exactly what they got. Robbie Ray was lights out in his 7 innings of work. He only gave up 1 hit and 1 walk, all while striking out 11 batters! The Toronto offense wasn’t impressive again, but it got the job done on this day. RBI’s by Cavan Biggio, Santiago Espinal, and solo shot by Danny Jansen, would be all the run support Robbie Ray needed. Jordan Romano was a little shaky in the 9th, but was able to shut it down for the save.
Jays Series Standout:
This one is easy, with the offense being so quiet, Robbie Ray stepped up in a big way. His awesome performance salvaged at least 1 game out of the 3.
After this series loss, the Jays sit 8 games back of the Boston Red Sox for top spot in the AL East. If they want a chance to make the post season, they are going to have to work on their consistency. Toronto have to start putting wins together, and keep the wins coming. So many times this year they’ve had a week where they went 5-2 to then drop 4 of the next 6 games. This team has been exciting to watch all year, and I hope they can make a charge at the playoffs in the second half of the season.
Speaking of excitement, the AL won the all star game 5-2 on Tuesday night and a familiar face had a lot to do with that. Vladimir Guerrero Jr chipped with 2 RBI’s and a MONSTER 468 foot solo home run, all while making some history. Vladdy became the youngest player ever to win the All-Star MVP awards.
You can catch every inning of Toronto Blue Jays baseball on Rogers Sportsnet, and check in here weekly at Hot Sauce Sports for the breakdown.
Here is the latest episode of the Chtib and Zhang show, where the boys are talking Connor Mcgregor and NBA finals