The Blue Jays are coming off another up and down week in the win/loss column, but did make huge moves at the trade deadline. Toronto acquired Jose Barrios and Joakim Soria to really bolster their pitching staff going into the second half of the season. They did give up a lot, but the front office are making a push for the playoffs this year. Speaking of the playoff push, the Jays had a 3 game series against Kansas City, before taking on Cleveland in a 4 game series.
Game 1: Jays 6 – 4 Royals
The Jays got on the board early, as they like to do, scoring 2 runs in the 2nd inning, and 1 run in the 3rd, highlighted by Teoscar Hernandez’s 16th homer of the season. It wasn’t much of a lead but it was enough for Ross Stripling on this night. Stripling has a good outing going 5 1/3 innings, only allowing 2 runs. With the score 3-2 Toronto in the bottom of the 7th, Bo Bichette would put this game out of reach with a 2-run home run. Giving the Jays the win in front of the over 13,000 people in attendance at the Rogers centre. The first game back in Canada this season.
Game 2 Jays 4 – 0 Royals
This game was all about 2 players, Jays starter Alek Manoah, and big off-season signing, George Springer. Manoah had one of his best outings of the season, going 7 scoreless innings, while only allowing 2 hits and a single walk. Most of the offense in this game came from the bat of George Springer. He had 2 HR’s and scored 3 of the Blue Jays’ 4 runs.
Game 3: Jays 5 – 1 Royals
Sunday afternoon saw the Toronto debut of starting pitcher Jose Barrios. He pitched very well, and went 6 shutout innings. He did give up 5 hits, but they led to nothing. Barrios also struck 7 batters in his debut. The runs in this game came from home runs from Marcus Semien, his 25th of the season, and Santiago Espinal. The Jays were up 5-0 going into the 9th, where Royals did get 1 back, but it wasn’t enough, and the Jays earned themselves a big 3 game sweep.
Jays Series Standout:
Even though the pitching was fantastic over the weekend, the standout has to be George Springer. He had 5 extra base hits in the series, including his 2 home runs on Saturday.
Game 1: Jays 2 – 5 Indians (10 innings)
It would be the Indians who would get on the board first in the top of the 3rd inning, with RBI singles from Harold Ramirez and Oscar Mercado. It could’ve been more but Randal Grichuk threw out Rosario at home. Those would be the only 2 runs Robbie Ray would give up over his 6 innings of work, for yet another strong outing. The Jays would tie the game in the bottom of the 6th, when Vladdy hit his 34th homer of the season to tie the game at 2. This one needed extras, and in the top of 10th, Cleveland broke it open. Brad Hand came in to try to hold the Indians but it didn’t go well. After a Rosario RBI single, Jose Ramirez would hit a 2-run HR to give the Indians the lead, and eventually the 5-2 win.
Game 2: Jays 7 – 2 Indians
This game got off to a much better start for Toronto, as they had a 3-0 lead after 1. Geroge Springer hit his 12th HR to lead off the game, and Teo Hernandez hit a 2-run shot to make it 3-0. After each team scored a run in the 4th inning, the Jays would add 2 more runs in the 5th, RBI’s from Bo Bichette and Teo Hernandez who had a great night. Both teams again would score 1 run each in the 6th, and that would be all for the offense. Hyun Jin Ryu got his 11th win of the season. Going a strong 7 innings, only allowing 2 runs, and striking out 8, to get the Jays back to winning ways.
Game 3: Jays 8 – 6 Indians
George Springer would hit his second lead off home run in a row, which highlighted an impressive 1st inning by the Jays, where they’d score 4 runs. Bo Bichette had an RBI in the 2nd to make it 5-0, and an RBI single by Reese McGuire, and 2-run double by Springer made it 8-0 after 3. It looked like smooth sailing from here as Steven Matz went a solid 6 innings, not surrendering a run, but the Indians would make it interesting late. In the 8th inning, Tyler Saucedo would give up 4 runs without getting an out, and in the 9th, Jordan Romano would allow 2 more to score before finally getting the last out to win 8-6.
Game 4: Jays 3 – 0 Indians
The last game of the series was all about the pitching for Toronto. Ross Stripling got the start, and went 6 shutout innings, only allowing 3 hits and a walk, while striking out 6. From there, Richards, Mayza, and Cimber were near perfect, as the 3 relievers only gave up 1 walk, and preserved the shutout. The offense came in the 4th, when Bo Bichette hit his 20th home run of the season, a 2-run shot, and another RBI from Bichette in the 6th.
Jays Series Standout:
Once again, the series standout is going to be George Springer. He had 8 hits in the series, 5 RBI and 2 lead off home runs.
This was a near perfect week by Toronto, and while we can’t expect to go 7-0 or 6-1 every week, but they have to take advantage of it. If Toronto then go 2-5 next week, it’ll be a waste, so they have to build on this great stretch of games. The Jays have an extremely tough week ahead with 8 games in the next 7 days. A 4 game set against the Red Sox, before another 4 game series with the Angels (4 game series instead of 3 because of an earlier rain out). Let’s see if Toronto can keep climbing up the ladder to get into a playoff spot!
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 will be focusing on NHL and NBA free agency.