Tag Archives: MLB

Blue Jays Drop Series 2-1 Against Rangers

By Matt Harrison – @MattHurrison

April 7th, 2021

For three straight games the Toronto Blue Jays were hosted by the Texas Rangers. Game 1 was another fast start for Toronto, chasing Rangers pitcher Mike Foltynewicz by the 4th in 95 pitches. By that point the Jays were up 4-1. During which time Cavan Biggio hit his first homer of the season.

The Rangers will be selling tickets for every game this season without limitation. Select sections are designated as socially distanced. Still, some 38,000 tickets were sold for game one. The Texas Rangers are the first team in US/Canada sports to host as many guests since COVID protocol began

Once the Blue Jays had taken control I read a book through the rest of the game. The final score was 6-2 for Toronto.

Game two of the series turned out to be a redemption match of sorts for the Rangers who came out of the third inning with a 5-1 lead. Bo Bichette hit his first two home runs of the season, the lone highlight of a 7-4  Blue Jay loss.

Jermain Franklin of TSN said the full stadium in Texas was neat to see while being “almost as frightening as any scary movie” considering the high rate of COVID infections and the low rate of vaccinations. There were noticeably less people at the second and third games. Still, thousands found their way to their seats , violating COVID protocol in any state or province other than Texas.

Game three…

Bo Bichette seems to have stolen the heart of fans and commentators alike by setting all sorts of records for a Blue Jay in only his first 100 games.  In his third season Bichette has begun showing exactly what he brings to this team in the short and long term. Come season end, Bichette will be looking for a fresh contract, one the Blue Jay brass will be happy to draw up

A second inning solo homerun gave the Rangers a 1-0 lead. In the same inning a soft hit off a broken bat brought a runner home from second, extending the Rangers lead to 2-0.

In the top of the 5th the Blue Jays had bases loaded for Cavan Biggio. With one out Biggio hit straight up the middle for an inning ending double play. Through 6 games the Jays have had three basses loaded situations, none of which they have been able to capitalize on.

Hyuan-Jin Ryu started on the mound for the Blue Jays, his second start of the season. He played strong through 7 innings, striking out 7 in 90 pitches.

Cut to the 8th inning… 

Marcus Semien, the first Blue Jay batter of the inning, hit his 3rd homerun of the season cutting the Ranger lead in half. With that the Blue Jays have now hit a homerun in each of the first six games this season.

Two batters later Vladimir Guerrero Jr. came up with one man on with two out. He watched the first three pitches go by. The count was 3-0 when Vladdy swung at a high pitch he sent straight up. His frustration was obvious though he restrained himself from smashing his bat into the ground at homeplate. The ball was caught, the inning was over. The score remained 2-1 for Texas

Joe Panik got himself on base in the ninth but he would be left stranded. The rangers won it on a walk-off but this game could have gone either way. What the Blue Jays showed in this series is they have two sides to them; one of young energy and hitting power and one of a team that has some fine-tuning left to do. There’s promise in this season and the best has yet to be seen. The Blue Jays will next take on the LA Angels.

Blue Jays Take Series 2-1 Over Yankees

By Matt Harrison@MattHurrison

When I tuned in to the second game between Toronto and New York, Blue Jays pitcher Tim Mayza had just inherited a two-out situation with bases loaded in the bottom of the sixth. The score was 3-2 and Jay Bruce was up to bat for the Yankess with a career average of .280 and 9 grand slams with bases loaded.

With a 2-2 count Bruce hit a ball that dropped between three Blue Jays, bringing LeMahieu and Aaron Judge home to score. The inning ended with a 5-2 Yankee lead.

The Jay’s were only able to score one more in the 7th, losing 5-3. The third and final game of the series would be in New York the next day.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. came into game 3 with a .400 batting average and started the day with a homerun in the top 2nd, his first of the season. In the same inning Lourdes Gurriel Jr. got himself on base before Randal Grichuk hit a two run homerun to put the Jays up 3-0.

Domingo German had a rough start for the Yankees, throwing 68 pitches in 3 innings, giving up both homers in the process.

In the bottom half of the third Aaron Judge stepped aboard with two on and one out. He hit a fast grounder to Marcus Semien who played the ball to Bo Bichette at second. In one fluid motion Bichette spun off the base and fired to first to make the double play and end the inning with the finest defensive play of the game

In the top of the fourth, with two on for the Blue Jays, Yankee catcher Gary Sanchez reached too far for an 0-2 pitch and interfered with the swing of Cavan Biggio. Biggio was awarded first, loading the bases for Bo Bichette. A career .273 hitter with bases loaded, Bichette was thrown out after hitting a bouncing grounder to the second baseman.

Bichette recorded his 100th career hit with a double in the top of the first. Playing his 78th career game, Bichette became the fastest player in Blue Jays history to record their 100th hit. Finishing the day just 1 for 4 Bichette showed what else he’s capable of with several significant defensive plays across the game.

Pitcher T.J. Zeuch started the day pitching for the Blue Jays. Zuech isn’t known for strikeouts but with a good defense behind him he was able to get the job done for Toronto. He pitched a shutout through 4 innings before being pulled for middle reliever Trent Thornton. In 4 innings Zeuch averaged 16 pitches per inning with only 3 hits allowed.

The only Blue Jay pitcher to struggle today was Thornton who, at one point, threw seven straight pitches called ball and allowed the only Yankee run of the afternoon. Thornton allowed two doubles in 1.1 innings pitched and was failed once by his fielders who again allowed a ball to land between three of them.

Blue Jay hitters didn’t have much success against Yankees reliever Michael King who entered the game after 4 rough innings from German. King allowed just one hit in the last 6 innings while striking out 3.

For Toronto, David Phelps started the 7th and struck out 2 while Jordan Romano made short work of the top of the Yankee lineup in the 8th.

Julian Merrywhether came out to close out after a strong 10th inning in game one. Merrywhether struckout two of the three batters he saw, recording the second save of his career and the second Blue Jay win of the season.

Blue Jays vs Yankees in Season Opener

By Matt Harrison@Matthurrison

April 1st, 2021

The Toronto Blue Jays and New York Yankees took to the field as a prelude to spring for the first game of the 2021 Major League Baseball season. Each team is ready to start the marathon season for a shot at playing post-season baseball. Between now and then remains 1,500 or so innings, the first of which were undertaken Thursday afternoon.

The umpire was consistently off when it came to calling pitches to the left of the strikezone but he was sure to burn both teams evenly with no real harm done. Blue Jay performances worth noting were Vladimir Guererro Jr. who finished the day 1-2 with two walks while being left stranded three times. Hyuan Jin Ryu allowed 2 runs over 5.1 innings allowing 4 hits and striking out 5. 

Let’s skip to…

The top of the 9th, 1 out and the game tied 2-2. Darren O’Day of the Yankees was out hurling his sidearm pitches, taking batters out at the bottom of the zone. With one man on first base, Lourdes Gurriel Jr. hit a 2-2 pitch which landed six feet outside the foul line, deep in the outfield. Yankee catcher Gary Sanchez took a hit on the back of his glove hand from Gurriel Jr’s backswing. The tingle took a couple minutes to shake off while Gurriel struck out on the swing. 

Rowdy Tellez came up next for the Jays with two outs. Tellez shattered his bat on the very first pitch. On O’Day’s 23rd pitch of the inning Tellez hit a foul ball deep which Aaron Judge caught at the wall.

Jordan Romano took the mound for Toronto for the bottom ninth in New York. He walked the first man, Mike Tauchman, and on the next pitch Tauchman stole second. Romano pitched a full count to Jay Bruce before striking him out. Blue Jay catcher Danny Janseon fumbled the next pitch and Tauchman was able to steal third. Romano walked the next batter, leaving a man on first and third with just one out.

Blue Jays pitching coach Pete Walker came out to talk with his pitcher before leaving him be. DJ LeMahieu stepped up to bat and hit one straight to infielder Cavan Biggio who made the catch and threw a bullet home where Mike Tauchman was finally tagged out, knocking up dust with his body after he fell past home plate. Aaron Judge stepped up next and Jordan Romano quickly struck him out.

Extra innings:

The 10th inning in MLB starts with a runner at second base and the Jays chose Jonathan Davis for the job. The first batter up, Randal Grichuk, hit an RBI double that bounced off the back wall and over the head of Aaron Judge, sending Davis home for a 3-2 lead. Up next were Marcus Semien followed by Cavan Biggio who quickly retook their spots on the bench, each going 0-5 on the day.

Julian Merrywhether came out to pitch in the bottom 10th and looked much more comfortable than Romano had in the ninth. Merrywhether threw 8 consecutive strikes with 3 very casual strikeouts. Looking totally relaxed, Merrywhether finished the game on a 99mph strikeout for a 3-2 Toronto win.

The Blue Jays proved they are a team to watch this year. Today was a promising good look at what’s to come. Only 161 games to go…