Series Recap: Stroman, Blue Jays have a rough time with the White Sox

Well, we don’t have to see the Chicago White Sox ever again (this year), which is a good thing, because, goddamn, they pounded the crap out of the Jays in their six meetings this season. 

What Happened?

The series opened up on Friday with a game between two good, young starters in Aaron Sanchez and Carlos Rodon. The two pretty much matched each other all the way, with Sanchez going six innings, navigating in and out of trouble, and ultimately allowing two runs, while Rodon was pulled with two outs in the fifth before Matt Albers allowed his inherited runner to score, leaving him with two earned runs. 

The game became a battle of bullpens, which the White Sox would win. Jesse Chavez came in to pitch the seventh and induced a ground ball to Josh Donaldson that took an absurd hop past his glove and into left field. The runner, Tim Anderson, advanced to third on a fly out that was pretty poorly played by Ryan Goins, then, after Edwin Encarnacion made a nice snag at first to get the second out of the inning, Todd Fraizer gave Chicago a 3-2 lead with an RBI single. 

In the ninth, the Jays loaded the bases on an excellent at bat from Darwin Barney, in which he earned a walk after going down two strikes, and singles from Zeke Carrera and Josh Donaldson. But David Robertson would buckle down, getting Edwin to strike out on some very, very well placed cutters, then forcing Michael Saunders to pop out to end the game. 3-2 White Sox. 

At least we got to see our old pal, Mark Buehrle!

If botching the bases loaded with one out in the ninth inning of a very winnable game got you feeling frustrated, the game on Saturday sure as hell made up for it. The Jays grabbed R.A. Dickey a 5-0 lead right out of the gate thanks to doubles from Donaldson, Edwin, Saunders, and Tulo, then a two-run homer from Devon Travis in the second inning. 

Dickey, who usually never gets any run support at all, went and gave the lead right back in the bottom half of the second, as Brett Lawrie, Dioner Navarro, and J.B. Shuck combined for one of the most unusual back-to-back-to-back home run specials you’ll ever see. But the Jays were adamant that R.A. would enjoy himself a nice, cushy lead, as they went and grabbed three more runs on a bases loaded walk and single in the top of the fourth inning. 

Lawrie homered again in the bottom half, which, oddly enough, earned him the first multi-homer game of his career. I swear he had one of these with the Jays, but I actually went through his game log on Baseball Reference, and much to my surprise, he didn’t! So good for you, Brett. The lost weight/goggles/mouthguard are clearly paying dividends! Tim Anderson homered in the seventh, Alex Avila homered in the eighth, and Adam Eaton homered in the ninth, giving Chicago seven solo home runs over the game.

SEVEN HOME RUNS? What?! How on earth do you hit seven homers and only score eight runs?! The Jays became only the third team in MLB history to allow seven homers and still win the goddamn game, which is, wow, uh, incredible? Remember this game when the Jays lose a bad one that they should have won. 10-8 Blue Jays. 


The series finale on Sunday was one that, let’s be honest, was kind of a mismatch nobody was really looking forward to. Marcus Stroman got rocked up again, allowing four earned runs on seven hits and four walks over five innings. And, of course, Chris Sale was excellent for the White Sox, allowing two solo homers over eight innings in which he was damn near untouchable. 

I guess this can be the game in which Junior Lake hit a home run off of Chris fucking Sale, because that’s something you don’t actually expect to happen in real life. 5-2 White Sox. 

Positives 

To be honest, this really wasn’t a very good series at all, so it’s pretty difficult to find positives to talk about. I guess the biggest positive I can draw is that we won’t have to see the Chicago White Sox again this season, which is fantastic because Chicago basically steamrolled right through the Jays in their six meetings this season. Good riddance! 

While one win and two losses over the weekend is pretty disappointing for a team who had been making up serious ground over the previous few weeks, the Boston Red Sox also had a rough time, dropping two of three games to the Texas Rangers. I mean, hell, I fucking despise the Rangers, and the only time, really, that I’ll ever spin them winning games as a positive is when it comes against the Boston Red Sox/New York Yankees/Baltimore Orioles. So, good! If the Jays are going to lose games, I’ll take some solace in the fact that the Junk Sox are also losing games. 

In terms of individual performances worth talking about, Troy Tulowitzki has been excellent since coming off the DL, which is a pretty damn good (and important) sign. In seven games, Tulo has eight hits in 25 at bats, including three home runs and two doubles. He said that when he was recovering from his injury, he took some time to think about his approach, and it looks like it’s been working, as this could actually be the best stretch we’ve seen from Tulo since he joined the team eleven months ago. 

Otherwise… Meh. 

Negatives 

While the positives are difficult to find, the negatives, well, aren’t at all, unfortunately. Since I did this with the Sox, I have to go the other way, too, and mention how the shit trash Orioles went ahead and pounded the living crap out of the Tampa Bay Rays this weekend, who seem to have completely given up on their season at this point. The Dick Birds grabbed a four-game sweep in Tampa Bay, giving them a five game lead over the Jays in the American League East. Yuck. Stupid Rays. Why couldn’t they suddenly go from awful to good against the Orioles like they did when they came to Toronto in mid-May? 

The starting pitching wasn’t great this series, and that was highlighted, of course, by Marcus Stroman’s continued struggles. Aaron Sanchez was fine, and even though he allowed a lot of baserunners, he looked like a veteran, inducing ground balls and picking up key strikeouts to navigate through the danger. R.A. Dickey had a very R.A. Dickey start, and, at this point, I’ve come to not worry about him, as we know that by the end of the season we’re going to get value out of him, although it’ll include a handful of very good and very bad starts. So whatever. 

But back to Stroman. He said after the game that he felt a lot better out there, even though the results didn’t show it. Fair enough, I’ll take his word for it, since he knows his body and his pitches a hell of a lot better than I do, but, ugh, he was very, very hittable again in Sunday’s game. I’m not completely sure that going to Buffalo will fix anything, to be honest, but at this point, rolling him out there against anybody not called the Twins or Phillies seems to be a sure nightmare. And that isn’t good, because, with Sanchez inevitably going to the bullpen and Drew Hutchison as the obvious replacement, a struggling Stroman makes the starting rotation a lot less attractive. 

And finally, Gavin Floyd hurt himself in a relief appearance in Saturday’s game, which sucks, obviously. Bo Schultz was recalled in his place, but, looking at this from a personal standpoint, you have to feel for Floyd, who has spent a considerable amount of time on the shelf over his career. Thankfully it isn’t his elbow, though. 

Moving Forward 

The Jays will travel to Denver for some legal weed  three games against the Colorado Rockies, which, when considering the pop in this lineup, should be pretty fun. Unless you hate home runs, or something. If that’s the case, I would recommend not tuning in. Or become a Padres fan. I don’t know. There’s going to be a lot of home runs. 

But yeah, the Rockies! This should be a cool series. It’s the first time the Jays will play at Coors Field since all the way back in June of 2011. In that series, the Jays, who used Ricky Romero, Brandon Morrow, and Jesse Litsch as their starters, were swept by the Rocks, who started Ubaldo Jimenez (this was the year he was amazing before the All-Star Game), Jason Hammel, and, wait for it, Blue Jays legend Jeff “Franchise” Francis. 


Actually, interestingly enough, in the all-time series between Toronto and Colorado, which has featured five meetings, the away team has never won a game. Not one. I’m dead serious. Look at it. 

The last time these two teams met was back in 2013 when the team was bearable for, like, two weeks, as the Rockies were one of the teams the Jays swept on that 11-game winning streak. So let’s hope that away-team-getting-destroyed trend doesn’t continue! Because I’m really not sure I could handle a three-game sweep at the hands of the goddamn Rockies right now. 

And, of course, this’ll be Tulo’s return to Colorado, so that’ll be cool to see. Hopefully he drills two or three or nine home runs so we can listen to dumb people talk about how he can only hit when he’s a mile above sea level.