Weekend Wrap: The “Houston? No Problem” Edition

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A deep-ish dig into the numbers and performances and whatever else that was fun from the past weekend of Toronto Blue Jays baseball (probably), brought to you by Draft Kings — get your Daily Fantasy Sports on at Draft Kings!

Man, the Blue Jays are fun. What else do you even say about a weekend like the one we were just treated to by this baseball team and the incredible fans that have been creating a playoff-like atmosphere for every pitch at the Rogers Centre almost the entire season? Sure, there were specific things that made this weekend of Blue Jays baseball more than just a backdrop for a great party — Martin’s and Tulo’s heroics, Edwin’s 300th, the 40th anniversary celebration, Grilli’s emotion, yet another big series win — but to think simply of what this whole thing is now, and to see this franchise demonstrating that it is truly one of baseball’s marquee teams — something that those of us who grew up as the team grew into World Series Champions in the early 90s feel is practically a birthright; albeit one that happened to go missing for twenty-odd largely dismal years — is so goddamn kick-fuckin’ ass that it’s hard to even put it into words.

Let’s get used to this. Can we please get used to this?

Performance Notes…

Is the Giants’ bullpen seriously fucking shitting me?

I mean, all the Jays need to do is to play the games in front of them the way they’re capable and they’ll be fine. We don’t *really* need to be scoreboard watching as much as we have been. And yet, is the Giants’ bullpen seriously fucking shitting me?

Like… seriously?

Like… are they fucking shitting me?

Because I kiiiiiinda got the sense at one point that they were shitting me, however, they’re apparently not shitting me! What the shit, Giants bullpen??? What the fucking shit???

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Russell Martin’s season numbers still aren’t great, but suddenly they’re a whole lot better than you probably think. A .336 on-base? A 92 wRC+? For a catcher that’s not entirely awful, but what Martin has been since the start of June is a whole other incredible thing.

After posting a horrific wRC+ of 6 in April while dealing with a neck issue — not to mention striking out in 46.3% of his at-bats, while hitting for a shockingly low amount of power (an ISO of .017) — Martin rebounded in May, being merely awful (67 wRC+), and truly has taken off from there. Since June 1st his wRC+ is 131, while he’s slashed a sublime .263/.396/.449. Obviously that’s helped by his recent power surge, but we’re still talking about 208 plate appearances now in which he’s been much more the 2014-in-Pittsburgh version of Russell Martin than the “ruh-roh” version we saw early on. He hasn’t merely been better lately, he’s been stellar. And while we maybe can’t expect a home run every night, and his numbers may not quite get even to where they were last year by season’s end, it is enormous that we don’t yet have to cross off “hitting” from the list of things he brings to this team.

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Troy Tulowitzki plays for the Toronto Blue Jays.

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The throwing miscues are one thing, and don’t exactly help this, but… uh… opposing batters are slashing .241/.279/.392 off Marcus Stroman with the bases empty, and .305/.366/.468 with runners on base. That’s… uh… somebody should look into fixing that.

Worth a Read…

Awesome stuff from Kyle Matte of BP Toronto as he looks at Marco Estrada’s star-making pitch: his changeup.

Seriously, quit doing the wave during important moments, you dopes!

And while I’m pushing my own stuff, I think we did a pretty good podcast just before the weekend, but I *know* we did a pretty lit podcast. It showed up too late on Friday for me to give it the push it deserved, so I’ll do it again now: check out Birds All Day episode 73. Dicks Out For Harambe.

Former Jays pitcher Scott Richmond (who, no, is not American, which is what the piece originally said) got Deadspinned thanks to a play he made for the EDL Rhinos of the Chinese Professional Baseball League — which is apparently where he pitches these days. Nearly lost his head in the process, but recovered beautifully.

And lastly, worth a watch, here’s a deleted scene from Daily Vice featuring Marcus Stroman running through how to throw some of the most popular pitches in the game during an afternoon on the diamond with Andrew Wiggins, Connor McDavid, Tyler Seguin, and Dennis Shapovalov.

What do you meme?

You kinda don’t want to think about where the Jays would be without this guy…

Also, this is kinda cool:

Up next…

The Yankees are certainly still dangerous, and Cleveland is definitely a thing, but I dunno. This seems like a doable road trip. And with the Angels and Twins at home next week, while Baltimore gets four with the Nationals after slugging it out with Boston (2) and Houston (4) at home this week? That’s what you call a favourable schedule. (Which doesn’t guarantee a damn thing, of course, but it’s better than an unfavourable one!)

Monday – Tuesday @ New York (A.L.), 7:05 PM ET

Wednesday @ New York (A.L.), 1:05 PM ET

Thursday – Off

Friday – Saturday @ Cleveland, 7:10 PM ET

Sunday @ Cleveland, 1:10 PM ET

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