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Series Recap: What Turning Point?

Just like in the Angels series, the Blue Jays were a tease this week.

They’ll give you games like Tuesday night, with a Coghlan flip and a Marcus Stroman double, but then, right when you start to get excited, they’ll go and blow a 4-0 lead in the seventh inning. This team, man. This team. Ugh.

What happened?

The game on Tuesday was a classic. Marco Estrada pitched very well, leaving the game with a 4-2 lead acquired in part due to Chris Coghlan’s ridiculous flip over Yadier Molina. The bullpen blew that lead, the Jays got one back, then they blew it again. But in the 11th, Marcus Stroman hit a double and scored on an error before Ryan Tepera picked up the save. 6-5 Jays. Turning point!! TURNING POINT!!

Nope! The game Wednesday was rained out, so Thursday featured a doubleheader. In the first game, Mat Latos pitched a damn good game and the bats managed to put together a 4-0 lead before the ball was handed to the bullpen. Then it all went to hell. Joe Biagini allowed a run, Joe Smith did too, and Roberto Osuna finished it off by allowing two of his own. In the 11th, J.P. Howell allowed a walk-off grand slam. 8-4 Cardinals. After that, the nightcap seemed like real torture. Casey Lawrence got lit up, the bats mounted a bit of a rally, but it wasn’t good enough. 6-4 Cardinals.

Things that were good:

  • Chris Coghlan had the play of the year on Tuesday night. Have you seen it yet? Hell yeah you have. In the seventh inning, Kevin Pillar hit a double, Coghlan was waved around third, and he was totally DOA, but he did a flip over Yadier Molina and scored the go-ahead run. It was incredible. Seriously. Moment of the season. I don’t think anything will top that.
  • Marcus Stroman might actually come close, though. After Roberto Osuna blew the game in the ninth inning and all hope appeared to be lost, Marcus Stroman hit a pinch hit double (lololol) off of Miguel Socolovic. The Jays almost managed to strand him, but Aledmys Diaz made a terrible throw to first base on Steve Pearce’s ground out, allowing Stroman to score the go-ahead run. This time they held on, because apparently Ryan Tepera is this team’s true closer.
  • Jose Bautista went 4-for-10 over the series, which is a huge step in the right direction for him. There’s some serious concern that Joey Bats has fallen off a cliff, but this week’s series against the Cardinals helped remedy some of that worry. He also made his first appearance at third base on Thursday since 2013, and made a nice play to get an out at home to boot.
  • Mat Latos had an excellent start and has been much better than anybody could have expected. Latos tossed six shutout innings, allowing just three hits and four walks while striking out four Cardinals. Marco Estrada was also great, but we expected that. He allowed two runs over six innings Tuesday, striking out nine.

Things that weren’t good:

  • Roberto Osuna blew two saves. The first was unlucky, as Randal Grichuk hit a leadoff single, moved over to third on a couple of outs, and then scored on a two-out bloop to a perfect spot in the infield. But on Thursday, he allowed a double to Yadier Molina and a home run to Grichuk, which really seemed to suck the wind out of the team’s sails. Osuna now has three blown saves, and, with his fastball velocity lower than expected, he’s certainly become a serious worry.
  • Casey Lawrence had a really ugly start on Thursday. I mean, hell, we shouldn’t expect much, but Lawrence looked totally lost on the mound, allowing six runs on 10 hits and three walks over five innings. Aaron Sanchez is apparently coming back from the disabled list on Sunday, so that’ll probably spell the end of Lawrence for now, as Latos has clearly been the superior of the two.
  • The bats weren’t that bad this series, generally speaking. I mean, with Josh Donaldson and Troy Tulowitzki injured you really can’t expect that much, but Jarrod Saltalamacchia now has a .117 OPS on the season after going 0-for-7. Also, Steve Pearce went 1-for-7 with a couple of strikeouts and now has a .375 OPS. Yiiiiiiikes.

Up next…

The Jays went 3-4 on their seven-game road trip an are now 6-16 for the season. They’ll head back home to play the Tampa Bay Rays. They’ll get Blake Snell, Matt Andriese, and Chris Archer. Aaron Sanchez will make his return on Sunday, Francisco Liriano will go Saturday, and Stroman will start Friday. Then, after that, the Jays will head to New York to play the Yankees, they’ll get an off day before going to Tampa to play the Rays, and then they’ll welcome Edwin Encarnacion and the Clevelanders to Rogers Centre. Guuuuh.

  • Will Murray

    I know losing your mind over one game is stupid and pointless and picking a precise point where the season went belly-up is pointless but, ugh, that first game. Yeah, it’s confirmation bias. They’ll come back and win games they shouldn’t and blow a few more in a frustrating fashion, but when you’re 6-14, and staring a win in the face, it really does feel like you’re pissing away games you can’t afford to, anymore. The season is long, but you only get so many mulligans. The season doesn’t get extended just because you use them all up early on.