Three winnable games, only one win. After taking a massive step forward against Cleveland and Seattle, the Jays have damn near given it all back in the Atlanta and Baltimore series.
On Friday, Aaron Sanchez appeared to be cruising through the game, but allowed a two-run homer to Welington Castillo in the sixth inning. The game went to extra innings then Castillo ended it on another two-run bomb off of Jason Grilli. 5-3 Orioles.
On Saturday, the Jays pulled ahead in the seventh inning thanks to a three-run home run from Jose Bautista, but immediately coughed it back up after Castillo hit another home run in the bottom half of the inning off of Danny Barnes. 7-5 Orioles.
On Sunday, Marco Estrada had arguably his bet start of the season, striking out 12 Orioles, which tied a career high. Devon Travis launched a three-run homer in the first inning, and it was all the Jays pitching staff would need. 3-1 Blue Jays.
The finale helped soothe the frustration of the first two games, but still, this series could, and should have been a lot better, but ultimately the Jays take another step in the wrong direction.
2017, man. pic.twitter.com/Aqf7BtDMEj— Blue Jays Nation (@thejaysnation) May 21, 2017
Things that were good
- Devon Travis went 7-for-13 in the series and has made his way on to this ‘things that were good’ list four times in a row now. His April was a disaster, but his May has almost entirely made up for it, as Travis’ OPS is up to a respectable 0.672 now.
- Justin Smoak continued to hit well, going 3-for-12 in the series. I know, it sounds pretty mediocre, but Smoak had some strong at bats, and is noticeably swinging and missing less frequently. The best example of this was in Sunday’s game, Smoak muscled a 1-2 pitch into the outfield, setting Travis up for his three-run homer. In the past, Smoak swung through most off-speed and breaking pitches, making him an easy two-strike out, this year, he’s cut his swing down and is spraying the ball a lot more.
- Marco Estrada was a damn wizard on Sunday. He struck out 12 Orioles, tied for a career high, and went seven-and-two-thirds innings, a season high. I don’t think anybody was actually worried after his back-to-back poor starts against Tampa and Atlanta, but Estrada was excellent.
- Both Russell Martin and Jose Bautista played some third base over the weekend, which was entertaining. Bautista turned a smooth double play while Martin didn’t look out of place there at all.
Things that weren’t good
- Mike Bolsinger looks like a beer league slow pitch tosser out there sometimes, yeesh. Manny Machado hit what looked like the easiest home run I’ve ever seen off of a home run derby style lob.
- Jason Grilli’s struggles continued Friday with that Castillo homer. His ERA is up to 7.71 on the season now. His stuff still looks good, as he struck out two on the inning, but he’s getting tagged for long balls a lot more this year than last. Thankfully Joe Smith, Danny Barnes, and Ryan Tepera have stepped up.
- Aaron Sanchez pitched a strong game, but was placed back on the 10-day disabled list. This is the third time he’s gone on the DL now for essentially the same issue, and it’s kind of weird that this keeps happening. Another frustrating thing is how Josh Donaldson and Troy Tulowitzki were supposed to be activated by now, but continue to be pushed back.
Man, I miss these guys. pic.twitter.com/pW96K8s1Id— Blue Jays Nation (@thejaysnation) May 20, 2017
The Jays will have an off day on Monday before heading to Milwaukee for a two-game series. They’ll have Thursday off, and then they’ll 10-game homestand against shitty Texas, Joey Votto and the Reds, and the Yankees.