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Photo Credit: © Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Series Recap: Mini Sweep!

The Brewers rolled into Toronto for the Blue Jays Home Opener and swept them in a two-game series. It looks like the Jays got their revenge, doing the same to the Brewers at Miller Park.

What happened?

On Tuesday, Joe Biagini took the mound, but couldn’t make it out of the fifth inning. The Jays bullpen stepped up and shut the Brewers down the rest of the way behind a Kendrys Morales bomb. 4-3 Blue Jays.

On Wednesday, the Jays lineup teed off on Matt Garza, as Kevin Pillar, Devon Travis, and Jose Bautista all clubbed solo homers. Then, with Garza out of the game, Ryan Goins hammered a grand slam, putting the game out of reach. 8-4 Blue Jays.

Things that were good

  • The Blue Jays bullpen, yet again, was fantastic. They were put to the task on Tuesday after Joe Biagini was yanked one out into the fifth inning and passed with flying colours. Danny Barnes tossed one-and-two-thirds, striking out three, then Ryan Tepera, Joe Smith, and Roberto Osuna closed the door with an inning each. All told, the ‘pen went four-and-two-thirds without allowing a single hit and striking out eight. In the second game, with a big lead, the ‘pen shut down the Brewers, as Dominic Leone, Aaron Loup, and Jason Grilli tossed three-and-one-third innings. That’s impressive, especially considering the Brewers came into the series with the third most runs per game in baseball.
  • Jose Bautista can continued to murder the ball, which is awesome. He went 4-for-7 in the series, and has now reached base in 16 straight games and has six homers over that span. For the season, he’s up to a .790 OPS, making his terrible start virtually an afterthought.
  • Ryan Goins had a good series with the bat, going 4-for-8 with a grand slam, the first of his career. Devon Travis homered, Kendrys Morales hit a bomb, Devon Travis also had a home run, and it seems that the Blue Jays have finally found their power stroke. The Jays mashed four homers in Wednesday’s game for the first time all season!
  • Both Dwight Smith Jr. and Anthony Alford got their first career Major League hits this week. Unfortunately, as I’ll touch on in a moment, DSJ was only up because Alford was placed on the disabled list.

Things that weren’t good

  • Anthony Alford hurt himself in the ninth inning of Tuesday’s win on a swing, as has since been placed on the 10-day disabled list with a fractured bone in his hand. Obviously this really, really sucks for Alford and the Blue Jays. Not because he was going to be a key part of the 2017 team, or anything, but because of how much development time he’ll miss. Alford had his 2016 derailed due to a concussion, and this season, he was enjoying a breakout performance. It was a damn tough break, but hopefully he’s back and at it after four-to-six weeks.
  • Not much about a mini sweep is bad, but I need to flesh this section out, so I guess I’ll talk about Stroman and Biagini’s starts? I don’t know. Both Biagini and Stroman were good but ran into trouble in their final innings. Biagini was cruising through the first four innings on Tuesday before getting BABIP’d to death in the fifth. He allowed four singles (three of them on ground balls) and a walk before getting yanked, but with some better batted ball luck, Biagini could have been through the inning without any issue. Stroman was excellent, allowing only one run, a solo homer, through five, but ran into trouble in the sixth. He allowed a walk, double and homer before getting pulled, resulting in his final line being far from indicative of how strong he was on Wednesday. But hell, I just need something for this section, so, uh, yeah!

Up next…

The Jays will have another off-day on Thursday before welcoming our good friends the Texas Rangers to Rogers Centre for a three-game weekend series. The Rangers have been on fire as of late, climbing all the way up the American league standings thanks largely to a 10-game win streak. Tensions will be high, as usual, but since the Rangers are massive piles of human excrement, they’ll wait until the final game of the series in Texas a few weeks from now to take out their ALDS-loss-related-self-hatred on a Blue Jay.