Photo Credit: © Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Series Recap: The Visiting Crowd Goes Home Happy

The Blue Jays rolled into Seattle this weekend and made the home crowd happy, grabbing two wins and ultimately finishing their short West Coast road trip with a respectable a 3-3 record.

What happened?

On Friday, Joe Biagini put together another excellent starts, going seven innings for the second game in a row, but he was let down by some poor fielding. The bats were also silenced, as the Jays left eight runners on base and hit 1-for-4 with runners in scoring position. 4-2 Mariners.

On Saturday, Marcus Stroman put together an excellent start, allowing only two runs over seven innings. The Jays didn’t get a hell of a lot going offensively, but when they did make contact, it was a home run as Kendrys Morales, Justin Smoak, and Zeke Carrera all clubbed a dinger. 4-2 Blue Jays.

On Sunday, the Jays did something that nobody has done this season: Hit James Paxton. The Canadian came into the game with a 1.69 ERA, but Toronto knocked him around for four runs over four innings of work. J.A. Happ also had his best start since coming off the DL with elbow issues. 4-0 Blue Jays. 

Things that were good

  • First and foremost, a shoutout to all the fans who made it down to Seattle to make Safeco look like the Blue Jays’ home ballpark. Jays fans travel very well, as we see on virtually every road broadcast, but it’s a damn cool sight to see Jays fans from B.C., Alberta, and the rest of Western Canada fill the stadium like that.
  • The starting pitching overall was very good. Joe Biagini went seven innings allowing three runs on five hits and two walks while striking out five. He’s reached seven innings in back-to-back starts and seems to have locked up a spot in the rotation long-term. Marcus Stroman continued his streak of consistency, churning out another strong start. He went seven innings allowing just one earned run on six hits while not allowing a walk. He’s made it into at least the sixth inning in every start since he got hurt at Yankee Stadium. And finally, J.A. Happ had his best outing since returning from the disabled list. We all knew it would take a few starts for Happ to find his groove, as he only made one rehab start in Single-A Dunedin, but he was excellent Sunday, going six scoreless innings Sunday.
  • Justin Smoak went 4-for-11 with a homer and now has an OPS of .956 for the season. He says he isn’t thinking about it, but surely Smoak would be ecstatic if we could get him into the All-Star Game, and he deserves it.
  • Josh Donaldson also had a big series, going 5-for-12 with a homer in Sunday’s game. It’s a small sample size, but the 2015 MVP has a 1.100 OPS right now. Get this guy locked up to an extension already.

Things that weren’t good

  • The defence in general this series wasn’t all that good. On Friday, multiple mistakes led to Seattle scoring runs. On Saturday, Kevin Pillar goofed on a ball in centre field and Jarrod Dyson was able to score a little league homer. It was something we saw in Oakland, too. The Jays are generally a good defensive ball club, but this entire week certainly wasn’t pretty.
  • Hitting with runners in scoring position continues to be an issue. On Friday, the Jays only managed two runs despite picking up 10 hits and three walks. They were able to club their way to victory on Saturday and Sunday behind good pitching, but it’s worrisome that the team seems to struggle so much to punch in a run with a guy on second and third. Though, it’s kind of the nature of the beast when most of your lineup are boom-or-bust type hitters.
  • Also, boo to this Mariners Fan page for being mad online:

Up next…

The Jays will play a two-game series with Tampa Bay after taking a day off on Monday, then they’ll get another off day on Thursday before welcoming the White Sox to Rogers Centre. After that, they’ll hit the road for a trip to Texas, Kansas City, and Baltimore to visit all of our best friends!

  • AD

    Howabout adding tulo to the things that weren’t good list? Is he done as a good hitter or what? If jays are gonna turn this season around and make a good run at the skanks/sux, he needs to start producing like a $20m shortstop. Right now he looks more like jj hardy with the bat than anybody else. Also need more consistency from jbats, martin, and morales on offense. Other than that, good series!

      • Kyball

        It blows my mind that people still use RBIs to try and prove a point about a player. I mean, you’re right, Tulo has been pretty bad at the plate, but RBIs aren’t a player independent stat.
        You could finish a season with 0 RBIs but be hitting .700 and just mashing triples, but the rest of your team sucks so there’s never anyone on base in front of you.
        Pick a better stat to complain about.

  • Jeff2sayshi

    I wouldn’t hate on that Mariner’s blog too hard. Anybody that remembers going to a Red Sox or Yankees game at the dome in the early 2000s can certainly empathize, and frankly, this looks way worse (from a home fan’s perspective) than we had it in Toronto.