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Series Recap: To Hell And Back

It began with heartbreak, but it ended with a heartwarming moment. The Blue Jays had a stressful weekend in Kansas City — a place where we’ve come to expect it — but after Friday night’s devastating loss, they’ll head home on a positive note.

What happened?

On Friday, J.A. Happ pitched an excellent game and the Jays appeared to have things locked down, but the bullpen completely imploded in the ninth inning. It was awful, it was heartbreaking, it was one we all want to forget. 5-4 Royals. 

On Saturday, Marco Estrada followed up Happ was a solid inning of his own, but the Jays offence was completely limp. 3-2 Royals.

On Sunday, the bats finally woke up. Francisco Liriano put together the Jays’ third good start of the weekend, and the offence gave him a lot of room for error, scoring five runs in the fifth inning. 8-2 Blue Jays. 

Things that were good

  • It was a great sight to see Roberto Osuna come back out on Sunday after taking a breather for a few games. Of course, we all want Osuna back and pitching at his best because it makes the team better, but most importantly, it’s nice to see him navigating through his personal issues. It’s easy to forget these guys are human, and despite being paid well to play a game, life isn’t simple. Mental health isn’t something you just sack up and grind out. Beyond that, the response to Osuna and his issues in general was very heartwarming. The Blue Jays handled it well and gave him what he needed, and the fans showed a tremendous amount of support.
  • All three of the starters this weekend pitched well, which is important for this team. If the Jays are going to roll, it’s going to be behind consistently good starting pitching. That hasn’t been the case all year largely because of injuries, but this weekend, J.A. Happ, Marco Estrada, and Francisco Liriano were all excellent.
  • Jose Bautista had himself a damn good series. He’s been very good since being moved to the top of the lineup, which is a spark the team badly needed. This weekend, Jose went 6-for-14 with a key homer in Sunday’s game. He also tied Joe Carter for fourth in Blue Jays franchise history with 736 RBIs. Speaking of the leadoff spot, Kevin Pillar has looked much, much better at the plate since being bumped down in the order.

Things that weren’t good

  • That game on Friday was ugly. Real ugly. The Jays had the win in the bag, but completely unravelled, allowing Kansas City to score four runs with two outs on back-to-back-to-back hits by three batters with averages around the Mendoza line. Personally, I think Ryan Tepera should have just stayed in. If you’re giving him the ninth inning in a three-run game because that’s where he is on your depth chart, ride or die.
  • Saturday’s game was painful too, but, of course, for a different reason. The Jays got shut down by Jason Vargas, who has inexplicably become good this season. Despite having nine hits in the game, they only had three opportunities with runners in scoring position.
  • Kendrys Morales had a bad time in his return to Kauffman Stadium, putting up a 0-for-9 goose egg over two starts and a pinch hit appearance. Josh Donaldson had a few ugly at bats in which he swung through hittable pitches and awkwardly hacked at pitches outside of the zone. Those two obviously need to be swinging well in order for the offence to work, but I wouldn’t worry too much about one series in Kansas City.
  • This base running by Lorenzo Cain was fucking hilarious. I should put it in the things that were good section because it was funny, but I want to finish off with it instead. Cain is casually trotting home, watching as Eric Hosmer tries to leg out a double. Before touching the plate at home, Hosmer is tagged out by Darwin Barney, ending the inning. Kansas City doesn’t get the run. This is especially hilarious because I’ve heard  so many people wank off to the Royals for being such a good fundamental ball club.

Up next…

The Jays will have a day off on Monday before welcoming the Trash Birds to Rogers Centre. After that, they’ll play Boston, New York, and Houston in a stretch that’ll likely determine whether or not this team is playoff material or not. It should be fun*!

* stressful as fuck

  • AD

    Hate to say it, but havent they already determined they are not a playoff team? The offense is one of the worst in the AL and the worst we have seen in years. Starting pitching and bullpen is inconsisent. Run differential( one of the main indicators for future success) is very poor. Tulo and jbats (despite his good series) are getting old and unproductive with the bat. At this point, i am more curious and intrigued by the potentially massive prospect haul the jays can get for all the vets.

    • Terry Mesmer

      Not yet determined. There’s still plenty of time to see how the team runs with a healthy rotation. After all, if the pitchers can get back to their 2016 form, then the Jays only need a left fielder, second baseman, and a lefty reliever. Not the most difficult spots to fill.
      But if the Jays suck a week before the trade deadline, dump all the veterans they can!

  • lukewarmwater

    Cam the baseball God’s all season have not been kind to the Jays this season. Yet, similar to most teams in the A.L. they still are in contention for the wild card. The Yankees are imploding, the trash birds are setting Guinness world records for ineptness in pitching. So McBlueJays is indeed right, time to get on a winning streak and FINALLY get over 500. As usual Cam solid coverage of the series against the Royals.

  • 0noggin

    Barring a complete transformation of the team within the next few games, I’m now firmly of the opinion that the 2017 Jays just aren’t a championship calibre team and that their best bet is to reload at the deadline and over the offseason, with a goal of competing next year. Aside from the injuries, the reality is that they’re just a few pieces short and they just aren’t doing the things that winning teams do (like defence and hitting, especially with runners on). They have a black hole in left field, serious issues at second, and they’re carrying Goins, Barney, Peirce, Grilli and more spare parts.