That mostly went according to plan!
After a heartbreaking, ugly loss on Monday, the Jays rallied to take two of three from the White Sox. I mean, if you can’t win a series against this catastrophe of a team… That wouldn’t be good.
On Monday, the Blue Jays jumped all over James Shields, crushing balls off of him like he was… Uh, James Shields! But the ‘pen couldn’t shut things down, as the limp White Sox lineup scored seven unanswered runs in the final three innings to spoil Marco Estrada’s excellent start. 8-7 White Sox.
On Tuesday, Marcus Stroman turned in a strong outing, and the Jays bats showed up again, hammering Mike Pelfrey and the White Sox relievers. This time, the ‘pen didn’t mess it up, though it was a little sketchier than you’d like. 8-4 Blue Jays.
On Wednesday, J.A. Happ put together arguably his best start of the season, mowing down the White Sox over seven strong innings. The bats took a while to solve Derek Holland, but jumped on Chicago’s ‘pen for the third game in a row. 5-1 Blue Jays.
The Jays ultimately finished their 10-game jamboree against bad teams with a 7-3 record which is good, but not great.
Things that were good
- All three of the starters put together solid outings this week, as Marco Estrada, Marcus Stroman, and J.A. Happ each churned out seven innings. That isn’t something we’ve been able to say often this season, as starting pitching has been somewhat inconsistent on this team.
- Estrada’s start on Monday was his best in quite some time. It was his first time finishing seven innings since a late June start in Kansas City, and he only surrendered one earned run on four hits and a walk. Of course, it’s the White Sox, but Estrada’s command looked much better than we’ve seen recently, which could hopefully be a sign of things to come. Maybe having the trade deadline behind him will help get into some kind of groove.
- J.A. Happ’s start on Wednesday could have been his best of the season. It was his first time finishing seven innings since his first outing of the year back in April against the Orioles, and he reached a season-high with 10 strikeouts. As I said before, the White Sox are bad, so we have to take it with a grain of salt, but Happ’s fastball command was pinpoint, and he worked quickly and smoothly in a start that was reminiscent of his 2016 season.
- The bats in general were good this week, as the Jays pounded out 20 runs over the three games on 30 hits and 16 walks, but the offensive performance that really stood out was Josh Donaldson. After coming into the series as cold as he’s ever been since joining the Blue Jays, Donaldson clubbed three homers, one in each game, and went 5-for-11 over the series. Obviously it’s difficult to say the Jays are still in the playoff race, but if this team is going to pull of a miracle climb up the standings, Donaldson is going to have to be the driving force behind it.
Oh yes. pic.twitter.com/9y3Kg3GLHv— Blue Jays Nation (@thejaysnation) August 2, 2017
Things that weren’t good
- That Monday game was a real gross one. Roberto Osuna had his second blown save in under a week, but to be fair to him, it had a lot to do with a couple of scrubby hits. The real disappointing performance in this one was Joe Biagini getting lit up for three earned runs while recording only one out, which is really what allowed the Sox to get back into the game. Biagini also struggled on Wednesday, allowing two hits while recording one out and forcing Osuna into the game.
- Jose Bautista had a rough series at the plate, going 2-for-14 with a couple of walks. After an excellent month of May that made us think he was back to stay, Jose has struggled mightily the past couple of months and now owns a .706 OPS. It’s been very sad to watch his steep decline and it’s getting hard to see him in the major leagues next season.
- Miguel Montero left Wednesday’s game with a groin strain after playing a ball in front of home plate. This could be Luke Maile’s opportunity to come back into the lineup if Montero ends up hitting the disabled list.
It looks like we have ourselves another injury. Miguel Montero in pain after playing a ball in front of home. pic.twitter.com/b14CfFpG5L— Blue Jays Nation (@thejaysnation) August 2, 2017
The Jays will have a day off on Thursday and will play a weekend series in Houston with the Astros. After that, they’ll have another day off on Monday before beginning a 10-game homestand against the Yankees, Pirates, and Rays.