Photo Credit: © Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Series Recap: Snatching Defeat From The Jaws Of Victory

The Blue Jays were three outs away from winning this weekend (and this season’s) series with the Houston Astros, the best team in the American League, but they got 2017’d.

They ended up dropping two of three in Houston, falling to five games back of the second wild card. I think this is an outcome we expected heading into the series, but with four games back of the wild card and an impressive win over the Astros so close, this is a difficult one to swallow.

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What happened?

On Friday, Cesar Valdez and the rest of the mop up crew got shit stomped the by the Astros and their potent lineup. This isn’t something we’re unfamiliar with. 16-7 Astros.

On Saturday, Marco Estrada twirled another solid start, scattering three earned runs over seven innings. In extras, Ryan Goins came up with a clutch single, scoring Rob Refsnyder, who narrowly avoided being thrown out at home with an excellent slide. 4-3 Blue Jays. 

On Sunday, we witnessed the latest instillment of a 2017 Blue Jays heartbreaker. Marcus Stroman pitched a good game, the bats were able to jump on Mike Fiers in a seventh inning rally, but Roberto Osuna got tagged for four runs in the bottom of the ninth. 7-6 Astros. 

Things that were good

  • Marco Estrada had another very good start, tossing seven innings of three-run ball. That’s back-to-back starts in which Estrada has managed to make it through seven innings, scattering a combined nine hits and three walks. Considering the two months he had before the trade deadline, these last two starts (more so the one against the Astros than the White Sox) have been very encouraging.
  • Though the Toronto Sun may suggest he’s an issue, Marcus Stroman is, in fact, very good. And he was very good again on Sunday. Unfortunately he wasn’t able to pick up the win, but Stroman held Houston to two earned runs over six-and-two-thirds innings, which isn’t an easy thing to do. He did allow 11 hits, but managed to work his way out of jams by keeping the ball on the ground and picking up strikeouts in key situations.
  • Nori Aoki made a mark in Sunday’s game clubbing a go-ahead homer off of his old team. It ended up not mattering at all because the leas was blown, but still, this was a great moment.

Things that weren’t good

  • Cesar Valdez got lit up again, and has now allowed 12 earned runs over his last two starts. Obviously making the playoffs is a long shot for this team, but the Jays can’t keep rolling Valdez out there if he’s going to get drilled like he was by the Angels and Astros in his last two outings. That said, there aren’t really any other options since the Francisco Liriano trade and Aaron Sanchez’s blister issues.
  • Obviously the worst part of this weekend was Roberto Osuna’s rough outing on Sunday afternoon. Losing the game was one thing, but the way it went down is another animal. Osuna’s fastball usage and velocity are down recently, which suggests that this might be the tip of the iceberg on a much, much greater issue.

Up next…

The Blue Jays will take Monday off before embarking on a 10-game homestand against the Yankees, Pirates, and Rays.

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  • lukewarmwater

    Cam the stats indeed don’t lie, per;haps, tiredness or a slight strain in the arm but Osuana is human after all as the velocity plummets much to the delight of the batters. Btw am I expecting too much to see the catcher, pitching coach or Gibby go out to the mound and try to break up the momentum of the Astros, perhaps relax Roberto, just asking.
    I’ve been out of town for a few days but I thought Andrew did an excellent job on commenting on the non isssue with Stroman. This is a guy who is an old school battler. Bang up one of my players as the catchers lays a hard tag on a teammate and Stroman retaliates against a Baltimore batter. It is known as standing up for your teammate.
    But to a struggling newspaper this is gold man. I mean this Stroman guy is a carbon copy of P.K. Subban. Let me whisper it to you in code words he is one of those uppity colorful players who should be moved just like P.K. was. Yep don’t want any Blue Jay not marching to the right drum beat. Heh Simmons of the world and Will Little you are both truly irrelevant. Keep up the usual solid work Cam and Andrew.

    • BOJACK Vince Horseman

      Im not so sure its just simple fatigue. His velocity this year has been down since spring. It was attributed to lack of work due to some injury. But let’s not forget that he had legit arm issue in the playoffs last year. I think he has some degree of injury that he’s working through. This year when he’s right hes been 95-96. Last year and the year before, 97-98