There was still sorta kinda optimism rolling into this series against the Twins. Their three scheduled starting pitchers were all bad, and a sweep would bring the Blue Jays’ playoff run back to life. But the bats were suffocated again, making scrubs look like aces. Here we are now, at the end of August, and I think we can officially say 2017 is dead.
On Friday, the Blue Jays lineup managed to get completely shut down by Bartolo Colon, scoring just one run while scattering 10 hits. J.A. Happ had another mediocre outing, allowing five runs over six innings. 6-1 Blue Jays.
On Saturday, the bats exploded for 10 runs off of Dillon Gee and Minnesota’s bullpen, but managed to let the Twins back into the game in the last two innings. That game was a lot closer than it needed to be. It was also only the third time this season the Jays have managed at least 10 runs. 10-9 Blue Jays.
On Sunday, the lineup got suffocated by a mediocre pitcher again, letting Kyle Gibson scatter only two runs over six-and-two-thirds innings. Joe Biagini also had himself a hell of a time, failing to get out of the fourth inning. 7-2 Blue Jays.
Things that were good
- The bats had a fun outburst on Saturday, Marco Estrada had a solid start, Josh Donaldson continued to hit like an MVP, Kendrys Morales made contact with a ball for the first time in like a month, and Justin Smoak inched closer to 40 home runs. It’s really sad that I can pretty much sum up all of the good things that happened in just one line.
Things that weren’t good
- Joe Biagini got spanked in his return to the rotation. He managed to go just three-and-two-thirds innings while allowing five runs on nine hits and three walks. One of the most concerning things about the start was how he was flailing out of his delivery and constantly missing spots. Obviously he doesn’t have much starting experience in the big leagues under his belt and it’s been a weird season for him, having been thrown into the rotation after not being stretched out in spring, but performances like these with glaring technical errors are troubling.
- Byron Buxton had himself a hell of a series. On Sunday, he clubbed three home runs, which is kind of hilarious considering he’s never had a multi-homer game in his major league career. It’s also a very good metaphor for the 2017 Blue Jays season. In the final weekend of August in 2015, Edwin hit his hat trick, then in 2016, Josh Donaldson had his. Now, in 2017, some dude on the other team rolls into Toronto and hits a home run hat trick. Because 2017.
The Blue Jays will host the Red Sox for three games, then they’ll head to Baltimore for four with the Orioles and Boston for three with the Red Sox. Let’s, uh, play spoiler!