The Blue Jays had a pretty good weekend in Baltimore, earning a split over the four-game series despite a couple of heartbreaking walk-off losses, and did their part to help slow down the Trash Birds and their pursuit of another Wild Card game loss.
On Thursday, the lineups battled back and forth in a slugfest as Marco Estrada and Jeremy Hellickson both got smacked around a little bit. The Jays had a massive eight-run rally in the middle innings led by Kendrys Morales, who exploded for three homers and seven RBIs. For a moment, it felt like 2015. 11-8 Blue Jays.
On Friday, Joe Biagini pitched a gem, reminding everyone exactly why the organization is interested in making him a starter. Unfortunately, the bats got literally nothing going, and the O’s finally earned a walk-off win in the bottom of the 13th inning. 1-0 Orioles.
On Saturday, the power bats blew up again, as homers from Josh Donaldson, Kevin Pillar, and Darwin Barney led the Jays to a gritty win. Marcus Stroman left the game early after being drilled by a Mark Trumbo comebacker, but Matt Dermody and Luis Santos closed the door. 7-2 Blue Jays.
On Sunday, the Jays let the Orioles back into the game a couple of times, including in a ninth inning blown save from Roberto Osuna, before Trumbo hit a walk-off single in the bottom of the 12th inning. 5-4 Orioles.
Things that were good
- The new kids, Carlos Ramirez, Richard Urena, and Teoscar Hernandez, all had a solid showing in their Blue Jays debuts this weekend. Urena hit a double in his first big league plate appearance and picked up three walks in his first start on Sunday. Hernandez made an excellent game-saving grab in Friday’s game and picked up a couple hits over the weekend. Ramirez was the start of the trio, though, as he pitched four scoreless innings across two excellent appearances, looking calm like a grizzled veteran.
- Joe Biagini had likely the best start of his big league career on Friday. He went seven innings without allowing a run, scattering five hits and one walk while striking out 10. That’s a great sign considering Biagini looked completely out of sorts in last weekend’s loss to Minnesota. It’s an impressive thing to shut down the Trash Birds and their frustratingly-good lineup, so hopefully this is a sign of things to come for Biagini, who’s auditioning for a spot in next year’s rotation.
- Kendrys Morales had probably his best game as a Blue Jay on Thursday, joining Edwin Encarnacion, Josh Donaldson, and Michael Saunders as recent Jays to club three dingers in a game. Speaking of Saunders, it was nice to see him come up and smack an RBI single in Sunday’s game. Hopefully he can have a good September and catch on somewhere next season.
- Josh Donaldson continued to beat the shit out of the baseball this weekend, launching three-run bombs on Saturday and Sunday. He also made a few nice defensive plays throughout the series. Sign him to an extension.
Teoscar Hernandez with a game-saving catch and Danny Barnes loves it. pic.twitter.com/DVnMRDeT06— Ian Hunter (@BlueJayHunter) September 2, 2017
Things that weren’t good
- The Jays suffered a couple of heartbreaking losses, both because the bats couldn’t come through late in the game. At this point, I’m pretty numb to it, but still, there was a legitimate chance they could have swept the Trash Birds at Camden, which would have completely guttered the Orioles’ season. Oh well.
- Ryan Tepera and Danny Barnes both had a sort of rough weekend. But can you really blame them? It seems the two righties have pitched in every single game this season. By this point, they’re both completely gassed.
- Marcus Stroman got drilled by a comebacker in Saturday’s game, which was pretty terrifying. He was pulled from the start, but the x-rays came back negative and he’s only day-to-day. Still, it was stressful to watch considering how 2017 has gone.
Stroman just got nailed with a 107.5 MPH Mark Trumbo screamer pic.twitter.com/I4kcMlIkto— Zombie-P Toronto (@BProToronto) September 2, 2017
The Jays will head to Fenway looking to redeem themselves after the pounding they took at home from the Red Sox last week. More September call-ups will join the roster on Monday, so we might be seeing a few more interesting names like Anthony Alford and Ryan Borucki as the season winds down.