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Series Recap: Josh Donaldson Goes Off In Minnesota

The Jays and Twins split their four-game series in Minnesota this weekend, but Josh Donaldson stole the show by pounding the shit out of the baseball.

What happened?

On Thursday, Brett Anderson was forced to leave the game with a blister, because 2017, but the ‘pen locked things down nicely enough for Justin Smoak to hit a two-out, game-tying homer in the ninth inning. In the 10th, Minnesota got a solo bomb of their own as Byron Buxton continued his shit-pounding of the Jays with a walk-off dinger. 3-2 Blue Jays. 

On Friday, the Jays finally jumped on Bartolo Colon with clutch hits from Kevin Pillar, Josh Donaldson, and Russell Martin. J.A. Happ had a strong start and the bullpen locked the game down. 4-3 Blue Jays. 

On Saturday, Marco Estrada put together one of his best starts of the season, holding the Twins bats to just three hits and two runs over eight innings. He didn’t need much of a cushion, but the Jays gave it to him, as they scored seven runs led by a two-homer game from Josh Donaldson. 7-2 Blue Jays. 

On Sunday, the Jays jumped out to an early 5-0 lead, but Joe Biagini and the middle relievers imploded, letting the Twins score 13 runs highlighted by a seven-run second inning. Again, Donaldson was the star of the day smacking two bombs in a losing effort. 13-7 Twins. 

Things of note

  • This was a weekend of Josh Donaldson. The 2015 MVP went nuclear on the Twins, going 10-for-17 with five home runs. Despite the fact this has been a disappointing season for Donaldson, he’s managed to reach 30 dingers (for the third time in three years since being acquired by the Jays) and he currently owns a .931 OPS. Had he not missed significant time with injury (and, to be honest, played a good chunk of the season through nagging injuries too) 2017 likely would have been very different for the Jays and Donaldson would be right up there in MVP consideration. Let’s get him signed to an extension this winter.
  • Speaking of extensions, Marco Estrada has been excellent as of late, and really should be back with the Blue Jays next season. Save for that two-month long spell in which he struggled mightily, Estrada has been very, very good over his three seasons with the Blue Jays.
  • Justin Smoak also had another productive series. He hit a game-tying bomb on Thursday and is now up to 38 homers on the season. He’ll certainly hit 40 homers and could also push for 100 RBIs. Buck and Pat were raving about how Joe Mauer should win the gold glove at first base all game Sunday, which is funny considering Justin Smoak plays on the team they announce for.
  • Brett Anderson left Thursday’s game with a blister, which is an issue we’ve seen way too much this season. As we know, Aaron Sanchez’s season has been totally guttered due to a blister that became an even bigger issue. It’s very frustrating to see Anderson, who’s had a great month with the Jays in his career-rejuvenation audition, have to deal with the blister issue.
  • Roberto Osuna made his first appearance since returning to the team from his leave and looked very good. His fastball velocity was up and he completely overpowered Minnesota’s hitters, which isn’t something we’ve been able to say that much recently. Anybody who’s worried about Osuna’s blown saves being an indication of the future would be best to take a breath.

Up next…

The Jays will have a day off on Monday before beginning their final homestand of the season against the Royals and Yankees. They’ll finish off the 2017 season after that in Boston and New York.

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