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Photo Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Series Recap: The Blue Jays Somehow Earn Split In Anaheim

I’ve got to admit, after the first two games it looked like this was going to be a four game drubbing. But thankfully they managed to right the ship and improve to *checks notes* 10-16 over their last 16?!

What happened?

  • On Thursday, the Blue Jays found themselves in their bullpen in just the second inning of a four game series. Aaron Sanchez left the game after the first frame, giving way to Joe Biagini and the cavalry. The Jays later took the lead, but John Axford was hit hard in his two innings of work and the team fell 8-5.
  • Marco Estrada gave up just one run on three hits on Friday, but the team left eight guys on base and could only score one run. Blue Jays lose 2-1.
  • Saturday saw the return of the Stro Show, and he pitched five scoreless innings and struck out five. Seung-hwan Oh blew the save in the 8th, but Steve Pearce was the hero in the 9th with a go-ahead 3-run bomb down the line in left. Jays win 4-1.
  • Our good friend Sammy Gaviglio got the start Sunday, retired the first 11 hitters he faced, gave up a homer to Justin Upton, and then struggled to put away hitters. The bullpen, for the most part, was good aside from a few errors that prolonged innings, and the Blue Jays won 7-6 in extras on the back of a Kendrys Morales solo shot to escape with the series split.

Thoughts…

Okay, so there are a few positives to talk about when looking at how the lineup did over the four games. Randal Grichuk, Devon Travis, and Kendrys Morales – guys whose production in the early part of the season made fans question their spots on the 25 man roster – all hit homers. Coming into today, Grichuk has a wRC+ of 161 since being activated from the DL on June 1st, Travis has slashed .303/.346/.500 in the 24 games since being recalled from Buffalo, and Morales’ wRC+ is inching closer to that league average mark of 100 after posting just a 34 after the first month of the season. It’s amazing what happens when a slow DH lowers his GB% from the mid-50s to the 40s.

Also, Marco Estrada turned back the clock to 2015 yet again on Friday night and gave up only three hits. That makes four really good starts in a row, bringing his ERA in June to 1.75. Over those four starts, they’re hardly hitting his 90MPH fastball, which is exactly what you want. Trade him? Extend him? I don’t know.

And because there are positives, here’s a negative: Aaron Sanchez has finger problems again. If you’ve kept up with the Blue Jays, you’ll know that at least it isn’t his middle finger, and it isn’t a blister. Both he and Garcia are DL-bound, so that means that instead of giving Joe Biagini another kick at the can, Ryan Borucki will make his MLB debut on Tuesday. How is that a negative? Well, the Blue Jays go from fighting for a split in LA to going to Minute Maid park to face the red-hot defending champion Houston Astros.