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Floundering Blue Jays pounded by Cleveland in four-game sweep

In perhaps one of the worst series in franchise history, the hapless Blue Jays were swept out of Cleveland Sunday after getting destroyed in four games against the swift and agile Clevelanders.

Having scored just six runs in the set, the Blue Jays struck out a total of 57 times. The team also managed just 19 hits, struggling terribly against Mike Clevinger, Trevor Bauer, Carlos Carrasco, and Shane Bieber.

Still, let us take a look at the good, the bad, and the weird from this weekend’s mercilessly frightful series at Progressive Field:

The Good

Unsurprisingly, not much went well for the Blue Jays in this series. Still, there were at least a few members of the squad who put up respectable numbers.

Ken Giles (1.0 IP, SO, 0 ER), Tim Mayza (2.2 IP, 1 ER, 5 SO), Marcus Stroman (6.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 SO), and Trent Thornton (5.2 IP, 7 SO, 2 ER) continued their solid seasons on the bump, while relievers Javy Guerra (2.1 IP, 0 ER, 3 SO) and Sam Gaviglio (2.2 IP, 3 SO, 0 ER) put up some zeroes out of the bullpen.

Of course, there was also the quietly solid outing by Aaron Sanchez, who tossed six innings, allowing two runs on five hits, striking out five. As of this writing, his ERA sits at a cool 1.64 after two starts.

Perhaps the only Blue Jays hitter with a passable series was Freddy Galvis, who went 4-for-13 with a double, two home runs, and three RBI. Currently, he’s slashing .304/.385/.739.

The Bad

Most of the team’s offense, namely Sócrates Brito (0-for-10, 5 SO), Billy McKinney (3-for-11, 5 SO), Brandon Drury (1-for-14, 9 SO), Danny Jansen (2-for-10, 4 SO, RBI), Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (0-for-8, 2 SO), and Randal Grichuk (1-for-16, 8 SO, 2B, RBI) were dreadful, striking out at an almost inhuman pace.

According to both Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com and Keegan Matheson of Baseball Toronto, the Blue Jays have been struck out 13 or more times in four straight games, becoming only the fourth team in baseball history to accomplish that rather awful feat.

On the mound, Thomas Pannone (2.2 IP, 6 SO, 4 ER, 2 BB), Elvis Luciano (1.2 IP, 2 ER, 2 BB, 2 SO), and Joe Biagini (0.1 IP, 1 ER) stumbled, while Daniel Hudson (1.1 IP, 3 ER, SO, BB) also fared horribly. Hudson’s ERA is currently 11.57 in 4.1 innings pitched.

The Weird

Super-utilityman Alen Hanson, who last year tallied 10 or more games at four different positions, appeared at first base for the first time in his professional career during the eighth inning of Sunday’s finale.

Elsewhere on the diamond, Richard Ureña continued to populate the hit column, going 1-for-5 and adding a walk to bring his OPS to a palatable .697, while Justin Smoak missed three out of the four games with neck stiffness.

Looking Ahead

Shockingly, there is a team more disappointing than the Blue Jays so far this season, and, luckily for the boys in blue, they’ll be facing them in a mid-week two-game series on the road, starting Tuesday.

The Boston Red Sox, who have played to a stunningly low record of 2-8 so far this season, will host the Blue Jays at Fenway Park for a short (but hopefully sweet) two-game series. In Game 1, Chris Sale toes the rubber against Matt Shoemaker.

    • Hayden Godfrey

      Perhaps, but I’d still consider having struck out at least 13 times in all four games of the series (the only time in franchise history that’s been done) to be pretty bad.

      Also, the 19 hits they managed in this series are the second fewest in franchise history in a four-game series. They scored just six runs and were hopeless at the plate.

      While the pitchers were quite good (Thornton, Sanchez, Mayza, Giles, Stroman, and Gaviglio were all great), the offence was dreadful.

      Maybe it would’ve been better to say that this series was “perhaps one of the worst offensive series in franchise history”. The statement was a bit melodramatic, but hey, so am I!

  • Jeff2sayshi

    Putting Biagini in the bad column is a bit unfair. He only had one chance to pitch, and yeah, gave up a home run, but it happens.

    Can somebody please tell me why during this rebuild the Jays are trotting out Brito and Hanson regularly, instead of potential futures such as Alford and Gurriel?

    • Mose

      I can’t and I was expecting more in terms of a development plan for these young athletes…

      I like Gurriel a lot as a hitter and ‘m genuinely excited for Gurriel’s future and he’s moved from SS last year to 2nd this year out of necessity and now and is now playing 1st…

      I appreciate the value and importance of versatility and I’m also not surprised he’s had some defensive gaps and struggles…

      Surely his plan at the plate isn’t to swing at every pitch thrown….

      Perhaps his new hitting coach could ask him to sit on a fastball?… or at least avoid swinging on 1st pitch breaking balls…