Though it looked as though they had a chance to run away with a swift two-game sweep of the Red Sox at Fenway Park, the Blue Jays, despite numerous triumphant moments, came away with just a series split in Boston.
For the first time this season, their bats came alive, while their starting pitching continued to look strong and consistent. Although the bullpen faltered in the crucial moments of the second game, a split against the reigning world champions is more than acceptable for this team in their current state.
Here’s a look at the good, the bad, and the weird from this week’s two-game mini-series in Boston:
On the rubber, Matt Shoemaker (5.2 IP, 2 ER, 5 H, 4 SO) continued his solid first month, earning his third win of the season. After three starts, Shoemaker, 32, has an ERA of 0.92 and an xFIP of 3.59.
Elsewhere on the mound, Javy Guerra (1.0 IP, SO) and Tim Mayza (1.0 IP, 2 SO) were dependable, while Daniel Hudson (1.1 IP, 0 R, 2 SO) turned in a solid outing to rebound from a rather rough start to his Blue Jays career.
At the plate, Justin Smoak (1-for-4, HR, 3 RBI, BB), Rowdy Tellez (2-for-4, HR, 2 RBI), and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (3-for-6, RBI, 2 BB) were quietly productive, while Freddy Galvis (6-for-9, HR, 3 RBI, 2 2B) continued to be the team’s best hitter with yet another spectacular series.
Aaron Sanchez (5.0 IP, 4 R, 1 ER, 5 SO, 4 BB) appeared shaky at times, and Joe Biagini (1.2 IP, 2 ER, 3 H, SO) struggled mightily. Additionally, Ken Giles (1.1 IP, 2 ER, 3 BB) snapped his 34-game consecutive save streak and saw his ERA balloon to a still sensible 3.00.
With the bats, Danny Jansen (1-for-6, 2 SO) and Sócrates Brito (0-for-4, 2 SO, 5 LOB) continued to flounder, while Brandon Drury (0-for-8, 3 SO) remains one of the team’s most glaring offensive liabilities. Alen Hanson (1-for-4, 2 SO) and Billy McKinney (2-for-8, 2 SO, 2B) also looked lost at the dish throughout most of the series.
After 13 games, the only Blue Jay hitting over .225 is Freddy Galvis, who, miraculously, boasts an insane OPS of 1.179 so far this season. With fellow offensive anchors Justin Smoak (.212 AVG), Danny Jansen (.147), Randal Grichuk (.178), and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (.152) unable to get things going, Galvis has been the only member of the Blue Jays who has able to consistently make contact and put balls in play.
It’s also worth noting that the Blue Jays and Red Sox surprisingly have the same record, 4-9, after this week’s series.
The Blue Jays will return to Rogers Centre to host the first place Tampa Bay Rays, who are currently 10-3, in a three-game weekend set which will feature the trio of Trent Thornton, Clay Buchholz, and Marcus Stroman going up against Tampa’s Ryne Stanek, Blake Snell, and Charlie Morton.