In the team’s most embarrassing series since the early-season four-game sweep at the hands of the Cleveland Indians, the Blue Jays were pummeled by the Minnesota Twins (23-12) this week at Rogers Centre, getting outscored 20-1 overall and suffering some of the most crushing defeats of this young season.
Thanks to slick starting pitching, a relentless offence, and sound defensive performances, the Twins, leaders of the American League Central, were able to easily dismantle the Blue Jays en route to their 10th, 11th, and 12th road wins.
Here’s a look at the good, the bad, and the weird from a bleak trio of games at Rogers Centre:
Perhaps the only respectable Blue Jays pitching performance of the series came from Aaron Sanchez (7.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 SO, 6 H, 3 BB), who, despite getting into trouble early, managed to give the team some much-needed length in his eighth start of the season. Derek Law (2.0 IP, H, 4 SO) and Tim Mayza (1.0 IP, 3 SO) were also solid in limited innings.
At the plate, perhaps the only hitter with anything to show for this series is Billy McKinney, who launched his first home run of the season to score the team’s only run in the entire series. Overall, McKinney went 2-for-6 in two games.
Unsurprisingly, Socrates Brito (0-for-4, 3 SO) was once again hitless at the dish, while Freddy Galvis (2-for-11, 3 SO), Brandon Drury (1-for-9, 3 SO, 1 TB), and Rowdy Tellez (1-for-10, 3 SO) also scuffled with the bats. Elsewhere in the order, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (1-for-7, 3 SO) and Teoscar Hernandez (0-for-6, 2 SO) had a rough stretch.
In a smaller sample size, Danny Jansen (0-for-2, BB) struggled, as did Randal Grichuk (2-for-12, 5 SO, 2 TB).
On the mound, Trent Thornton (2.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 H, 2 BB, 2 HR) and Marcus Stroman (4.2 IP, 5 ER, 2 HR, 2 BB, 8 H) weren’t able to go deep into games, while relievers Joe Biagini (0.1 IP, ER, H, BB) and Elvis Luciano (1.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 H) were also shaky.
Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo was visibly frustrated after Wednesday night’s finale, telling reporters that the team “didn’t play very good the last three days” and that they’re “going to keep f—— working hard at it”.
While not necessarily “weird” in the purest sense of the word, Charlie Montoyo’s ejection in Monday night’s ballgame (the first of his big-league managerial career), was odd in the sense that, in ejecting Montoyo, umpire Adam Hamari hesitated slightly before deciding to eject Montoyo, The Score hilariously pointed out.
Now losers of eight of their last 10 games, the Blue Jays will enjoy a much-needed off-day Thursday before hosting the Chicago White Sox (16-19) in a three-game weekend series which will feature Dylan Covey (0-1, 4.50 ERA, 2 SO), Ivan Nova (1-3, 7.04 ERA, 28 SO), and Lucas Giolito (3-1, 4.06 ERA, 38 SO) toeing the rubber against Clay Buchholz (0-2, 6.57 ERA, 12 SO), Stroman (1-5, 2.96 ERA, 41 SO), and Sanchez (3-3, 3.21 ERA, 35 SO).