Fresh off of Vladimir Guerrero Jr’s first home run in San Francisco, the Blue Jays hoped to carry that momentum to Guaranteed Rate Field, where, this weekend, they battled the middling White Sox in a four-game set that took place over the course of a soggy weekend in the Windy City.
With some clutch hits and strong performances from their relievers, the Blue Jays were able to take two of the four games, including a 10-2 win on Friday. Though the outlook still looks relatively bleak, the series did highlight a couple of positives in the team’s game.
Here’s a look at the good, the bad, and the weird from this weekend’s set in Chicago:
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (4-for-12, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 3 R) had himself an excellent series, as did Danny Jansen (4-for-10, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 2 BB), the latter of which surprisingly came alive in this set with a phenomenal set of at-bats after nearly two months of subpar plate appearances.
Elsewhere in the lineup, Billy McKinney (6-for-12, HR, 3 R, 2 2B) was incredibly productive in his own right.
On the mound, Trent Thornton (6.0 IP, 3 H, ER, 4 SO, BB) tossed a gem, while relievers Daniel Hudson (1.0 IP, SO, 0 R) and Ken Giles (1.1 IP, 3 SO, 0 R) continued their streaks of dominance.
Sam Gaviglio (3.0 IP, SO, H, 0 R, W) was outstanding as per usual this season, lowering his ERA to 1.76 on the year and 3.09 for the month of May. Gaviglio currently ranks second among AL relievers in innings pitched and 15th in strikeouts.
Most of the offense, including Brandon Drury (2-for-10, 2 SO, 3 TB), Randal Grichuk (2-for-14, SO), and Freddy Galvis (2-for-13, 3 SO), were unable to get things going, while Jonathan Davis (1-for-7, 2 SO, 1 TB) had but one hit and made a mental error in the field.
Aaron Sanchez (3.0 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 2 BB) left his start early with a blister, while knuckleballer Ryan Feierabend (4.0 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, HR, BB) was ineffective in his start. Luckily for him (and for the team), the game was called due to rain, a recurring theme throughout the series.
Joe Biagini (1.0 IP, 2 H, BB, 0 R) had a rough go in relief, while Tim Mayza (0.2 IP, ER, BB, H) faltered in his lone appearance.
The last time Ryan Feierabend pitched in a major-league game, Eric Sogard and former Blue Jay Josh Donaldson were on the opposing team, the Oakland Athletics. Now, Feierabend and Sogard are teammates.
In another Vladdy-related oddity, Vladimir Guerrero Sr. was 2-for-4 with a walk against Feierabend, with most of the battles between the two coming during the 2007 season when Guerrero played for the Angels and Feierabend played for the Seattle Mariners.
Now 19-27 on the season, the Blue Jays will head home to face the Boston Red Sox in a four-game set that’ll feature former Blue Jay David Price (1-2, 3.75 ERA, 42 SO), Eduardo Rodriguez (4-2, 4.89 ERA, 56 SO) and Rick Porcello (3-4, 4.80 ERA, 43 SO) against Edwin Jackson (0-0, 3.60 ERA, 2 SO), Marcus Stroman (1-6, 2.95 ERA, 51 SO), and two pitchers to be announced, presumably an opener and Ryan Feierabend.
The Red Sox (24-22) will be a major test for the scuffling Blue Jays. The first pitch of the first game flies at 1:07 PM EDT on Victoria Day Monday at Rogers Centre.