Photo Credit: Fred Thornhill/The Canadian Press via AP

Blue Jays escape with one after merciless beatings from San Diego

Facing off against Canadians Cal Quantrill and Josh Naylor, the Blue Jays, floundering after a disappointing stretch against the Boston Red Sox, hoped to turn their luck around against the San Diego Padres (28-25) this weekend at Rogers Centre.

While the outcome of the series wasn’t necessarily what Charlie Montoyo and the Blue Jays wanted, there was still progress made, and there were many positives to take away from a rather wild series against the NL West-dwelling Padres.

Here’s a look at the good, the bad, and the weird from May’s second of three series’ against NL West teams:

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The Good

Cavan Biggio (3-for-10, HR, 2 RBI, R overall) was spectacular in the finale, while Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (6-for-10, 3 HR, 4 RBI, 2 B, 5 R), returning from Triple-A, had an outstanding series that took the Blue Jays and their fans by storm. In addition, Justin Smoak (3-for-11, 3 HR, BB, 7 RBI, 3 R) was tremendous, playing some sound first base to match.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (3-for-12, 2 R, BB, 2B) was quietly productive, while Eric Sogard (2-for-5, 2B, R) turned in a solid game after returning from a minor thumb injury.

On the mound, Marcus Stroman (5.0 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, BB, 2 SO) effortlessly sliced through the Padres lineup, while Joe Biagini (2.1 IP, 2 H, 4 SO, 0 R/ER) managed to stop the bleeding Saturday. Fellow starter Trent Thornton (6.0 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 10 SO) was also impressive, notching a quality start despite the team’s poor offensive performance. As per usual, Ken Giles (1.0 IP, 2 SO, 0 H) was also stellar, lowering his ERA to 1.25.

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The Bad

The majority of the Blue Jays bullpen, led abysmally by Sam Gaviglio (0.2 IP, 6 H, 5 ER, 3 HR), Zac Rosscup (1.0 IP, 2 R, ER, 2 BB), Derek Law (2.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 H), and Thomas Pannone (2.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 H, 2 BB), left much to be desired, while starter Edwin Jackson (4.0 IP, 7 ER, 7 H, BB, 3 HR) struggled once again, skyrocketing his season ERA to an even 9.00.

Perhaps the worst performer of the series was Daniel Hudson (2.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 H, BB, L), who, despite a decent appearance in Sunday’s game, managed to pick up the loss in the first game of the series.

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At the dish, Brandon Drury (1-for-8, 3 SO, R) continued to falter, as did Randal Grichuk (2-for-11, 7 SO, 2 TB). The catchers, Luke Maile (0-for-3, SO) and Danny Jansen (0-for-8, 3 SO, 0 TB), also had themselves a pretty rough set. Rowdy Tellez (0-for-7, 5 SO) also had a rough go at the plate.

The Weird

In Saturday’s dreadful 19-4 thumping, the Blue Jays turned to catcher Luke Maile to pitch for the second time this season, making him just the fourth position player in franchise history to record multiple appearances at pitcher, Ian Hunter confirmed on Twitter.

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Also, Maile managed to strike out two hitters, making him the first Blue Jays position player in franchise history to record more than one strikeout, per Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith. According to Baseball Savant, Maile threw six knuckleballs, with his average velocity sitting at 71.3 MPH.

Looking Ahead

Depleted and exhausted, the Blue Jays (21-32) will head to Tampa Bay’s (31-19) Tropicana Field (colloquially known to Blue Jays fans as the “House of Horrors”), to play a three-game set with the Rays which will feature Aaron Sanchez (3-4, 3.79 ERA, 55 SO), Clayton Richard (0-0, 2.25 ERA, 2 SO), and Trent Thornton (1-4, 4.42 ERA, 60 SO) facing off against two pitchers to be determined and Rays ace Blake Snell (3-4, 3.07, 78 SO), who is scheduled to go in Wednesday’s finale.