For the Blue Jays of 2019, positives are hard to come by. For the team and their fans, Sunday’s 12-0 thumping of the outstandingly competent Houston Astros might just be one of the few shining positives so far this season.
Despite dropping the first two games of the set in humiliating fashion, the Blue Jays, backed by a stellar starting performance by former Astro Trent Thornton, managed to come away with a single victory on Father’s Day after being obliterated in every sense of the word in the previous pair of contests.
Here’s a look at the good, the bad, and the weird, from this weekend’s series in Houston:
At the plate, Teoscar Hernandez (2-for-6, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 2 BB) and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (3-for-12, 4 RBI, BB, 2 R) both had productive sets, while Freddy Galvis (7-for-12, 3 RBI, 3 R, BB) was electric at the dish, improving his OPS to .718 on the year. Cavan Biggio (4-for-13, 2 RBI, 2 R), who played in his hometown for the first time in his major-league career, had some big knocks despite striking out six times.
Brandon Drury (1-for-3, RBI, SO) was solid in limited at-bats, with Luke Maile (1-for-3, RBI, SO) contributing in a similar capacity. Finally, Eric Sogard (4-for-9, RBI, 3 R, 2 BB) bounced back after a tough few weeks, reaching base four times in the finale.
On the mound, starter Trent Thornton (6.2 IP, 6 H, 3 BB, 7 SO, 0 R) was fantastic in his start, with relievers Justin Shafer (1.1 IP, SO, 3 BB, 0 H, 0 R), Joe Biagini (1.0 IP, SO), and Derek Law (2.0 IP, H, 0 R, 4 SO) all tossing well in limited innings.
Randal Grichuk (1-for-12, 4 SO, BB) faltered yet again, while Rowdy Tellez (1-for-13, HR, RBI, 5 SO) struggled throughout most of the series, despite a home run in the finale. Danny Jansen (0-for-8, 2 SO) also had a miserable series at the dish, lowering his average to .175 on the year.
On the mound, starters Clayton Richard (5.0 IP, 7 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, SO) and Aaron Sanchez (3.0 IP, 6 H, 8 ER, 2 HR, 3 BB, 4 SO) were majorly roughed up, with reliever Sam Gaviglio (2.0 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, HR, SO) also serving up some meatballs in the middle game.
In Sunday’s shocking blowout, the Blue Jays forced the Astros to use position player Tyler White as their pitcher in the top of the ninth inning. White, who has pitched thrice this season so far, didn’t fare too well, surrendering an earned run on two hits. Overall, he threw 17 pitches, ten of them for strikes.
The cellar-dwelling Blue Jays will now fly home to face the Los Angeles Angels in a four-game set that has but two probable pitchers already announced. Tyler Skaggs (5-6, 5.00 ERA, 64 SO) will take the ball in the second game, while Jose Suarez (2-1, 4.50 ERA, 13 SO) is expected to toe the rubber in the finale.
For the Blue Jays, Edwin Jackson (1-4, 10.22 ERA, 17 SO) and Marcus Stroman (4-8, 3.18 ERA, 68 SO) are both candidates to start the first game, which begins at 7:07 PM EDT on Monday at Rogers Centre.