Fresh off a relaxing and, thanks to Vladimir Guerrero Jr., invigorating All-Star break, the Blue Jays hoped to get back into the swing of things in the Bronx, taking on the New York Yankees in a three-game series.
Unfortunately for them, they were unable to keep the Yankees’ bats at bay, failed to make solid (and consistent) contact, and missed the mark with runners in scoring position. Still, they managed to claw out one victory against one of the hottest teams in baseball.
Here’s a look at the good, the bad, and the weird from the first series of the second half:
Eric Sogard (4-for-12, R, HR, RBI, BB, 2B) and Randal Grichuk (3-for-11, HR, 3 RBI, R) had respectable stretches, with Danny Jansen (3-for-7, 3 TB) also contributing admirably both behind the plate and at the plate.
On the mound, relievers Sam Gaviglio (2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R/ER, 2 SO) and Nick Kingham (2.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R/ER, BB, 3 SO) were solid, with Marcus Stroman (6.0 IP, 7 H, 3 R/ER, 2 BB, 7 SO, L) performing excellently in what could very well be his final start in a Blue Jays uniform.
Most of the team’s offensive forces, including Freddy Galvis (2-for-11, BB, 2 SO), Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (2-for-12, R, 3 SO, SB), Guerrero Jr. (2-for-12, 3 SO), and Justin Smoak (0-for-7, 3 SO, 0 TB) struggled in the well-pitched series, while supporting members Cavan Biggio (2-for-11, 5 SO, BB, R) and Rowdy Tellez (1-for-5, 2 SO, 1 TB) also fared rather badly.
Elsewhere, Brandon Drury (1-for-5, SO, 1 TB) continued to falter, with Teoscar Hernandez (0-for-5, 3 SO, 0 TB) and Luke Maile (0-for-4, 0 TB) invisible with the bats in their own rights.
Aaron Sanchez (5.0 IP, 7 H, 4 R/ER, HR, 2 BB, 2 SO) wasn’t too sharp in his start, while relievers Derek Law (0.2 IP, 3 H, R/ER, 2 SO) and Daniel Hudson (1.1 IP, 2 H, R/ER, SO, BB, SV) were shaky in limited innings.
Once again, Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo opted not to use closer Ken Giles during Saturday’s close game in a save situation. While Daniel Hudson ended up narrowly saving the game, concern grew that Giles was traded, or, even worse, injured. It was revealed shortly after that Giles had experienced mild nerve inflammation in his elbow after getting a massage during the All-Star break…
Hopping from one AL East rival to the next, the Blue Jays will head to Fenway Park to battle the mighty Red Sox in a series that is set to feature Trent Thornton (3-6, 4.85 ERA, 97 SO), Aaron Sanchez (3-13, 6.22 ERA, 79 SO), and Jacob Waguespack (1-0, 5.00 ERA, 11 SO) against Rick Porcello (6-7, 5.33 ERA, 81 SO), Eduardo Rodriguez (10-4, 4.43 ERA, 116 SO) and the team’s newest addition, righty Andrew Cashner (9-3, 3.83 ERA, 66 SO).