After a hapless and underwhelming series loss at the hands of the juggernaut Yankees in New York over the weekend, the Blue Jays, perpetually short-handed in the way of pitchers, hobbled into Boston to play a mammoth four-game series against the streaky Red Sox this week.
Though the bats did come alive at times, and some pitchers were able to shut down some of the hottest hitters on the opposing team, the boys in blue fell in three games of the four, dropping their record to an abysmal 36-62.
Here’s a look at the good, the bad, and the weird from this week’s series in Boston:
Back on the scene with authority, Teoscar Hernandez (3-for-9, 3 HR, 5 RBI, 2 BB, 4 SO, 5 R) exploded at the plate in the series, while Eric Sogard (5-for-14, 2 2B, 2 R, RBI, BB, 3 SO) and Justin Smoak (5-for-16, 3 R, 2B, HR, 3 RBI, 2 BB) continued to have solid seasons. Billy McKinney (3-for-8, 3 R, 3B, HR, 2 RBI) was also quietly clutch, with Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (5-for-19, 2 R, 2B, 3B, HR, 2 RBI, SB) putting together a nice stretch in his own right.
On the mound, Daniel Hudson (1.0 IP, H, BB, SO, 0 R/ER) and David Phelps (1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R/ER, SO) were great, with Justin Shafer (2.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R/ER, 2 BB, 4 SO, W) and Joe Biagini (2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R/ER, 3 SO) also logging solid appearances in relief.
Having scored 19 runs over the four games, the Blue Jays offense struggled for most of the back half, with Cavan Biggio (1-for-9, 2 SO, R, 3 BB), Brandon Drury (2-for-6, RBI, SO), Randal Grichuk (3-for-16, 2 RBI, 2 2B, R, 4 SO), and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (1-for-11, RBI, 2 BB, SO) all flailing at various points.
Elsewhere, Danny Jansen (2-for-11, 2 R, 2 RBI, 5 SO) was overmatched, so too was his partner Luke Maile (0-for-2, 0 TB).
On the mound, relievers Sam Gaviglio (1.1 IP, 3 H, 5 R/ER, 3 BB) and Derek Law (2.1 IP, H, R/ER, 2 BB, 2 SO) were roughed up, with spot starters Jacob Waguespack (4.2 IP, 6 H, 4 R/ER, 3 BB, 2 SO) and Thomas Pannone (4.1 IP, 5 H, 4 R/ER, 2 BB, 3 SO, L) also stumbling, though the latter had a very legitimate excuse for doing so (more on that later). In a rare instance of ineffectiveness, Ken Giles (1.0 IP, 2 H, R/ER, BB) allowed a run, though notably not in a save situation.
Starters Trent Thornton (1.1 IP, 5 H, 5 R/ER, 3 BB, L) and Aaron Sanchez (5.0 IP, 8 H, 4 R/ER, BB, 4 SO, L) weren’t too flashy either, with the former struggling mightily for the second straight start.
Pannone, Thursday’s starter, had to take a taxi from Buffalo to Boston, according to Rob Longley of The Toronto Sun, because his flight was cancelled due to intense rain in the Boston area. A car ride from Sahlen Field in Buffalo to Fenway Park in Buffalo takes roughly seven and a half hours…
The Blue Jays will now travel to Detroit to take on the 29-62 Tigers in a three-game series beginning Friday. While the starters for Sunday’s finale have yet to be announced by either team, Friday’s game is set to feature Marcus Stroman (5-10, 3.25 ERA, 88 SO) against Jordan Zimmermann (0-6, 7.01 ERA, 35 SO), with Saturday’s tilt showcasing Thornton (3-7, 5.25 ERA, 97 SO) against former Blue Jays prospect Daniel Norris (2-8, 5.14 ERA, 79 SO).