I usually wait for a few days so that I can round up two or three of these games into a more worthwhile post, but Nate Pearson changed everything.
Things worth mentioning…
- The Blue Jays ended up taking their second loss of the spring on Sunday afternoon in Bradenton to the Pirates by a scored of 13-8, but only two of those seven innings really mattered.
- Nate Pearson made his second start of the spring and he was just as insanely good as he was last week when he dazzled during his debut. Pearson, who struck out the side in his debut, threw two innings in relief on Sunday, going six up, six down while collecting three strikeouts. He hit 100 miles-per-hour on the gun and made 2019 All-Star Josh Bell look silly with his high heat.
It's March 1st and Nate Pearson's already out here throwing pitches like this. 👀🔥 pic.twitter.com/h97roPMMbH
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) March 1, 2020
- So, though two outings, it’s nine up, nine down with six strikeouts for Pearson. That’s two-thirds of the guys he’s faced ending up with a strikeout. Two. Thirds. Good lord. I don’t know if there’s anything Pearson can do to force the Jays’ hands this spring as it seems he’s destined to start the season in Triple-A, but, man, it’ll be hard to not see him travel north with the club. Pearson’s Major League debut is one we’ll all be itching for.
- And then there was the non-Pearson part of the game, which, when it came to the pitchers, was pretty ugly! Chase Anderson had a terrible start, allowing four earned runs on three hits and three walks while recording just two outs. Ryan Dull would have to come in and put out the fire in the first inning for Anderson. After that, Wilmer Font allowed three earned runs in an inning of work before Elvis Luciano and Pearson combined for three shutout innings. T.J. Zeuch had a rough outing, allowing four runs on six hits over an inning-and-a-third. The most worrying part, though, was the fact he was only hitting 87 miles-per-hour on the gun. Yikes! Julian Merryweather also had a bad outing, allowing a couple of runs on two walks and a double. He could only get two outs before Kirby Snead came in to get the final out of the inning. And that was that! Beyond Pearson and Luciano, it was a pretty rough one for Blue Jays’ pitchers.
- It was a bit better on the offensive side of the game, fortunately. Despite the Jays going down 7-0 in the second inning, they rallied back to make sticking around to see Pearson worthwhile beyond just seeing Pearson himself.
- Vlad Jr. hit an absolute fucking missile for his first homer of spring training:
Vlad Jr. hits missiles. 😱 pic.twitter.com/wyByqq0O06
— MLB (@MLB) March 1, 2020
- Bo Bichette also came up with his first bomb of the spring, smashing this opposite-field laser off of Joe Musgrove:
— contactobeisbolistico (@contactobeisbo1) March 1, 2020
- Joe Panik also had a homer, helping his case to crack the roster. Forrest Wall, a depth name in the system at this point, had a big day offensively, hitting a homer and a single in his two at-bats. Anthony Alford hit a triple, snapping a cold-streak that had been going on since after his spring debut, though he also struck out two times in his other two at-bats.