Well, it was fun while it lasted. Thanks to a late-inning rally, the Blue Jays got dropped by a score of 4-1 to the Rays and the dream of a 60-0 season has now evaporated.
Things worth mentioning…
- The best thing about this game was the excellent start from Matt Shoemaker. In his first Major League start in well over a year (his 2019 season got derailed due to a freak injury), Shoemaker went six innings, allowing just one earned run on three hits and one walk while striking out four. Shoemaker looked every bit like the top-of-the-rotation guy he was during his short sample size in Toronto last season. As frustrating as tonight’s game was, seeing Shoemaker put together a return like that after tearing his ACL last April was a brilliant sight to behold. That’s certainly a positive sign for the season.
- Unfortunately for Shoemaker, he wasn’t able to pick up a W because the offence was nowhere to be found. The lineup simply couldn’t solve Ryan Yarborough, who allowed just four hits over five-and-a-third. The only damage done by the Jays on Saturday night was a solo jack (he loves doing these in Florida) by Reese McGuire. Otherwise, the bats were quiet.
Get up ball, get up ball aaaand gone❗️⚾️
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) July 25, 2020
- The game came unravelled in the eighth inning when Charlie Montoyo opted to use Samy Gaviglio in a high-leverage inning. With Jordan Romano, Anthony Bass, and Rafael Dolis unavailable because they had pitched on Friday night, Gaviglio got the ball for the eighth after A.J. Cole worked through the seventh. Sammy G went on to allow three runs on a single, walk, triple, and a balk before finally getting pulled.
I'm not sold on using Gaviglio in high-leverage innings, but Montoyo definitely is. I mentioned Cole as a possibility before the game, Montoyo agreed but quickly started raving about Gaviglio and the role he could have out of the bullpen this season. #BlueJays
— Gregor Chisholm (@GregorChisholm) July 25, 2020
- This tweet from Gregor Chisholm is… worrying. It’s pretty clear that Sammy G is a middle reliever at this point, so showing this much faith in him tossing the eighth inning against the Rays in a tie game seems odd. I mean, to be fair, Montoyo was backed into a corner having to use all three of his set-up guys last night, but you’d hope, with a 30-man roster, that there can be a better late-game contingency plan than using a mop-up guy. If the bullpen is already depleted to an extent in which you’re using Sam Gaviglio in a key situation after one game, that isn’t a good sign. Thankfully, the ‘pen will get deeper once Wilmer Font returns and Nate Pearson joins the rotation.
- Anyways! Baseball, it’ll rip your heart out. That’s what it does! Tomorrow, we’ll reportedly see Thomas Hatch make his Major League debut, sharing a start with Anthony Kay. Meanwhile, the Rays will send 2018 Cy Young winner Blake Snell, who struggled through Summer Camp, to the mound.