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Photo Credit: © Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Teoscar Hernandez’s dingers aren’t enough to overcome Hyun Jin Ryu’s struggles, Blue Jays split the series in Washington

That isn’t exactly the result you’d like to have heading into a four-day break. The Blue Jays got dropped by the Nationals 6-4 in the finale, resulting in a series split. Off to… uhh… the hotel, for a few more days? And then Atlanta? Maybe? I don’t know.

Things worth mentioning…

  • As the headline suggests, Hyun Jin Ryu didn’t have his best day today. He looked good in the first inning, especially on this absurd curveball that struck out Adam Eaton, but Ryu struggled as the game went along. He wasn’t able to locate his cutter or command the zone and his velocity was down from where you’d expect it to be. All told, he went four-and-one-third, allowing five earned runs on nine hits while striking out five.
  • Something seems to be up with Ryu. Could it be the short training camp before the season resulting in him not having a feel for his breaking pitches? Was it the heat today in Washington? Who knows. But the declined velocity is a tad worrying.

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  • On a more positive note when it came to pitching, Thomas Hatch made his second Major League appearance in relief of Ryu, tossing two-and-two-thirds scoreless frames. Hatch now has five shutout innings on his resume as a big-league pitcher.
  • Another positive today was the team showing more life offensively. Bo Bichette made his return to the lineup and smacked two doubles, one to lead off the game and one in the ninth inning to start a potential rally. Lourdes Gurriel also had himself a three-hit game, including a couple of hits in which he did an impressive job staying on difficult breaking pitches. And, finally, there was Teoscar Hernandez, who continued what’s starting to look like a breakout season with two monster homers.

  • Through seven games, Hernandez has come to the plate 30 times, resulting in nine hits, six of which have been for extra bases, and he has a league-leading four home runs. He’s currently got a hard-hit percentage of 68.8 percent, which ranks in the top four percent of the league, and his first-inning homer was the hardest ball he’s hit in his career, clocking in at 114.0 miles-per-hour. He went down to Buffalo last year, made an adjustment, came back up and hit well for the rest of the season. Maybe the new Hernandez is here to stay.

  • That would surely help off-set what the Jays are lacking right now from the guy we expected to be the heart of the lineup. Vlad Jr. had himself another ugly day at the plate, going 0-for-4 with three balls hit on the ground. He has just one extra-base hit through 30 plate appearances this season. He’s hitting the ball hard, but, again, it’s always on the ground.