Photo Credit: © Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Robbie Ray had an encouraging Blue Jays debut

The combination of Julian Merryweather, Robbie Ray, and Shun Yamaguchi gave the Blue Jays a good effort in Miami on Tuesday, but, unfortunately, some limp bats resulted in a 3-2 loss to the Marlins.

Things worth mentioning…

  • Julian Merryweather got the start as the opener and dazzled yet again. Over two innings of work, Merryweather didn’t allow a hit, issued one walk, and struck out three. He sat at around 96 miles-per-hour with his fastball and kept hitters off balance with an indistinguishable change-up. Merryweather has now gone seven-and-one-third innings without allowing a run. Here’s a look at how he completely fools hitters with his fastball-change combo…

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  • Robbie Ray came in after Merryweather to make his Blue Jays debut. The thing with Ray, as we know, is command. He has lethal stuff, but he’s had a hell of a time finding the strike zone this season. In his last outing as a member of the Arizona Diamondbacks, Ray issued a whopping six walks over the course of four innings. But command was no issue at all for Ray on Tuesday. In his first inning, Ray struck out the side (and allowed a solo homer) on 12 pitches, all of which were strikes. All told, threw 48 pitches, 36 of which were strikes. He would end up working three-and-one-third, allowing two runs (one earned) on four hits, one walk, while picking up four strikeouts. That’s certainly encouraging stuff.
  • Finally, Shun Yamaguchi came into the game after that. He pitched well, going three-and-two-thirds, but allowed a solo homer to Starling Marte that ended up being the difference.
  • The real issue for Toronto on Tuesday was the lack of offence. They managed just nine base runners all game and cashed in only a couple of runs. There was also a huge, deflating gaffe in the sixth inning. Vlad Jr. led the inning off with a single and Rowdy Tellez followed it up with a walk. It looked like the start of a game-changing inning, but Vlad got picked off at second base after taking too big of a lead. With his wheels, he obviously isn’t going to be stealing third, so there’s no need to be venturing that far from the base. After that, Lourdes Gurriel grounded into a double play to kill the rally.