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Photo Credit: © Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Hyun Jin Ryu helps save the Blue Jays from themselves

Yet again, Hyun Jin Ryu showed why the Blue Jays invested $80 million in him last winter. With his team struggling behind him (at the plate, on the bases, in the field), Ryu stepped up and pitched like the ace they needed.

Things worth mentioning… 

  • This game really looked like it had Loss written all over it early on. In the first inning, the newly-acquired Jonathan Villar inexplicably tried to stretch a single into a double and got thrown out by about 100 miles. In the fourth inning, Villar singled yet again and then Teoscar Hernandez hit a single of his own to put runners on first and third. With Rowdy Tellez at the plate, it looked like a prime chance for the Jays to bust the game open. But, instead, the inning came to an end when Villar got caught napping on the bases…

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  • This was a zoned-out, mistake-prone energy we’ve seen from the Blue Jays before, and it extended to their play on defence, too. In the second inning, Villar and Hernandez allowed a catchable pop-up to fall and then Villar made a bad throw to second on a grounder to set up a situation with runners on first and second with nobody out.
  • Thankfully, Ryu was unphased. He got Lewis Brinson to ground into an awkward fielder’s choice, and then worked around having runners on second and third with one out by striking out Jorje Alfaro and Jazz Chisholm. There was virtually zero room for error in this game for Ryu, but he came through and helped will the Jays to a win. Ryu went six innings, allowing just one earned run on five hits and two walks while striking out eight. He lowered his ERA on the season from 2.92 to 2.72 in the process. But Ryu’s true ace-like feature was shown in his amazingly cool demeanour throughout the chaos. Despite watching egregious mistakes on the bases that resulted in short rest between innings and some ugly defence behind him, Ryu was never shook. He just went out and spun six great innings.

  • Also key in Wednesday’s win was a clutch two-run homer from Lourdes Gurriel. Sixto Sanchez was absolutely dealing for the Marlins, but Gurriel managed to smash a bomb in the fifth inning to give the Jays the lead. You can’t get thrown out on the bases if you hit it out of the park!

  • So the Jays leave Miami with a split in the two-game series and will now head to Boston for a five-game series against the Red Sox. Thanks to a Detroit loss last night, the Jays own a 1.5-game lead in the race for the final playoff spot in the American League. Doing well in Boston is important because, after that, it’s a whole bunch of games with the Yankees.