The Blue Jays have their post-season ticket punched and they’re more than likely stuck in eighth place, so this series against Baltimore doesn’t mean too much.
I mean, it’s always fun to kick the shit out of the Trash Birds and the bats went ahead and took care of that, but this real story from Friday night’s game was the return of Nate Pearson. After spending over a month on the Injured List, Big Nate came back throwing some absolute gas.
Taijuan Walker tossed a casual three innings to start and then Pearson came into the game in relief. Given the fact the playoffs are right around the corner, there won’t be time to stretch Pearson out, so this is the role that he’s going to be used in.
Pearson took no time at all to get rolling. He came into the game and hit 100 miles-per-hour with his heater and struck out Austin Hayes on three pitches, with the exclamation point coming with a 101.5 mph swinging strike three. Here’s a look at the hardest thrown ball in Blue Jays’ history.
Nate Pearson. 101mph ⛽️ pic.twitter.com/DRuXxRwTPf
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) September 25, 2020
All told, Pearson tossed 24 pitches before getting pulled. He recorded five outs, two of which came on strikeouts, and surrendered a single and a walk. Pearson mostly used his fastball, which sat between 97 and 101, but he also threw seven sliders and a couple of change-ups. Perhaps most importantly, he did a better job commanding the zone than we saw back when he was struggling before his IL stint.
I imagine we’ll see Pearson get one more tune-up outing this weekend, and, if all goes well, the Blue Jays have themselves a massive boost to their bullpen. Getting a couple innings from a guy who can hit 101 on the gun is huge, especially if Jordan Romano and Julian Merryweather aren’t able to return.