That’s the end of that. After a tight Game 1, the Blue Jays got blown away in Game 2 and now their season is over.
Things worth mentioning…
- The Blue Jays built their playoff pitching strategy around Hyun Jin Ryu getting a start with an extra day of rest. The goal, of course, was that he would be at his best after the extra day off. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. Without a strong start from Ryu, the Jays fell apart. Ryu allowed four hits in the first inning but managed to work around some damage due in part to a great throw from Lourdes Gurriel in the outfield to nab Mike Brosseau stretching a single into a double. In the second, the wheels fell off. Kevin Kiermaier singled and Mike Zunino, the Rays’ ninth hitter, clubbed a two-run bomb. Later on, with two outs, Ryu got Manuel Margot to ground into what should have been an inning-ending out at first, but Bo Bichette fumbled the ball, allowing the inning to continue. Next up, a Hunter Renfroe grand slam. That was the end of the line for Ryu.
Hyun Jin Ryu was fine from a health standpoint despite diminished velocity today per Charlie Montoyo. "He was fine … there was nothing." Ryu's fastball averaged 88.3 mph, down from 90.4 mph in his final regular season start.
— Ben Nicholson-Smith (@bnicholsonsmith) September 30, 2020
- After the game, both Charlie Montoyo and Ryu said that the issue wasn’t physical, but a deeper look shows that his pitches were a tick down from where we usually saw him this year. According to StatCast, Ryu was averaging 88.3 miles-per-hour on his fastball. He obviously isn’t generally a power guy, but we’re used to seeing him sit around 90 or 91 mph.
- A 7-0 hole against the Rays? I mean, we saw the 2019 Jays erase one in the ninth inning. But that wasn’t going to happen this time around. The only batter who could solve the Rays’ pitching was Danny Jansen, who clubbed two solo bombs off of Tyler Glasnow. The rest of the team? Four singles and one walk.
— Toronto Blue Jays – x (@BlueJays) September 30, 2020
- The other positive for the Blue Jays was Nate Pearson, who was absolutely insane in his post-season debut. Pearson tossed two innings and five of his six outs came via the strikeout. He was virtually untouchable. Only one of his 28 pitches was put in play.
- It sure would have been nice to see Pearson pitch like this in a situation that actually mattered. Maybe Montoyo should have pulled Ryu earlier when he was clearly struggling? Like, in the second inning before things got out of hand. But this is your ace. You live and die with the guy you paid $80 million to be that guy.