Jack Flaherty shuts down Blue Jays in his Orioles debut

Photo credit:© Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports
Ryley Delaney
8 months ago
Wow, baseball can be seriously un-fun at times.
On Thursday afternoon, the Blue Jays fell 6-1 to the Baltimore Orioles, bringing their season record to 2-8 against the former trash birds of the American League East.
It doesn’t help that the Orioles big deadline acquisition, Jack Flaherty, finished with a line of 6 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 8 K, 2 BB.
With that being said, let’s look at the Blue Jays Nation’s Player of the Game, as well as some things worth mentioning.

Blue Jays Nation’s Player of the Game: Whit Merrifield

In a game where the Blue Jays only registered five hits and a run, Two-Hit Whit had two of them, both singles.
The 34-year-old has been great for the Blue Jays this season, slashing .299/.346/.421 with nine homers in 408 plate appearances for a 114 wRC+.
The second baseman/left fielder has a mutual option worth $18,000,000 next season which will surely be declined. However, it would be awesome to see the Jays bring back Merrifield, as he’s been their most consistent hitter all season.

Things worth mentioning:

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. drove in the only Blue Jays run in the game, also hitting a single. It’s been a rough season for the 24-year-old, as he’s slashing .265/.343/.439 with 17 homers for a 117 wRC+. After an MVP-esque season in 2021 where he had a 162 wRC+, it seems he’ll only be a 120-130 wRC+ hitter in the future unless things change.
Matt Chapman has been torched by the Orioles this season, as he’s struck out 18 times in just 43 plate appearances. Ten of these have been caught looking, while eight times he went down swinging. The 30-year-old third baseman is slashing .256/.352/.456 with 14 homers in 446 plate appearances for a 125 wRC+. He’ll still get a qualifying offer though.
Kevin Kiermaier likely won’t get a qualifying offer, but the 33-year-old centre fielder had a single on Thursday afternoon, and has been fantastic in 2023. He’s slashing .268/.331/.411 with five homers in 294 plate appearances for a 107 wRC+. This doesn’t even mention the fact he’s an elite defender, which will be covered in the next Premium Defenders article.
Alejandro Kirk was the first player we looked at in the Premium Defenders article, and he had a single on Thursday. Defensively in 2023, he’s been fantastic, potentially gold glove calibre. Offensively, it’s been a bit of a struggle as he’s slashing .257/.338/.357 with six homers in 272 plate appearances for a 97 wRC+.
The Blue Jays fly over to Boston to start a three-game series with them. It’s an important series for both teams, as the Blue Jays own the final Wild Card position by just two games. The team that trails them is Boston.
Furthermore, Davis Schneider will be joining them for the series, as reported by Gate 14’s Johnny Giunta, so that’s exciting. Hopefully he plays.

As always, you can follow me on Twitter and Instagram @Brennan_L_D.


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