Blue Jays Morning Brew: The morning after the implosion edition
For about seven and a half innings, the Toronto Blue Jays looked like they were about to snap their series losing streak at Yankee Stadium. Then the bottom of the 8th inning happened.
As we’ve seen in the past, the Blue Jays bullpen imploded on itself in the late innings, first costing Toronto the lead and eventually the ballgame.
Aaron Loup came on to start the bottom of the eighth inning, surrendering a pop-up double down the right-field line that somehow fell between Devon Travis and Justin Smoak. He then gave up a sharp single to Jacoby Ellsbury and hit Brett Gardner on the right wrist, loading the bases with no outs.
Brett Cecil continued the struggles when he uncorked a wild pitch with Carlos Beltran at the dish, allowing Chris Young to score from third. He would strike out Beltran for the first out of the inning, and the Blue Jays would play the odds and intentionally walk Mark Texeira to load the bases and play for the double play. However, another hit-by-pitch (Brian McCann) and a single into left by Chase Headley would push across the tying and go-ahead runs.
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Unable to muster any offense in the 9th off of Andrew Miller, the Blue Jays will now look for the series win on Thursday night with the rubber game match-up.
As you can guess, the talk of the night was on the implosion of the bullpen. Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star was right on top of noting that team’s first test of the new bullpen was a complete failure. To me, it was hard to pin the blame entirely on the “new look” bullpen, when it was the same guys as last year that melted down. It’s not that Loup and Cecil can’t be counted on, and no I’m not justifying the breakdown on the weather, but we know these guys can get the job done more often than not. And we have to be encouraged again by the performance of both Miguel Castro and Roberto Osuna, both of whom were solid again.
Likewise, we have Bob Elliot at the Toronto Sun that seems to feel the end is coming and that this is a sign to come. Granted, he comes down off his pulpit a bit after the opening title, “Blue Jays bullpen sure could use an upgrade,” but then he finished back on the high horse, noting that, “this is not the kind of start the Jays could envisioned.” I mean, perhaps that’s true to a point, if the vision occurred in the top of the 8th, but it seems awful dire with 160 games still remaining on the schedule.
Getting away from the naysayers a bit, we slide on over to the Buffalo News, who caught up with Bisons first baseman/outfielder Chris Colabello. The former Twin, who the Blue Jays inked on a minor league deal this winter, is eager to get his shot again at the big leagues. After a strong start last season, Colabello suffered an injured thumb at the end of April and was never much of a factor down the stretch. Although I’m not sure where we would fit on a Blue Jays stocked full of right-handed batters, he is a nice depth piece to have stashed in the minors and possibly protects against another injury to Edwin Encarnacion or even Kevin Pillar or Danny Valencia on the bench.
Speaking of injuries, the Blue Jays were lucky to escape one to lead-off hitter and shortstop Jose Reyes on Monday, as Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com notes. Reyes felt a tug at his achilles tendon when he collided with Yankees’ first baseman Mark Texeira while running out a sacrifice bunt. An bad throw from Chase Headley got away from the first baseman, and he bumped into Reyes while trying to get to the ball. Reyes would stay in the game and would play on Wednesday night, but it reminded Blue Jays fans all too well about how injury prone Reyes can be, especially at the beginning of the season. Faults or not, Reyes is still a valuable chip at the top of the line-up, and the fact remains that the Blue Jays have no replacement for him.
Always a valuable tool, the team at BlueBird Banter have updated their Option and Outright Table, letting you know exactly what Blue Jays still have minor league options and which do not. Eveer wonder how the Blue Jays can keep sending Chad Jenkins to the minor leagues? Here is your answer.
On a final note, if you missed any of the Jays Journal updates yesterday, our in-house Minor League guru Ryan Mueller previewed both the Buffalo Bisons and New Hampshire Fisher Cats opening series. Meanwhile, the Blue Jays gave us some excellent news when it was reported that Michael Saunders was heading out on a rehab assignment.
Next: Blue Jays suffer late loss to Yankees