Toronto Blue Jays drop frustrating opener in Baltimore


The Toronto Blue Jays dropped their opening game to the Baltimore Orioles on Monday night in an affair that never felt as close as the scoreboard suggested.  Another strong start from the Orioles’ Ubaldo Jimenez snuffed out the Toronto Blue Jays attack early, and a power outage atop the lineup made it extremely difficult to gain any traction.

Marco Estrada started with a stumble, but righted the ship quickly to give the Jays’ offense a fighting chance.  With Daniel Norris looming in AAA he may not be long for this role, but Estrada succeeded in passing through 5.0 innings without allowing critical damage.

Jose Bautista was not in the starting lineup on Monday as manager John Gibbons looked to fast track his recovery.  Bautista has had his struggles against Ubaldo Jimenez, but in 2015, which Blue Jay hasn’t?  He made a pinch-hit appearance in the 9th and represented the tying run with two men on base, but grounded out on the first pitch he saw to end the ball game.

Final. 5. 11. 2. 39

Game Notes:

Marco Estrada got the game started off with a bang…for the other team.

Manny Machado


Chris Davis

both took Estrada deep to right field in the first inning.  When Estrada fails to get into a pitcher’s count that allows for his changeup, his fastball continues to be a very hittable pitch when left over the plate.

More from Toronto Blue Jays News

  • Devon Travis continues to struggle in a leadoff role, so a day off or lineup change may be in order.  Travis has seen his incredible average from April dip well below .300 now, and the impending return of Jose Reyes could be the best thing to happen to him.
  • Josh Donaldson notched his 7th error of the season with an inaccurate throw to first base in the fourth inning, allowing Steve Pearce to reach.  Donaldson makes up for these errors with huge production elsewhere, but they are slowly becoming an issue as that number rises.
  • Russell Martin quickly erased Pearce, however, with a rocket to second base on a stolen base attempt.  Martin has been absolutely dominant in the running game thus far, and has now thrown out 11 of 25 runners in 2015.
  • The top of the lineup was horrendous in this game, with the top four recording 11 strikeouts and just one base hit.  The advanced statistics suggest that this is bad.

  • In more uplifting news with the bats, Chris Colabello continues to be the surprise story of May.  Colabello reached base three times against Baltimore with two base hits and a walk.  If his defense can stay afloat in the outfield, even at a passable level, he could very well earn himself an extended stay.
  • C+. After allowing two home runs in the first inning, Estrada did very well to calm down and get through five innings on 96 pitches.  He may have been fortunate that some hanging off-speed pitches didn’t get hit hard, but three earned runs through five innings is right in line with what Blue Jays fans should expect from Estrada.<p>Estrada allowed five hits in his start while recording four strikeouts, and his ticket to future opportunities will be cracking the sixth inning and beyond.  With Daniel Norris lined up with this start on the schedule and coming off a strong AAA outing, Estrada seems destined for a shift back to his long relief role at some point in the coming weeks.</p>. Game Ball. <strong>Marco Estrada</strong>. STARTING PITCHING

    D+. Carrera is the unlikeliest of offensive stars, but drove in the two Blue Jays runs with doubles in the fifth and seventh innings.  This was a surprise display of pop from Carrera, who is known more for his speed.<p>With Jose Bautista still making very little progress towards a return and <strong><a href=. Game Ball. <b>Ezequiel Carrera</b>. HITTING

    BULLPEN . C+. Jeff Francis took over for Estrada to start off the 6th inning with Chris Davis coming to the plate, but it didn’t go as planned.  After singles from Davis and Pearce, Francis plunked <strong><a href=. Game Ball. <b>Jeff Francis, Steve Delabar, Roberto Osuna</b>

    MVJ:  Chris Colabello  —  Colabello lands with the MVJ award because his continued contribution to this roster holds such great value when the big bats fail to show.  The absence of Bautista, Saunders and Pompey have left the Jays incredibly thin at the outfield position, but Colabello has made it easy to forget that.  Base-runners were a valuable commodity on Monday night, but Colabello reached three separate times and continues to look right at home on the MLB roster.

    Next: How to attack Devon Travis at the plate

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