Blue Jays: Bullpen needs to bounce back after shaky stretch

BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL 10: Roberto Osuna
BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL 10: Roberto Osuna /

After almost a full month of action, it’s safe to say that one of the most impressive bullpens in baseball belongs to the Toronto Blue Jays. Even though they’ve been great overall, they’ve struggled over the past few days, blowing leads in key situations.

Even though Tuesday night’s game against the Boston Red Sox ended happily, the epic finish was only made possible by a blown save by Roberto Osuna. Osuna, just like any other human being, is allowed to have a bad game or two.

Wednesday night brought another bullpen mishap, as Danny Barnes surrendered two runs in the 8th inning to give the BoSox the lead, which they would hang onto to take the second game of a three-game, midweek series at the Dome.

Don’t get me wrong, the bullpen is fantastic, and has been one of the many highlights of the first month of the season for the Blue Jays. The aforementioned dynamic duo of Barnes and Osuna, along with Ryan Tepera, Seung-hwan Oh and surprisingly effective minor-league signing Tyler Clippard have made this group a dependable and stable one.

Still, the pen as a whole needs to get back on track. Good teams will take advantage of poor pitch location, as we’ve seen all too much for the powerful Red Sox.

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After this, the Jays will host the Texas Rangers (9-17), then head to Minnesota to face the Twins (8-11) before squaring up against the Indians (13-9) for a doubleheader composed of games that were previously postponed due to weather.

While the Rangers and Twins aren’t particularly threatening in terms of offensive prowess, the Indians are a scary team at the plate, who’ll surely rough up opposing pitchers if they find themselves on the ropes. Later on, in May, the Jays will go up against the Angels (16-9) and the Mets (15-7), and will play two the Red Sox twice more.

As the rotation sorts itself out, it’s crucial that the boys in the pen remain solid to protect leads. You never know what could happen, and having a reliable group of relievers is the first step to stringing together wins, and giving your starters confidence in themselves as they try to sort things out.

Next: Blue Jays: Kendrys Morales and the Slow Stuff