Blue Jays: The Good, the bad and the ugly in Washington
The Blue Jays finished up playing a home and home series against the Washington Nationals, with all four games being played in Washington.
The first two games the Blue Jays were the visiting team and the last two games they had last at-bats. Here is a look at the good, the bad, and the ugly.
The best thing that happened for the Blue Jays week happened in a game they lost 4-0, which was seeing top prospect Nate Pearson take to the mound. Pearson pitched remarkably as he was able to keep batters off-balance with both his fastball and breaking balls. Pearson threw 75 pitches over five innings and allowed just four base runners on five strikeouts and allowed no runs. It is just one game, but I don’t think there is a fan out there not anticipating his next start.
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The steps Teoscar Hernandez has made to start the season, especially in this series has been very good. Hernandez went 6 for 16 (.375) with four home runs, while picking up his second stolen base of the season. We are just one week into the season, but seeing Hernandez leading the league in home runs is a fun sight to have.
Injuries have always been something that has held Lourdes Gurriel Jr back and his regular-season started late because of them. However, he was able to play in every game of the second series and went 5 for 16 (.313) with a double and home run. His strikeouts are high (6), but keeping him in the line-up and having him produce is very good.
The bullpen continues to be the biggest strength of the team. The emergence of Jordan Romano has given the Blue Jays what looks like a dependable arm that could eventually move to a set-up role or even one day the closer role. Romano made two appearances and did not allow a base runner. He has now struck out six batters over four innings this season. The bullpen also saw multiple appearances by Jacob Waguespack, Anthony Bass, Rafael Dolis, and A.J. Cole, all who combined for 8 2/3 innings and did not allow a run.
While the Jays do have a few players hitting really well, as a team they struggled. As a team, they batted .203 during the series and had six players batting .200 or lower.
You have to think Brandon Drury’s leash is going to get smaller and smaller. Since arriving in Toronto during the 2018 season Drury is batting just .211 and after going 0 for 12 in the series he is now batting .125 on the short season.
It pains me to criticize these two, but Vladimir Guerrero Jr and Cavan Biggio combined to go 2 for 32 in the series with 8 strikeouts. They did both record home runs in their lone hits, however, when they are batting in the two and four spots in the line-up, more is needed from them.
The back end depth of the bullpen continued to struggle and it was the same two names in Sam Gaviglio and Shun Yamaguchi. Gaviglio made just one appearance, but after getting just two outs and allowing a pair of base runners Charlie Montoyo brought in Romano to get out of the inning.
Yamaguchi was brought in for the second time in extra innings. By the end of the inning, he had allowed a pair of hits and walks which led to the team losing by four. I am curious to see how he performs when he comes in during a clean inning as both his appearances have come in extra innings with a runner starting at second.
COVID; plain and simple COVID has disturbed everyone’s lives and I wish anyone dealing with it personally to have the best health. In baseball terms, it is becoming a pain. The Blue Jays had their weekend series in Philadelphia canceled due to a Phillies coach being diagnosed with the illness.
What were you most excited to see in this last series?