The Blue Jays lost the final game of their four game series with the Baltimore Orioles; but won the day with some big trades and also the series. Here is a look at the Good, the Bad and the Ugly from the series in Buffalo.
I won’t get into much detail about the Blue Jays acquiring some help for the stretch run as they are listed throughout our site. However, I will quickly mention that the acquisition of Jonathan Villar adds a ton of help in several areas as he can play three infield positions, as well as a little bit of outfield if needed.
The weekend series saw the first appearance from newly acquired pitcher Taijuan Walker and he did not disappoint. Walker pitched six effective and strong innings without allowing a run while striking out four. He wasn’t hit that hard during the game outside of a fifth inning double by Jose Iglesias. I thought Walker was going to come out of for the seventh inning after throwing just 92 pitches, however Charlie Montoyo, who has shown he won’t go deep with pitchers, pulled him. I think this is a situation when you can push him a little more as he had 10 days rest and had thrown 106 pitches in his last game with Seattle.
It is funny, you can look at Teoscar Hernandez and think he makes some bad mistakes, but you can also look at him and think “wow, has he really turned a corner at the plate?”.
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At the plate Hernandez went 6-17 in the series that included his team leading 12th home run of the year. Hernandez is almost half way to his career high from last year, and has played in just a quarter of the games. With all the good, you have to acknowledge he has a ways to go in some areas. Hernandez was picked off on second base on Monday in a play where he didn’t even slide back to the base, and he is still taking bad routes to balls in the outfield. However, he is hitting over 60 points higher than his career average and is looking a lot more patient at the plate.
With the lack of offence Danny Jansen has been bringing this year, he has been able to grind through behind the plate. Friday night Jansen threw out three different runners trying to steal second base, it got to the point my 11-year old said “you’d think the Orioles would have learned by now”.
While Jansen had a good night behind the plate on Friday, he struggled at the plate. Jansen started three of the four games and went just 1 for 9 (.111). What is disappointing is his approach at the plate. He is often going up swinging at the first pitch no matter where it is and putting himself behind in counts. Things got worse on Monday when he was asked to lay down a sacrifice bunt and was unable to execute, as he popped it up to the pitcher. This was something Reese McGuire was asked to do twice over the weekend and he was able to deliver very nicely both times.
Tanner Roark had another short and subpar start Sunday afternoon. Roark was looking good through the first five innings, allowing just one run on Ryan Mountcastle’s first career long ball in the second inning. However, once the sixth inning started the wheels fell off. Roark allowed a double, then a single and then finally Mountcastle hit his second home run to end Roark’s night. His longest outing this year is five innings and he now boasts an ERA of 5.33 and a WHIP of 1.78. Roark is in danger of losing his starting spot to one of the new pitchers the team acquired on Monday.
Being thrown out at home plate twice in one game is not something that looks pretty, in fact it’s a little ugly. I understand both scenarios where Lourdes Gurriel Jr went home, but both are decisions where I would have liked to see him stay at third. The first was a run on any contact on the ground, the second was a bit of a weird play where Gurriel Jr. or Luis Rivera may have thought the ball missed the cut off (it appeared to just not make it cleanly to the cut off). Both plays are instances where any major league player just needs to make a simple throw to the plate for the out. Both times Gurriel Jr. was out by a long shot.
The Blue Jays finish the series taking three out of four games and you can never be upset with that. Now it is time to head down to Miami and try to keep playing good baseball. Which player are you most excited to see in the series with the Marlins?