Blue Jays: The Good, the Bad and the Not So Ugly in New York
The Blue Jays picked up a win in the third game of their series on Sunday against the New York Yankees and now head into Arlington to play the Texas Rangers. Here is a look at the series review: The Good, the Bad and the Not so Ugly.
When you go into Yankee Stadium and take two out of three games there is a lot of good to look back on. Marcus Semien‘s play on both sides of the field was very impressive; he made a handful of great defensive plays both diving into right field to make a play at first, as well as showing quick hands and feet when starting double plays. At the plate he went just 2 for 13, but did hit a home run, picked up a pair of RBI, as well as stealing two bases.
Going into the season there were many who thought Randal Grichuk would be traded and when he wasn’t, questions arose about how much playing time he would get. The question after this series is how do you take him out of the line-up? Grichuk collected hits in all three games, which included the eventual game-winning hits in both of their wins; an RBI double in the tenth inning on Thursday and a two-run home run in the second inning on Sunday, which would stand up.
But the best thing from the weekend had to be the pitching performance from the Blue Jays bullpen. Over the three games, they tossed 14.1 innings, striking out 18 and posting just a 1.88 ERA. Julian Merryweather led the charge facing just six batters over two innings, striking out five of them to collect his first two careers saves. He completely overmatched the Yankees batters and his fastball was clocked at 100mph on Sunday.
Rafael Dolis was the one bullpen arm that struggled as he found it hard to find the strike zone in both his appearances. Dolis did get out of his first appearance on Thursday unscathed, however, he struggled to throw strikes as he walked one batter and threw 45% of his pitches for balls. On Saturday, he threw 24 pitches and just 10 of them were for strikes, surrendered three walks, and allowed a pair of earned runs. Since joining the Blue Jays in 2020, Dolis has averaged 6.3 base on balls per nine innings.
The Not So Ugly
Going into the Season Opening series it looked like there was a lot working against the Blue Jays. Toronto’s top pitcher Hyun Jin Ryu was going up against arguably the best pitcher in baseball in Gerrit Cole. The next two games would be filled by replacement pitchers in Ross Stripling and TJ Zeuch due to injuries to the rotation. It was not out of the question to see the Blue Jays lose all three games, as was said by former Jays Journal head editor Clayton Richer.
Ryu was able to match Cole pitch for pitch, which led to a series opening win. While Stripling struggled in his outing, which led to a second game loss, Zeuch gave the club four strong innings in the third game. Zeuch has likely moved himself up as a potential rotation starter going forward. Dating back to last season, Zeuch has pitched 9.2 consecutive scoreless innings and allowed just two earned runs over his last 15.1 IP.
Who impressed you the most this weekend?