Blue Jays: The Good, the Bad and Not so Ugly in Tampa
The Blue Jays took a three games series over the weekend by winning two of the games from the Tampa Bay Rays. They now sit just one game under .500 after having the day off on Monday, and here is a look at the Good, the Bad and the not so ugly from the series.
The bullpen was absolutely lights out over the weekend with five different pitchers making multiple appearances. As a collective, the group threw 11.1 innings and posted a 0.80 ERA with a minuscule 0.53 WHIP while striking out 12. David Phelps, Rafael Dolis and Ryan Borucki each pitched 2.1 innings during the series with Dolis picking up saves on Friday and Sunday. Phelps struck out four of the eight batters he faced with only one of them reaching base via a walk.
In the final game of the Boston series, Charlie Montoyo decided to move two players around in the batting order and it paid dividends in the Tampa Bay series. Marcus Semien was batting just .174 in the lead off position and was just 1-17 leading off the game; while Cavan Biggio’s struggles on the season had been well documented. Semien was dropped in the lineup and Biggio moved up into the leadoff position. During the series, Semien went 4 for 11 (.364) while adding his first home run since April 13. Biggio posted an on-base percentage of .385 over the series after collecting three hits and two walks over 11 at bats.
It feels like this is the first time that Bo Bichette has had an extended slump at the plate. During the series Bichette went 0 for 12 with six strikeouts and collected a pair of errors on defence. Bichette does get a lot of credit for prolonging an important at bat on Monday night and did hit the ball hard a couple times, but unfortunately just at the defender. After being the DH on Sunday and having an off day on Monday, here is hoping he gets back to the superstar we believe he will become.
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In the Spring, one of the biggest assets that was heavily reported was the depth at the catcher position, which seems to be a conversation that was a long time ago. Now with Reese McGuire not even on the 40-man roster and the mighty struggles of Danny Jansen, the depth doesn’t seem so deep. Jansen went 0-7 with a pair of strikeouts in the series to drop his average to .049. Jansen has not collected a hit since the fourth game of the season back on April 7 and since the start of the 2019 season he has posted a .189 batting average.
The Not so Ugly
With so many injuries to start the season, the Blue Jays got another scare when Hyun Jin Ryu had to be pulled in the fourth inning on Sunday. Ryu had struck out five over 3.2 innings that game but had to leave the game with a suspected glute strain. Ryu reported after the game he doesn’t believe the injury to be serious and expects to continue with his regular routine. If he is indeed healthy and ready to continue, this is a huge disaster avoided.
The Blue Jays were off on Monday, before returning home to Dunedin on Tuesday for a two game series against the Washington Nationals. Trent Thornton will have the tough task of going up against Max Scherzer.