Blue Jays: The Good, the Bad and the not so Ugly against the Nationals
The Blue Jays finished a two-game set with the Washington Nationals on Wednesday and split the series, winning the game Max Scherzer started for the Nationals. Here is a look back at the Good, the Bad, and the not so Ugly from the series.
If you were living under a rock for the last two days, you would have missed an absolutely dominant performance by Vladimir Guerrero Jr in Game 1 on Tuesday night. After hitting into a double play in the first inning, he would later put on a hitting clinic. In the bottom of the third inning, with the Blue Jays down by three and the bases loaded, Guerrero hit his third career grand slam. In the fifth inning, he led off with a solo home run and then finished his night off in the seventh inning with a two-run shot of Kyle Finnegan for the hat trick. Guerrero became the youngest Blue Jay player in franchise history to hit three home runs in one game. Guerrero currently leads the American League in home runs (7).
A quiet addition in the offseason was Tyler Chatwood and he is proving to be a good bullpen pick-up. In the seventh inning of Game 1, the Nationals got back into the game after a two-run home run from Ryan Zimmerman off of Joel Payamps. The long ball cut the Blue Jays lead down to 7-5 so Charlie Montoyo made a change to bring Chatwood into the game. Chatwood struck out both Josh Bell and Kyle Schwarber to end the threat and then came back for the eighth where he had a 1-2-3 inning while striking out two. In total, he faced five batters, retiring each of them and four of them by way of the strikeout. Chatwood has now made six appearances and has yet to allow a run striking out nine over 6.1 innings.
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After performing very well in his first four starts this year, Steven Matz struggled in the second game of the set against the Nationals. While he did not get hit overly hard, Matz did surrender seven singles as well as a home run over just 3.2 innings and left the game trailing 6-0. Matz earned his first loss of the season to drop his record to 4-1. If Matz can make this a trend of pitching four of five solid games for the rest of the season, the Blue Jays will be in a good situation.
Rowdy Tellez had a really rough two days that saw him go 0 for 3 with two strikeouts in Game 1 and then be demoted on Wednesday. With the return of George Springer, the club decided to option Tellez to the Alternate Training Site. While I don’t quite agree with it, I don’t have enough of an argument against it. Tellez has just 11 hits in 60 at-bats with just one home run.
The Not So Ugly:
As stated, Springer finally returned from the injured list to make his Blue Jays debut where he was slotted into the DH role on Wednesday night. Springer did not register a hit as he went 0 for 4, however, he hit the ball hard on a couple of occasions. Just getting Springer back into the line-up is a huge step forward for the club.
The Blue Jays get yet another day off on Thursday before opening a series against the Atlanta Braves on Friday. Robbie Ray is getting the start for the Blue Jays for the opener, while the Braves have yet to announce a starter.