Blue Jays' 12-11 victory over the Angels perfect summary of 2023 season so far

Toronto Blue Jays v Los Angeles Angels
Toronto Blue Jays v Los Angeles Angels / John McCoy/GettyImages

My goodness, what a game that was. Both the Toronto Blue Jays and Los Angeles Angels are built from similar molds. Offense, offense, offense; some starting pitching and a decent-but-not-great bullpen.

On Sunday, the two clubs squared off for the third and final time of this early-season series, and it was doozy.

In the end, the Blue Jays emerged victorious, winning the game 12-11 in 10 innings. The club's strenghts and weaknesses were both shown off in a big way. The offense absolutely went off; every starter except Santiago Espinal and Danny Jansen notched at least one hit and scored at least one run.

The score was 6-0 until the top of the sixth inning, when the Jays scored six runs of their own on the heels of a Matt Chapman grand slam (the first of his career, believe it or not) and a two-run triple by newcomer Kevin Kiermaier. In the very next inning, Chapman drove in another run on a single, Whit Merrifield drove in one of his own, and Kiermaier drove in two more, giving the Blue Jays a 10-6 lead.

Before we continue, it's worth mentioning that this back-and-forth and/or come-from-behind drama has been a common trend in the early goings of the Blue Jays' 2023 season. Just a few nights ago on Friday, the Jays were down 3-1 before a huge Bo Bichette three-run home run in the top of the seventh inning gave the club a 4-3 lead that they were able to hold on to.

Sunday's victory is the second time the Blue Jays have scored 10+ runs and the fifth time the club has scored five or more. The offense has been clicking on all fronts.

Then there's the pitching, which has been extremely up and down. The starters have been so-so (outside of Kevin Gausman), with each of Alek Manoah and Yusei Kikuchi having one solid and one not-so-solid start early on. Chris Bassitt has largely struggled, José Berríos continues to look lost on the mound, and the bullpen has either been dominant, or one that looks like a group of minor leaguers.

Even in Sunday's game, the bullpen was spread thin and looked good early and not-so-good late. Zach Pop, Adam Cimber and Yimi García combined for 2.2 innings of shutout ball before each of Erik Swanson (1 ER), Jordan Romano (3 ER), Trevor Richards (1 R, 0 ER) came in and struggled to get outs. Tim Mayza, who has been consistently inconsistent, came in and got Shohei Ohtani to ground out and end the game, mercifully ending another nail-biter.

The Angels put up one hell of a fight during this series, and did a great job of exposing some of the dull spots on a mostly loaded Blue Jays 26-man roster. The Jays were able to out-slug the Halos this time, but the team's pitching staff is going to have to tighten things up - and soon. The offense can't carry all of the weight forever.