Robbie Ray’s tough start, ugly called strikes, and more from Monday’s frustrating night at The Trop

After Gerrit Cole got shelled on Sunday afternoon by Cleveland, Robbie Ray was presented with an opportunity to essentially lock up the American League Cy Young with a strong outing on Monday in Tampa Bay.

Unfortunately, that didn’t happen, as the Rays made life insanely difficult for Ray. They took borderline pitches, had calls go their way, fouled pitch after pitch after pitch off, and finally broke through with a big three-run homer in the fifth inning after Ray had walked the tightrope in the first few.
All told, Ray went four-and-two-thirds and allowed three earned runs on seven hits and two walks while striking out five. The damage all came with that aforementioned three-run bomb off the bat of Yandy Diaz.
Ray’s ERA for the season now sits at 2.72, slightly up from the 2.64 number he had after his excellent outing against these same Rays in Toronto last week. Cole is at 3.03, while Ray also leads in terms of strikeouts with 238 and innings pitched with 182.
It wasn’t a bad start for Ray, per se, as you have to tip your hat to the Rays, a very good team offensively, for their great approach, but the one worrying …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Gerrit Cole and the Yankees’ bullpen shut down the Blue Jays

A struggling offence going up against Gerrit Cole went about how you’d expect it to go. The Blue Jays drop the first game of the series by a score of 3-1.

Things worth mentioning…

Things were actually looking pretty good for the Blue Jays’ bats early on. The team scored a run in the first inning when Bo Bichette and Vlad Jr. hit back-to-back singles and then they threatened in the second inning when Lourdes Gurriel walked and Rowdy Tellez (FINALLY) picked up his first hit of the season. But after that? A whole lot of nothing. The Yanks went ahead and retired 20 Blue Jays in a row from the second inning until the eighth when Marcus Semien hit a loop single off of Darren O’Day. In the ninth, Randal Grichuk hit a double off of Aroldis Chapman, but Tellez got rung up on one of the worst strike three calls you’ll ever see…

This was strike 3 to end the Yankees Blue Jay game. A brutal week for MLB umpires.
— Molly Knight (@molly_knight) April 13, 2021

On the other side, the Blue Jays pitchers also did a very good job of shutting …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Chris Cuthbert to Sportsnet: Is Maple Leafs fans’ long national nightmare over?

Bob Cole trended on Twitter earlier today which, during COVID-19 times, may have lead many to initially think the worst about his health. Luckily the legendary broadcaster is fine, and people were just debating their favourite NHL broadcasters in the light of this bombshell announcement:

Award-winning sports broadcaster Chris Cuthbert joins the #NHLonSN team and will feature as play-by-play announcer upon the league’s return to play.
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) June 5, 2020

That’s right. Widely considered the top of his class among NHL play-by-play callers, Chris Cuthbert has jumped ship to join Sportsnet’s broadcasting team, leaving TSN after 15 years calling games for Sportsnet’s main rival network.

After 15 years at TSN I’m moving on. Just want to send out love, respect and gratitude to the amazing men and women I’ve had the privilege to work with since 2005. You were all star teammates and made me better at my job. You will all be missed.
— Chris Cuthbert (@CCpxpSN) June 5, 2020

This is a huge get for Sportsnet, whose on-air talent decisions have come under fire often over the last number of years. Crying afoul about Sportsnet& …

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Author: Mark Norman / The Leafs Nation

Daily Duce: The pitching market is shrinking, the Luke Maile era ends, Yoshitomo Tsutsugo signs in Tampa Bay, and more!


Now that both Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg have signed their contracts, the off-season has started to chug along quickly. The Blue Jays, of course, responded to the New York Yankees signing Cole to the biggest free-agent pitcher deal in baseball history by adding Tanner Roark, but that hopefully won’t be all we see from the front office this winter.
Rick Porcello was one of the depth arms we had heard that the Blue Jays were interested in, for whatever reason, but he ended up signing a one-year deal with the Mets. The Red Sox replaced Porcello’s spot in the rotation by adding Martin Perez on a one-year deal, the Mets added another one-year flyer by signing Michael Wacha, Kevin Gausman ended up in San Fransisco, and Brett Anderson seems to be Chase Anderson’s replacement in Milwaukee (They don’t even need to print new jerseys!) Another name the Jays had been linked to was Josh Lindblom, but he ended up inking a two-year deal with the Brewers worth $9,125,000.

Nobody has mentioned Diamondbacks much in the Bumgarner pursuit. But if their interest is legitimate, Phoenix would be a very desirable landing spot …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Daily Duce: The Blue Jays sign Cole, Shafer traded for cash, an update on the catching market, Jose Bautista, and more!


Non-sarcastically, AJ Cole (bay bay) on a minor league deal this early in the offseason is some pretty decent business.
— BVH (@BVHJays) November 25, 2019

The Blue Jays made their first free agent splash of the off-season, inking A.J. Cole, who isn’t Gerrit Cole, to a minor-league deal. Seeing the update come in from the At Bat app saying Blue Jays and free agent and Cole all at once nearly made my heart stop, but, unfortunately (and predictably) it wasn’t Gerrit taking his talents north of the border.
Anyways, A.J. Cole is an interesting low-key addition for the Jays. He’s racked up a lot of airmiles during his career so far. Cole was drafted by the Nationals in 2010, and, a year later, he was sent to Oakland as a part of the Gio Gonzalez trade. A couple years after that, he was sent back to the Nationals in a three-team trade involving Blake Treinen, John Jaso, and Mike Morse. He bounced up and down from the Nationals to their minor-league teams between 2015 2018 before getting sent to the Yankees for cash. After one season in New York, he was claimed off waivers by Cleveland.
Over the course …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

The fact Gerrit Cole is just a dream for Blue Jays fans is sad

Gerrit Cole is in the process of putting together one of the best walk years in baseball history.

Heading into free agency for the first time in his career, Cole will also most likely be adding his first-ever Cy Young Award to his trophy case. He’s coming off a league-leading 2.50 ERA across 212 1/3 innings while an absurd 13.8 strikeouts per nine. To top it all off, Cole struck out 15 batters in a dominant showing against the Rays in Game 2 of the ALDS on Saturday.

Gerrit Cole, Fastball, Knuckle Curve & Slider Spins.
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) October 6, 2019

The season (and post-season) Cole is carrying into free agency is something we haven’t seen in a long time. In fact, it could be the most impressive since Greg Maddux became a free agent back in 1992.
The closest comparables from recent memory to what Cole is doing right now would be David Price in 2015, Max Scherzer in 2014, and CC Sabathia in 2007. Like Cole, all of those guys were still in their 20s coming off of Cy Young calibre seasons, but nobody came anywhere near touching Cole’s strikeout totals from 2019.
There have been other amazing pre-free agent seasons since 1990, …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation