BJN Radio Ep. 16 – The arrival of The Big Man

Alek Maonah has arrived!

After dropping six games in a row to Boston and Tampa, the Blue Jays rolled into Yankee Stadium on their coldest stretch of the season badly in need of a win.
Steven Matz pitched a gem on Tuesday and then Alek Manoah, the team’s No. 5 prospect, was supposed to follow it up on Wednesday, but the weather in New York didn’t allow for it. Instead, we had to wait until Thursday afternoon for Manoah to make his big-league debut but it was worth it.
We talked about Manoah’s excellent start and the Blue Jays now maybe having something close to an actual starting rotation. After that, we looked ahead to the upcoming series in Cleveland and took a loop around the Majors, touching on disasters in Chicago and Pittsburgh.

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

What we know about the Leafs latest KHL signing, Kirill Semyonov

Nothing like dropping the kids off at school and getting a LeafsPR alert on the way home. Is Andersen activated from the LTIR? Did the Leafs hire Bruce Boudreau as a special teams consultant? Nope it’s European Free Agent, and the Leafs did as they always do, they partook in a signing…

We’ve signed forward Kirill Semyonov to a one year entry-level contract for the 2021-22 season. #LeafsForever
Details » https://t.co/24an8aBcig pic.twitter.com/oEe1jHphw4
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) May 5, 2021

Here is what the Leafs press release has to say on him:
Semyonov, 26, skated in 60 games for Avangard Omsk (KHL) in 2020-21, registering 26 points (10 goals, 16 assists) while adding nine points (four goals, five assists) in 23 playoff games, capturing the Gagarin Cup. In 377 regular season KHL games, the Omsk, Russia native has recorded 169 points (70 goals, 99 assists) and 29 points (15 goals, 14 assists) in 65 playoff games. Semyonov was selected to represent Omsk in the 2019 All-Star Game
Well he’s been an All-Star and won a championship. Those things sound good. The 26 points in 60 games doesn’t sound like he’s setting the world on fire, but that probably gives some sense that he’s a middle six player …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

The Blue Jays bullpen comes up big as the team escapes Fenway with a split

After dropping the first game of this two-game set, the Blue Jays bounced back thanks to a combined seven-pitcher effort to take down the Red Hot Red Sox. Boston had been rolling so heading into their stadium and earning a split is a fine outcome.

Things worth mentioning…

Given the way Boston has been hitting and given the way they got to Hyun JIn Ryu, it was certainly valid to be nervous that the Blue Jays were rolling into Wednesday’s game with a combination of bullpen arms. But the Pitching Puzzle approach worked out, as Trent Thornton and Tommy Milone combined to go four-and-one-third innings allowing just two earned runs and then David Phelps, Ryan Borucki, Rafael Dolis, Tim Mayza, and Anthony Castro closed the door. All told, only three runs earned, which is impressive given Boston had been averaging 5.5 runs per game this season.
It was an up-and-down game for Cavan Biggio on Wednesday. He was put in the leadoff spot, which was a controversial choice given he isn’t really getting on base, but Biggio did well, as he managed two walks and set the table nicely. His play in the field wasn’t quite so good, …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

The Blue Jays host the Los Angeles Angels for Dunedin’s big-league debut

After dropping two of three games in Texas against the Rangers, the Blue Jays will look to get back on track as they host the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim for a four-game set at home in Dunedin.

This weekend’s series will feature the Blue Jays’ “home” opener and it’ll also represent the first-ever big-league games played at TD Ballpark in Dunedin. We’ve seen plenty of spring and Single-A games played in Dunedin, but the town has never been host to a real, regular season Major League Baseball game.
It’s also been ages since we’ve seen the Angels. You have to go all the way back to June of 2019 for the last time these two teams met. Bo Bichette wasn’t even on the roster at that time, so this will be quite a different-looking Blue Jays squad for L.A. to face.

Shohei Ohtani hitting a home run off himself. This guy is just incredible pic.twitter.com/MNzhYES5Ns
— Gabe (@PIayoffTanaka) April 5, 2021

How they’re doing…
The Angels are a really difficult team to project. They’re obviously loaded with a bunch of high-level talent, namely Mike Trout, but they can never seem …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

How the Toronto Raptors can come back against the Boston Celtics

After dropping the first two games, the Toronto Raptors are in desperate need of a change of plans. The Toronto Raptors are one of the sweetest 3-point shooting teams around. They shot for 37% from deep and ranked fifth in the league in 3-point field goal percentage during the regular season and smacked the Brooklyn […]
How the Toronto Raptors can come back against the Boston Celtics – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Louis Pavlakos / Raptors HQ

Reevaluating the Toronto Raptors’ buyout market options

Potential buyout options for the Toronto Raptors are dropping like flies. After reevaluating the market, who remains an option? Now that the All-Star break is behind us and the final portion of the NBA season is underway, the buyout market is in full swing and names are dropping off the board just as fast as […]
Reevaluating the Toronto Raptors’ buyout market options – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Thomas Valentine / Raptors HQ

That’s Krappy! No Kapanen tonight, intrigue instead

So the Leafs are dropping like flies today…
So there are three likely things this could be…
1. Kapanen has caught the same flu plaguing Travis Dermott and the boring answer is the correct one.
2. Kapanen is being scratched for performance reasons. I can’t see that, but not  impossible.
3. TRADE SZN, Baby!!! Kapanen is being held out because the Leafs have a pending trade.
Given that Kapanen has been rumoured for every right handed defenseman in the league, wouldn’t this be the fun and intriguing option.
I guess we’ll find out what is happening soon enough, but for now, speculate away.

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Game 2 Analysis: What was with the Raptors’ lineup rotation?

After dropping Game 2, we dig into the numbers to decide what exactly the Raptors did wrong. Missing shots is one thing, but this is something else. This — and you know what this is already — is getting annoying. The Raptors lost Game 2 to the Philadelphia 76ers, despite very much having a chance to win. They managed to dig themselves out of two deficits, one in the first half and one late in the fourth, but couldn’t quite manage to take the lead. What’s worse: there are some obvious reasons why they couldn’t.
So yeah, this is getting annoying. Let’s dig into what happened in Game 2.
Indefensible Rotation Decisions
Let’s go through a section from the Game 1 post and see how it aged.
In the 13 minutes against Ibaka, Embiid was unstoppable… He put up 13 points on 10 used possessions and grabbed two offensive boards in those 13 minutes. Overall his line in those minutes pro-rated out to 35 points and 11 rebounds per 36 minutes. And most importantly, Embiid and the 76ers were +14 in those minutes when they got the Ibaka matchup.
In Game 2, in 13 minutes with Joel Embiid matched up with Serge Ibaka, once again the 76ers were +14 in those minutes. …

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Author: Daniel Hackett / Raptors HQ

Game 5 Thoughts: Clutch and Complete Leafs Win In Boston

Going back to Boston after dropping Wednesday’s Game 4 at home could have gone one of two ways for the Leafs. They could have walked out of Boston down 3-2 in their first-round series, staring down elimination and hoping to force a 7th game, or they could have left the Boston Bruins on the brink as the series heads back to Toronto.
Tonight, the Leafs proved that they’re good enough to push the Bruins to the brink. And here they are, after a clutch 2-1 victory, up 3-2 and heading back home for a 3pm date with the Bruins on Sunday afternoon, where they’ll look to slay the dragon for good.
Let’s have a look at how things went down.
The Goals
Let’s do things a little differently, and fast forward to the magic the Leafs conjured up in the final frame of this game.

We finally have the icebreaker. Hyman takes a hit and Matthews blasts it in the slot. 1-0 Leafs. #LeafsForever pic.twitter.com/Fm7bQUb23e
— Maple Leafs Hotstove (@LeafsNews) April 20, 2019
New dad Jake Muzzin used his Dad Strength to find Auston Matthews with the cross-ice pass, and Matthews made no mistake, …

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Author: ThatsKappy / The Leafs Nation