BJN Radio Ep. 20: Another disappointing series against a quality opponent

Yet again the Blue Jays have dropped two games in a three-game series.

The team had a nice winning streak going against the Yankees, Cleveland, and Miami, but they got shut down by a pair of contending teams in Houston and Chicago.
On this post-White Sox series edition of BJN Radio, we welcomed writer and friend of the website Paul Berthelot on to talk about the Blue Jays’ bullpen issues, whether we should have any concern about Hyun Jin Ryu, and if it’s time for Nate Pearson to come up and pitch out of the bullpen.
We also talked about MLB’s “foreign substances” issue and what it means for the Blue Jays and the league in general.
Finally, we looked ahead to the upcoming four-game series with the Red Sox in Boston. The Sox haven’t fallen off a cliff yet and, at this point, it seems like they probably won’t. This is yet another good team the Blue Jays are facing and they need to start beating some of them.
You can listen to the episode here…

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

BJN Radio Ep. 17 – Charlie Montoyo discourse, watching baseball on tour, and more with Arkells’ Nick Dika

Do you like seven-inning games? Well, you’d have loved this weekend!

The Blue Jays rolled into Cleveland to battle with Cleveland’s baseball team and their local weather forecast. They took Friday’s game in a rain-shortened seven-inning outing, they got cold weathered out on Saturday, and then split the final two games on Sunday.
The finale on Sunday featured a walk-off win by Cleveland in which Tyler Chatwood couldn’t throw a strike and Charlie Montoyo didn’t have anybody warming in the bullpen as his defacto closer imploded. We talked about why Charlie wasn’t quick to pull Chatwood and whether his managing cost the team the sweep.
We also welcomed Nick Dika, the bass operator from Arkells and a writer at FanGraphs fantasy, to the show to talk about a whole bunch of stuff, ranging from what the team should do come trade deadline time to what it’s like to hear one of your band’s songs played at nearly every sporting event.
Nick is great and this is certainly an episode worth tuning into! You can listen to it here…

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

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

Minor League Notes: Nate Pearson and Thomas Hatch return, Logan Warmoth is now on the radar, and more!

What a heartbreaking pair of games we’ve just witnessed.

The Blue Jays squandered a ninth-inning lead to the Red Sox on Thursday with a bunch of Boston fans booing them at their own home park and then they lost on a grand slam in extra innings to the Rays on Friday night. Ugly, ugly stuff!
Rather than re-live those nightmares, let’s take a look at the farm for some positive news…

There’s no doubt that the Blue Jays badly need pitching reinforcements. They really only have three starting pitchers right now and the bullpen, who did a miraculous job navigating injuries for the past month, is clearly starting to burn out. Thankfully, there seems to be help on the way. Thomas Hatch made his 2021 debut for the Thunder-Bisons on Thursday, allowing one earned run in three innings on three hits, zero walks, and four strikeouts. Hatch, of course, is currently on the 60-day Injured List and will be eligible to join the Blue Jays at the end of May. I’m not sure he’s a solution for the starting rotation but having him in that same multi-inning bullpen role again would be helpful.
Nate Pearson is …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Marlies and Me: The week of the standouts

The Toronto Marlies have played five games in the last seven days — not a small feat for any team. But they’ve made the most of it — winning three of those five games. As a team, the Marlies are playing some of their best hockey against the top team in their division.
When I look back on Toronto’s season, there’s a lot of growth within the team. Each week, the Marlies bring something new to the table. First it was the success of Joseph Woll, who’s having a great year in the AHL. In the last four games, the 22-year-old has a .923 save percentage and has made some really big saves in key moments for Toronto — like this one:

Joseph Woll with some big saves in the third period for the #Marlies. pic.twitter.com/DUGoRvWWqC
— Nick Barden (@nickbarden) May 15, 2021

Oh, and like this one (which is even better):

Joseph Woll, my god. pic.twitter.com/WrUo9hJbnE
— Nick Barden (@nickbarden) May 9, 2021

“I think I’ve made some big changes both mentally and technically on the ice,” said Woll on Wednesday after a 3-2 win against the Laval Rocket, “that comes from looking at last year and …

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

The Toronto Raptors must stay the course with Pascal Siakam

The Toronto Raptors must stay the course with Pascal Siakam

With two games left to play, Pascal Siakam and the Toronto Raptors will face the Dallas Mavericks in an inconsequential contest Friday night. A long productive stretch of seven seasons of playoff basketball is now history, and the franchise will now focus on seeing what their youth is capable of in these last three games, […]
The Toronto Raptors must stay the course with Pascal Siakam – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Jason Mills / Raptors HQ

Toronto Raptors: 1 flaw Gary Trent Jr. must fix to get a bigger contract

Toronto Raptors: 1 flaw Gary Trent Jr. must fix to get a bigger contract

The Toronto Raptors will undoubtedly use the last few games of their 2020-21 season to get a good look at some of the players they will lean on in the coming season. Gary Trent Jr., a guard who was acquired from the Portland Trail Blazers in the Norman Powell swap, figures to be in Toronto […]
Toronto Raptors: 1 flaw Gary Trent Jr. must fix to get a bigger contract – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

My friends, Jack Campbell is an NHL starter

With three games remaining in the regular season, there’s still a large amount of discourse among the Toronto Maple Leafs fanbase and prominent members of the media regarding which goaltender should get the nod in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs although, to me, the correct choice is as clear as day.
Even if Frederik Andersen is fully cleared of injury and has a successful conditioning stint in the AHL with eth Marlies, Jack Campbell is the starter until his performance dictates a need to change the goaltender. And I’m not talking about a single loss, I mean a full-scale disastrous blowout loss.
This has been a historic season for Jack Campbell. His save percentage is currently sitting at a sparkling .924, his 16-2-2 record is a Maple Leafs franchise record for most wins through a goaltender’s first 20 games. And let’s not forget that just a few weeks ago he achieved the NHL record for longest win streak to start a season with 11. The only real criticisms his detractors are still throwing out are these outdated notions that he’s a “career backup” or “he has no playoff experience so you should go with the guy …

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Author: Dylan Murphy / The Leafs Nation

TLN Three Stars: Leafs win in regulation with late goal, but it didn’t count, so Canucks win in OT

This had to be one of the most talked about games going into the game that had absolutely no playoff implications, as the Canucks were playing their first game in almost a month after dealing with one of the COVID variants that went through most of the team. It was going to be interesting to see how the Canucks would handle their first game back from a disease that would probably affect their stamina and endurance, and how the Leafs would respond to that.
Somehow that wasn’t the biggest story of the game, as the Leafs would finally end the power play slump after almost 9 minutes, and Zach Hyman would leave the game early after a knee on knee hit from Alex Edler.
Also Marner might have scored a goal late in regulation to win it, but it just wasn’t quite conclusive enough so it stayed tied, and went to overtime, where Bo Horvat scored his second of the game to win it for the Canucks.
Not David Ayres level embarrassing considering the Leafs were the better team, but it’s still not the best look for the Buds.
Three Stars
3rd Star: Nick Robertson
Robertson got his …

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Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Raptors: 3 players playing well in their new roles

Toronto Raptors: 3 players playing well in their new roles

There’s about a month remaining of games left for the 2020-21 regular season. Things haven’t been easy for the Toronto Raptors, but there have been many silver linings to take away. With injuries and players being out due to health and safety protocols, it has led head coach Nick Nurse to mix and match a […]
Toronto Raptors: 3 players playing well in their new roles – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Nickeem Khan / Raptors HQ