Another excellent Ross Stripling start earns the Blue Jays the series victory over the Rays

This season, it’s been comical how much the Blue Jays have struggled against pitchers with elevated ERAs. Kyle Bradish of the Orioles, Tucker Davidson of the Angels, and several others have had their way with Toronto while carrying ERAs north of 5.

Conversely, the Blue Jays have been really good against some of the league’s best. Gerrit Cole has struggled against Toronto this season, Santiago Espinal and Bradley Zimmer hit back-to-back home runs against Justin Verlander back in April, and even Zach Wheeler allowed six runs to this Blue Jays team.
So it would make sense that after struggling against Cooper Criswell earlier this week, it would only be right that the Blue Jays would chase Drew Rasmussen from his start tonight after only four innings of work. Rasmussen came into tonight owning a 2.57 ERA, allowing no more than three runs in each of his last 12 starts.
The Blue Jays offense didn’t let Rasmussen get in a groove, and they backed another stellar Ross Stripling start as the Blue Jays defeated Tampa Bay 5-1 tonight, clinching a series victory regardless of what happens tomorrow.
We’re starting to run out of adjectives to describe how well Stripling has pitched for Toronto this season, and you’d have to think the better he pitches down the stretch, …

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Author: Evan Stack / Blue Jays Nation

Zach Aston-Reese points to the Leafs going with quality over quantity in their bottom six

There doesn’t seem to be much of a battle left for spots in the Leafs top six forward group come training camp time. Though the lines might not be a traditional top six and instead we might see the six most utilized forwards spread out across the top three lines, it seems pretty clear that Matthews, Tavares, Marner, Nylander, Bunting, and Kerfoot represent the top six group (unless Kerfoot ends up being a salary cap casualty.)
Now the Leafs’ bottom six is wide open. We can assume that the Leafs’ big summer acquisition of Calle Jarnkrok will have a spot there, as well staples of the bottom six Pierre Engvall and David Kampf (it also seems possible that one of Engvall or Jarnkrok could get some looks at center.) Nicholas Aube-Kubel seems like he was certainly brought in to play, while Adam Gaudette is a bit more of a “let’s see what he can do” guy, Wayne Simmonds seems to be back as the enforcer, and Joey Anderson, Nick Robertson, Nick Abruzzese, Alex Steeves, Kyle Clifford, and Pontus Holmberg are fighting for whatever positions they can. All that is before asking where Denis Malgin fits in (I can feel your rage from the mentio …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

1 advantage Raptors have over comparable playoff contenders

1 advantage Raptors have over comparable playoff contenders

The Toronto Raptors have to reckon with a much improved Eastern Conference in the 2022-23 NBA season. Not only are the Brooklyn Nets eyeing a championship after returning to full health, but the Cleveland Cavaliers just announced their presence as a legitimate contender by acquiring Donovan Mitchell to lead the team’s backcourt. The Raptors won […]
1 advantage Raptors have over comparable playoff contenders – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Bo Bichette’s three-RBI performance leads Blue Jays to 4-1 victory over Pirates

The Toronto Blue Jays are a much deeper team when Bo Bichette is at his best. Everyone was reminded of that Saturday night at PNC Park.
After shutting out the Pirates 4-0 a night ago, the Blue Jays desperately needed to replicate that success during the second game of this three-game set. The only problem, though, is that they were held in check by right-hander Roansy Contreras, who was making just his 14th career major-league start.
Contreras completed six innings of one-run ball, allowing four hits and two walks while striking out five batters. His only blemish came in the fourth inning when Lourdes Gurriel Jr. delivered an RBI double, driving home Bichette, tying the contest at one run apiece.
Things almost immediately unravelled once the 22-year-old departed, however, as Duane Underwood Jr. surrendered one hit and two walks to load the bases with two outs for Bichette. But, if not for Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Matt Chapman’s patient approaches, Toronto’s shortstop wouldn’t have come to the plate in the seventh inning.
And thankfully, Bichette made sure to capitalize on that opportunity, sending a 108.7-m.p.h. laser down into the left field corner, clearing the bases for three much-needed runs.

CLEAR ‘EM, BO pic.twitter.com/bInAJLaD40
— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) September 4, 2022

As you might expect, Bichette was pretty fir …

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Author: Thomas Hall / Blue Jays Nation

BJN Radio – Ep. 102: The rain saves the Blue Jays from a possible sweep in Baltimore

So much for all of those easy wins against the Trash Birds!

The Blue Jays rolled into Baltimore this week and dropped two games to the Orioles. The first was the result of a poor Yusei Kikuchi start and then the second one was the rest of a late-game bullpen meltdown. The sweep was avoided as the skies opened up and the third game was postponed due to rain.
In this episode of BJN Radio, we talked about the surprisingly good Orioles, Blue Jay Murder Ryan Mountcastle, potentially going with a six-man rotation once Ross Stripling is back from injury, and a whole bunch more!
You can listen to the episode here…
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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Notes and quotes from Day 2 of the Maple Leafs development camp

It was a much shorter Day 2 of Toronto Maple Leafs development camp in terms of the media availabilities, as much of the higher profile attendees had their availabilities yesterday.
Still, the likes of Ryan Tverberg, Nick Moldenhauer, William Villeneuve, and Max Ellis all had a couple of interesting tidbits in their brief meetings with the media yesterday at development camp.
For more from Day 2 of development camp, be sure to check out Nick Barden’s story from yesterday.
Ryan Tverberg
On his experience at Canada’s World Junior camp
“There was lots of things to take away [from World Junior camp], being around great players there. Driving to do more, ‘why not me’ the next time. Just working harder, using it as fuel.”
Tverberg’s emergence during the 2021-22 season was incredible to watch, as he went from a bottom-six player as a freshman to an offensive driver and Canadian World Junior camp invite as a sophomore.
As noted by Dr. Hayley Wickenheiser on Day 1 of development camp, Tverberg was the final cut for Team Canada heading into the original 2022 World Juniors. With the rescheduled tournament quickly approaching in August, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Tverberg end up on the roster if any of the previous talents are not made available by their NHL team. Not bad for a seventh-round pick out of the OJHL.
On what he wants to take away from camp
“I just want to adapt and play against different styles of hockey players and use the ways that they’re teaching us. T …

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Author: Kyle Cushman / The Leafs Nation

Checking in on the Leafs cap situation a day before free agency

Last night the sky was very much falling as the Leafs overpaid on Matt Murray, who very much does not have a lot of value at the moment. The Leafs only getting 25% salary retention on Murray, and only receiving a 3rd and 7th round pick as compensation for the trouble isn’t going to sit particularly well, even though only taking on two years of term has to be considered a modest win, especially when those two years align with the expiration of the Leafs most critical contract in Auston Matthews.
Still, the Leafs very much need to be mindful of their cap budget, and just because everything looks rosy in the summer2024 doesn’t mean that things are rosy today. The Leafs still need to have a competitive enough team that Matthews is going to stay beyond his contract, and the question is, do the Leafs have much cap space to improve their roster now?

After the trade for Matt Murray the Leafs are left with approximately $7.1M dollars to find a backup goaltender, fill three forward vacancies (including Engvall), and sign Rasmus Sandin. That last one is the one that truly seems to be complicating things at the moment, but it is also the one that seems like it will need to be the next priority for the Leafs. Considering the Leafs can fill a couple of those forward vacancies easy with low cost Marlies like Joey Anderson and Alex Steeves, that should put things closer to $5.5M to deal with Sandin, Engvall, and the second part of the tandem. Still that seems somewhat doable if you want to live in the dream world where Sandin takes a deal similar to Liljegren’ …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

3 takeaways after Raptors destroy 76ers in Summer League

3 takeaways after Raptors destroy 76ers in Summer League

Toronto Raptors fans can’t really ask for much more out of a Summer League debut. Not only did fans get to see young studs like Armoni Brooks and Christian Koloko put on solid performances against the rival Philadelphia 76ers, but they did so in what became a 97-77 victory. While it was far from a […]
3 takeaways after Raptors destroy 76ers in Summer League – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ