The Blue Jays’ controversial pitching strategy works out, but the bats couldn’t solve Blake Snell and the Rays’ bullpen

The Rays, man. There’s a reason they were the No. 1 team in the American League. Tampa takes Game 1 by a score of 3-1, meaning the Jays are suddenly facing elimination on Wednesday.

Things worth mentioning…

The pitching was the big story in today’s game, so I’ll start with that. Rather than using their ace, Hyun Jin Ryu in Game 1, the Jays opted to roll with Matt Shoemaker. The plan had to do with the fact Shoe had plenty of success against the Rays in his career and Ryu is better on an extra day of rest. The Shoemaker part of the plan worked to perfection as the veteran was amazing through three innings, scattering just a couple of hits. But that was the end of the line for Shoemaker as the Jays opted to bring in Robbie Ray. How did you feel about that, Shoe?

Not great! Ray came in and promptly allowed Randy Arozarena to smack a triple, causing concern that we were in store for a Ray meltdown. Arozarena would end up scoring on a wild pitch (one that Danny Jansen probably should have come up with) which gave the Rays a 1-0 lead. But …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Rowdy Tellez is on the Blue Jays’ wild-card series roster, Jordan Romano and Julian Merryweather are not

The Blue Jays and Bay Rays will kick off their wild-card series today, and the team has released the 28-man roster that will be active in Tampa Bay.

Let’s do this! Presenting your AL Wild Card Series Roster! #WeAreBlueJays pic.twitter.com/0MN2ImMhIa
— Toronto Blue Jays – x (@BlueJays) September 29, 2020

Some interesting notes…

Rowdy Tellez, who missed the last few weeks of the season due to a knee injury, is on the roster. He wasn’t able to make it into a game for a tune-up, but it seems the Jays believe he’s healthy enough to contribute. Maybe he’ll be used as the designated hitter or maybe he’ll be used in pinch-hitting situations. Regardless, that’s a great addition to the team’s lineup.
While Rowdy made it back without a regular-season tune-up, a couple of key pitchers, Jordan Romano and Julian Merryweather, did not. There hasn’t really any word on Merryweather, who’s dealing with an elbow issue, so his omission isn’t surprising. But there had been talk that Romano could return even though he didn’t make an appearance in the final weekend of play against Baltimore. That isn’t the case, unfortunately. …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

We’re talking Tampa Montreal Expo Rays again

The Tampa Bay Rays took down the seemingly-unbeatable juggernaut known as the Houston Astros on Monday afternoon, extending their playoff lives another day.

The big story after the game wasn’t Charlie Morton shutting down his former club over five strong innings. It also wasn’t the Rays’ bats exploding off of Houston’s massive trade deadline acquisition Zack Grenkie. It was the people in the stands.
The headline from the New York Times about Monday’s game was fairly damning of Tampa Bay’s situation. It read… Rays Top the Astros and, for Once, Fill Their Stadium. 
32,251 fans showed up at Tropicana Field to watch the Rays take down the Astros. The team had to increase stadium capacity by rolling up the tarps in the upper levels in order to fulfill an increased demand from fans for Game 3. The Rays plan to remove more tarps to increase stadium capacity to 40,000 if the team manages to advance to the American League Championship Series.
This represented the largest crowd the Rays have seen in over three years. Back in 2016, the Rays decided to add the tarps to the upper levels and shrink stadium capacity in order to create a more intimate …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Series Preview: The Kids vs The Bombers

Fresh off a series win against the Rays, the Blue Jays will now begin a four-game series against the Bronx Bombers. The Yankees are coming into this series after slugging their way through Baltimore. As they hit a combined 16 home runs during their three-game series against the “Trash Birds”.
However, the Blue Jays’ lineup has also been crushing the baseball lately as well. The Blue Jays have hit at least one home run in 12 straight games. The Yankees’ pitching staff has given up the 2nd-most home runs in the AL since the all-star break. Which means the Blue Jays’ hitters will likely continue this power surge that they’ve been on since Bo Bichette arrived.
Thursday at 7:07 ET
Thomas Pannone(aka. Thomas Panini) was outstanding in his latest outing until he reached the fifth inning against the Orioles. Pannone held the Trash Birds hitless until the fifth, when he surrendered a pair of home runs totaling to four runs in the inning.
However, the 25-year-old recorded a career-high in strikeouts during his last outing. Pannone created nine strikeouts against the Orioles. But, Pannone will need to locate all his pitches effectively in this game against the Yankees. In order to …

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Author: Thomas Hall / Blue Jays Nation