Blue Jays Pirate recap: Kirk, Chapman and the bullpen

The Jays won today’s spring training game by the score of 10-4. Here are some big dealings that happened in this game.

Matt Chapman:
Can you imagine if third baseman Matt Chapman finds his 2019 form and turns into an absolute stud with the bat? Well, look no further than his two run shot that came in the bottom of third.

Fair use MLB, leave me alone!!!
Matt Chapman’s home run.
Prepared for a copyright strike:#BlueJays
— Brennan Delaney (@Brennan_L_D) March 20, 2022

He had just missed a homer in his first at bat, but he absolutely smoked this one to left field. Not just that, but he’s already showing how good his glove is. If the Jays get the pre-COVID version of Chapman, watch out MLB.
Alejandro Kirk:
With rumours swirling that the Guardians have been watching the 23-year-old catcher, he stepped up to the plate and demolished the ball on a 2-2 count. He followed that up with a double which advanced the runner to third. He then finished his day off with a fielder’s choice which I mistook for a single.

this too … normal amount
— Jays Retro (@JaysRetro) March 16, 2022

Either way, the young catcher is making a case not to be traded, which I’ll also be doing in an article coming soon.
Relief pitchers:
Kay started off the day, pitching an inning and allowing a run. He hasn’t shown a true out pitch, but Kay does fill out the depth on the team. I assume he’ll start the season in Triple A. Chavez Young absolutely yeeted the ball way over the plate when the runner tagged from third base.
— Brennan Delaney (@Brennan_L_D) March 20, 2022

Merryweather looked good, inducing soft contact (fly ball, grounder) while also showing off his pitches which lead to a swing and miss.
Saucedo was up next. Against his first batter, he struggled to find the …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

GDB 26.0 Wrap Up: Make it five straight losses as Oilers fall 3-1 to the Hurricanes

Pain. Final Score: 3-1 Hurricanes

Seeing as the Oilers came into the game on a four-game losing streak, I can’t be the only one that wasn’t overly excited to see the Hurricanes on the schedule. Not only are they a very strong hockey club that would be tough to beat, you knew that Ethan Bear’s first trip back was going to cause a circus on social media and the noise would get even worse if the boys tacked another loss on the board. Needless to say, anything other than a full 60 worth of effort was going to be a major issue and I don’t think that’s too much to ask either. The good news is that the boys had their legs moving right from the opening draw, even putting together a few consecutive shifts of pressure in the offensive zone. It wasn’t a perfect start, but I thought it was something to build on. The bad news, of course, was that the boys weren’t able to get anything done with the pressure — or even shots on net for that matter — and that gave Carolina an opening to get on the board first with …

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Author: baggedmilk / Blue Jays Nation

Even Boston’s bad pitching couldn’t help the Blue Jays’ bats

The final score of 5-3 was generous to the Blue Jays. Too bad there was nothing else going on in Toronto last night to distract from that long, frustrating slog.

Things worth mentioning…

Heading into the game, this really, really looked, on paper, like a game where the Blue Jays’ bats could finally explode. The Red Sox had allowed five or more runs in nine of their twelve games so far this season, which presented an opportunity for baseball’s worst offence to score some runs. But, unfortunately, the game isn’t played on paper.
Toronto managed eight hits and six walks, but they could only cash in three runs. They didn’t manage a single hit with runners in scoring position and the team grounded into four double plays. Boston’s starter, Ryan Weber, had allowed nine earned runs over seven innings of work this season (without a single strikeout!) and the Jays could only manage a couple of runs off of him. After that, the Sox bullpen held the Jays to one run over six innings.
Adding to the frustration last night was how many outs the Blue Jays handed to the …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Getting a Win by Wearing Them Down

For the high-octane Maple Leafs to lose Game 1 by a score of 1-0 had to have been torturous. In this Game 2, surely their plan was to get out the gate chasing that rabbit, and put plenty of goals on the board by exercising the skill that everyone knows they have, even if they have to give up a few to get there.
This game was not a story of that plan working.
Being shut out in Game 1 undoubtedly drove some decision-making by Sheldon Keefe, removing defensive stalwart Gauthier from the lineup and adding depth scorer Pierre Engvall, and putting the elite duo of Mitch Marner and Auston Matthews togther at even strength.
Winning in the playoffs is not just about playing better, it’s about luck and strategy coming to a head. What the Leafs seem to have failed to learn is until tonight is, in the playoffs, you have to break the rules. Kyle Clifford, Stanley Cup Champion, knows this.

Kyle Clifford making his presence on the ice known early
— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) August 4, 2020

I don’t want to focus on the massive (and probably illegal) high hit to Dean Kukan, …

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Author: Ryan Hobart / The Leafs Nation

Forgotten Raptors Playoffs: The 2002 Corliss Williamson Revenge Tour

Chris Childs forgot the score, but Corliss “Big Nasty” Williamson was the real difference-maker in Detroit’s series against the Raptors. Welcome to Forgotten Raptors Playoffs! All throughout the 2019 NBA Playoffs, we’ll be looking back at past Raptors series — going all the way back to 2000 — and digging into the hidden, underrated, forgotten or straight-up wacky subplots and memories!
Today we look at Toronto’s disappointing first-round exit in 2002.
The Situation
Toronto Raptors (42-40, 7th seed) vs. Detroit Pistons (50-32, 2nd seed)
The Outcome
Detroit defeats Toronto 3-2 in the best-of-five series.
What Everyone Remembers
The series was tied 2-2, the Raptors trailed by 3 points in Game 5, the clock was winding down, there were no timeouts left… and Chris Childs forgot the score.
What You Should Probably Remember Instead
The 2001-2002 Raptors season was one of disappointment, despite their making the playoffs on the final day of the regular season. After the seven-game affair with Philadelphia in the 2001 Playoffs, and the offseason re-signings of Vince Carter, Antonio Davis, and Alvin Williams, and the acquisition of Hakeem Olajuwon… everything seemed to be going in the right direction.
But then Carter got hurt, Olajuwon was a bust, and at one point the …

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Author: Josh Kern / Raptors HQ