Cursed day at The Trop as the Blue Jays lose the game and a pitcher to injury

Another Sunday, another not-so-fun day as the Blue Jays lost a game and a pitcher to injury.

Things worth mentioning…

Trent Thornton got the start on short rest after getting lit up in the second leg of the doubleheader against the Phillies on Thursday. While Thornton’s outing went better than last time — he picked up a couple of strikeouts and allowed a couple of hits — he only lasted one inning. The Rays worked Thornton, making him toss 25 pitches to get through the first and he was pulled from the game with elbow inflammation. Not ideal!

Trent Thornton, who was activated off the Injured List on Thursday after having been on it for two weeks with right elbow inflammation, left today’s game after the first inning with right elbow inflammation. #Bluejays
— Mike Wilner (@Wilnerness590) August 23, 2020

After Thornton, Anthony Kay came in and cruised through three innings. The Blue Jays carried a 2-0 lead into the fifth inning before the Rays finally did their thing. Kay started the bottom of the fifth but allowed a single and a walk. Ryan Borucki then came in to put out the fire, but he got tagged for a couple …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Never In Doubt. The Blue Jays pull off a wild sweep over the Phillies on Doubleheader Thursday

This team looked toast on Sunday. It’s amazing how quickly things can change.

After pulling off a sweep of the Phillies on Thursday’s doubleheader, the Blue Jays suddenly boast a 12-11 record and are sitting in a playoff spot.
Things worth mentioning…

In Game 1, Chase Anderson got the ball and grinded his way through three-and-two-thirds of work, scattering a couple of runs on four hits and a walk. It was nothing spectacular, but Anderson allowed the Jays a chance to win the game, which is all you can ask for from your fifth starter. After him, the bullpen was fantastic.
Julian Merryweather, the infamous PTBNL from the Josh Donaldson trade finally made his debut for the team, which was a cool sight given the fact many fans were skeptical that he was even real. It took him a long time to get here, but Merryweather made it memorable by picking up four outs, three of which came via the strikeout.

In his MLB debut, Julian Merryweather’s four-seam fastball averaged 97.5 mph, but the @BlueJays prospect got his three strikeouts (in 1 1/3 scoreless frames) on breaking balls. pic.twitter.com/eaSYSk5fKu
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Hyun Jin Ryu continues to be excellent as the Blue Jays hammer the Orioles

After an ugly double-loss day on Sunday, the Blue Jays rolled into Baltimore badly in need of some wins. Thanks to another great start from Hyun Jin Ryu and a big night at the plate from Randal Grichuk, they’re off on the right foot.

Things worth mentioning…

Hyun Jin Ryu’s first couple of starts as a Blue Jay were a little bit shake, but it looks like that’s clearly in the rearview mirror now. Ryu was excellent on Monday in Baltimore, completely shutting down the Orioles’ offence (one that came into the game scoring the fifth-most runs-per-game in baseball, shockingly) over six innings. Ryu allowed just four hits and only one hard-hit ball, a single to Pedro Severino, while striking out three. Perhaps most importantly, Ryu didn’t issue a single walk, as command had been a problem for him in previous starts.
It was a bit surprising that Ryu didn’t go further than six innings considering how nicely he was cruising. That brings us to Monday night’s What The Fuck, Charlie? moment. Ryu had only thrown 86 pitches through six and Montoyo opted to bring in Rafael …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Using NHL 20 to predict Nick Robertson’s career

The Toronto Maple Leafs are back! And as we saw on Sunday in Game 1 against the Columbus Blue Jackets, there’s a new face in the blue and white who’s kind of a big deal. Nick Robertson is currently the brightest prospect in the Leafs system and he just became the first 18-year-old NHL player to debut in the playoffs since Jarome Iginla in 1996. Thanks to an impressive draft + one season in the OHL, it’s finally his time to impact the NHL, well ahead of his original timeframe.
With the current hype around Robertson, I thought it would be fun to think about what his career may bring. This is where my love for video games crossed over with my love for hockey. EA Sports’ NHL 20 video game offers a lot of head-to-head fun with realistic hockey gameplay. But one of the game’s most loved aspects is its realistic simulation engine, which I’ve admittedly spent hours on hours experimenting with in my time by controlling various teams and finding out what their future’s hold.
The game allows players to simulate up to 25 seasons into the future, so I …

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Author: Matthew Rodrigopulle / The Leafs Nation

11 Trade Deadline Rentals that only make me throw up in my mouth a little

Sorry folks. No Leafs hockey until Sunday is going to result in premature trade deadline speculation. I don’t make the rules.
Now that the disclaimer is out of the way let’s acknowledge that trade deadline rentals have an established track record of being a pretty bad idea. Let’s then move on to the fact that the Leafs really don’t have much in the way of cap space nor a first round draft pick this season to major players in the trade deadline. That’s 100% a blessing. Now that all of that has been said, there are a few players who don’t particularly seem to be too awful as far as deadline options go. As far as who is being considered a rental, well, I included arbitration eligible restricted free agents to make it slightly more appealing than just the usual unrestricted free agent suspects. Sue me. I wanted a #1 that people would truly want on their team.
11. Daniel Sprong (F) Ducks
We’ll start off Dutch hockey legend Daniel Sprong, who definitely falls into that RFA group. Sprong only has an offensive game and I’m sure …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Raptors look to even series in Game 4 vs. the Bucks: Preview, start time, and more

After a thrilling double OT win on Sunday, the Raptors are back at it again in Toronto for Game 4. And this time they’re looking to even the series. The Raptors are back in business. After dropping the first two games on the road in Milwaukee, the Raptors played desperate in Game 3 to pick up a win in double-overtime. It was a thriller of a game, with Marc Gasol getting it started and Kawhi Leonard bringing it home. There was missed free throws, big steals, limping players, and everything else that you would expect from a double-overtime game. That emotional roller-coaster is over though. Game 4 is here, and the Raptors are looking to even up the series at two games apiece.
The key points haven’t changed much. The Raptors are confident in their half-court defense against Giannis Antetokounmpo, but they aren’t as strong defending transition. Milwaukee scored 29 fast-break points in Game 3 (to the Raptors 18) and Antetokounmpo grabbed 23 rebounds. Not a good recipe when both teams get on the move.
Besides that, the Raptors will need to get their offense going. Can Danny Green, Fred VanVleet, and Pascal Siakam make some threes? Can the Raptors keep the offensive flow …

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Author: Ben_Scott / Raptors HQ

Raptors and Bucks get set for Game 1 of the ECF: Preview, start time, and more

After the high on Sunday, the Raptors look to steal the first game of the Eastern Conference Finals in Milwaukee versus the Bucks. After Kawhi Leonard’s shot on Sunday night lifted the Raptors to the Eastern Conference Finals, Toronto no longer needs to feel remorse for the past. It has become about the here-and-now: the franchise’s second trip to the Conference Finals in four years. It’s about a new era with a new superstar — even if he leaves in July. It’s about new memories. It’s about being four wins away from an NBA Finals appearance, and this time LeBron James isn’t standing in the way.
The Milwaukee Bucks with Giannis Antetokounmpo won’t be easy for the Raptors to defeat. Toronto enters the series as the underdog. The Bucks looked dangerous throughout the regular season and that has continued in the playoffs. This is a young team with enough offense and defense to give an opposing team nightmares on both ends. It’s a Bucks team with a lot of young, confident players beyond just Antetokounmpo.
Analysis of this series began only hours after Kawhi hit that buzzer-beater. The Bucks are better than the …

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Author: Satbir Singh_ / Raptors HQ

LGD: Finish this series, please

It’s now up to the Leafs to end this series Sunday afternoon and not have to go back to Boston to try and depend on one game to win.
The last remaining Canadian team, the Leafs will hopefully last longer than just a couple days past the Jets and Flames’ elimination.
It’s been 15 years since the Leafs have been able to get out of the first round, but they just might be able to do the thing and make history in several hours.
If the Leafs were to win the series in six or seven games, they will face the surprising Columbus Blue Jackets in what might be a highly-entertaining series. As we already know — after defeating the historic Lightning team — this Columbus team is full of surprises and anything can happen.
The Leafs

Leafs lines at morning skate
Hyman-Tavares-MarnerJohnsson-Matthews-Kapanen Marleau-Nylander-Brown Ennis- -MoorePetan
Rielly-Hainsey Muzzin-Zaitsev Gardiner-Dermott Rosen-Marincin Holl-Ozhiganov
Andersen Hutchinson
— Mark Masters (@markhmasters) April 19, 2019

The Leafs will be going with the same lineup as Friday night. Both Zach Hyman and Patrick Marleau were possibly out for this afternoon’s match but both will be playing.
The third line of Marleau-Nylander-Brown were increasingly impressive throughout Game 5. Without a lot …

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Author: Thomas Williams / The Leafs Nation