Aube-Kubel is another in a series of physical players that couldn’t fit in with the Leafs

Aube-Kubel is another in a series of physical players that couldn’t fit in with the Leafs

I’ll spare you the trip down memory lane to the failed David Clarkson era and the mind-boggling stupidity of paying Matt Martin $2.5M AAV for four years. We can all acknowledge that the Leafs history is riddled with mistakes that only serve to ruin what could still be a pretty good weekend.
Instead, we’ll focus on the recent Keefe-era Leafs and explore how there seems to be a steady decline in outputs from physical forwards the second they put on the blue and white.
Wayne Simmonds serves as Exhibit A here and perhaps the weakest argument as Simmonds did seem capable of playing a role in the Leafs lineup when he arrived. In his first 12 games with the Leafs, Simmonds picked up 5 goals and it was a wrist injury that shut him down.
After that initial season, Simmonds’s time on ice declined sharply. He was still doing what he was brought in to do and that was hit a ton, and fight when he was called upon to do so, but he very much was a fourth liner after his wrist injury and the shifts in the top nine were almost non-existent.
Simmonds’ numbers h …

Read More

Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

That was not Next Level

After going 6-1 on a critical road trip against the Yankees and the Red Sox, the Blue Jays were welcomed home to a 12-0 defeat at the hands of the Los Angeles Angels. It was quite the outburst for the Halos, as they had only pushed across seven runs during their previous 12 games.

The first three innings of the game were the big difference tonight. The Angels were able to mix hitting Mitch White pretty hard with some poor Blue Jays defense to score seven runs between the 2nd and 3rd innings.
White escaped a base-loaded jam in the 1st inning (an inning that featured an error from Vladimir Guerrero Jr.), and in search of a quick second inning, he would load the bases once again. With runners on first and second, Andrew Velazquez bunted sharply towards Guerrero. Vladdy fielded the ball, thought about throwing to second or third to get a lead runner, but thought too long, as Velazquez reached first in time before Guerrero could make a decision. Instead of having an out with two runners on, there were no outs and loaded bases.
One batter later, David Fletcher scorched a ball off the fence that would score two runs. Fletcher nearly missed a grand slam by about two feet, as h …

Read More

Author: Evan Stack / Blue Jays Nation

“2021 Jose Berrios” shows up as Blue Jays top Phillies 4-3

After a 7-game road trip that included going 1-2 against the Oakland A’s, a fly ball deflecting off of Lourdes Gurriel Jr.’s glove for a home run, and a potential inning-ending double play going through the webbing of Vladimir Guerrero Jr.’s glove, the Toronto Blue Jays needed a win on Tuesday night to turn things around.

Well, they sure got it, thanks to a solid night from Jose Berrios and the Jays’ timely hitting.
Berrios was dialed in from the start, retiring Kyle Schwarber, Rhys Hoskins, and Nick Castellanos in order in the top of the 1st. Schwarber, Hoskins, and Castellanos were a combined 1-for-9 against Berrios. He also struck out the side in the 3rd inning against the same three batters, arguably the best three hitters in the lineup right now for the Phillies (since these are the ones who made the trip).

José Berríos, 94mph Two Seamer and 83mph Curveball, Overlay.
Two Seamer = 20 inches of runCurveball = 17 inches of break pic.twitter.com/QTauIjvCM3
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) July 12, 2022

Berrios had command of all his pitches. His fastball, changeup, and curveball all had exceptional movement. Dan Shulman and Pat Tabler were quick to note that Berrios was trusting his curveball, and it showed as he fooled batters all night, including a beautiful backdoor breaking ball to strike out Darick Hall in the 2nd inning.
Berrios’ final line: 6 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, and 13 K’s. *Chef’s kiss*. I would argue that the three runs allowed are not indicative of his overall performance. Definitely what we needed to see from the 131-million-dollar man!
The bullpen decided to keep fans’ heart rates to a minimum, with nice outings from Tim Mayza, Yimi Garcia, and Jordan Romano.
As for the offense, Teoscar Hernandez, Matt Chapman, and Gurriel all had run-scoring doubles of dif …

Read More

Author: Evan Stack / Blue Jays Nation