The Blue Jays are under .500 for the first time in April and they need to capitalize on the upcoming schedule

A couple of weeks ago, the Blue Jays finished off a two-game sweep of the Miami Marlins.

Their record sat at a respectable 29-25, they were on pace for 87 wins, and were only four-and-a-half games back of first place in the American League East.
Since then? Woof.
The Blue Jays faced a very, very difficult schedule and did not do well. They dropped two of three to the Astros and the White Sox, they earned a split in a four-game series with the Red Sox, and then, to cap it all off, they got swept by the Yankees.
Now they’re 33-34, below .500 for the first time since late April, and they’re eight-and-a-half games back of the Rays.
The incredibly frustrating thing here, of course, is the number of winnable games that have been pissed away. The Blue Jays went 2-5 against the divisional opponents they’re trying to leapfrog and they easily could have gone 5-2 with any kind of competent relief pitching.

Blue Jays have now lost an MLB-worst 10 games when leading in the 7th inning or later pic.twitter.com/Jq1LnYuNPF
— Sportsnet Stats (@SNstats) June 18, 2021

As the graphic above shows, nobody in baseball is worse …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

We’re one third of the way through the season. What have we learned?

The Blue Jays pulled off a two-game sweep of the Miami Marlins in their return to Buffalo this week.

The first was a commanding 5-1 win on the back of an excellent start from Robbie Ray and the second came on a four-run ninth-inning rally that ended on a Joe Panik walk-off sacrifice fly.
We’re now one-third of the way through the season and the Blue Jays own a 29-25 record. Let’s take a look back at the season thus far and talk about what we’ve learned and what we can expect the rest of the way.
The American League Beast is loaded
The Blue Jays have scored the fifth-most runs in baseball and they rank 12th in terms of runs against. They’re eighth in baseball in terms of run differential and their actual record, a respectable 29-25, is a slight underachievement compared to their Pythagorean record.
Despite all of this, the Blue Jays sit fourth in their division. Welcome to the American League East.
What we’ve learned so far, and this comes really as no surprise, is that the Blue Jays are playing in one of the two best divisions in baseball. You can …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

The Blue Jays bullpen comes up big as the team escapes Fenway with a split

After dropping the first game of this two-game set, the Blue Jays bounced back thanks to a combined seven-pitcher effort to take down the Red Hot Red Sox. Boston had been rolling so heading into their stadium and earning a split is a fine outcome.

Things worth mentioning…

Given the way Boston has been hitting and given the way they got to Hyun JIn Ryu, it was certainly valid to be nervous that the Blue Jays were rolling into Wednesday’s game with a combination of bullpen arms. But the Pitching Puzzle approach worked out, as Trent Thornton and Tommy Milone combined to go four-and-one-third innings allowing just two earned runs and then David Phelps, Ryan Borucki, Rafael Dolis, Tim Mayza, and Anthony Castro closed the door. All told, only three runs earned, which is impressive given Boston had been averaging 5.5 runs per game this season.
It was an up-and-down game for Cavan Biggio on Wednesday. He was put in the leadoff spot, which was a controversial choice given he isn’t really getting on base, but Biggio did well, as he managed two walks and set the table nicely. His play in the field wasn’t quite so good, …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Raptors: Would the 76ers include Tyrese Maxey in a Kyle Lowry trade?

Raptors: Would the 76ers include Tyrese Maxey in a Kyle Lowry trade?

Another week and another two-game mini-swoon brings about a fresh batch of rumors involving the Toronto Raptors. Last week, the club was allegedly discussing Andre Drummond. This week, Toronto dropped two straight games, and they have been greeted by speculation claiming Kyle Lowry is eyeing a trade in order to join Tyrese Maxey and the Philadelphia […]
Raptors: Would the 76ers include Tyrese Maxey in a Kyle Lowry trade? – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Ben Fisher / Raptors HQ

3 Maple Leafs score their first goal of the season – Rate that Leafs game

So, the Toronto Maple Leafs close out a two-game series with the Ottawa Senators going 1-1. This game was a lot better for a team who came into the nation’s capital last night and played horrible.
Tonight, players were flying and it was a much better performance. The only bad news is that Nick Robertson will likely miss “some time” due to a knee injury, which Sheldon Keefe said after the game.
Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner and Joe Thornton all scored their first goals of the season. Jack Campbell had an incredible performance and even thought he could do better, like he usually says. Overall though, this looked like a complete game with the Maple Leafs not allowing the Senators back into it late.
I’ll say that it was a little rough around the edges, but overall, a much better game than the first one against Ottawa.

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

A Race To The Finish With The Detroit Tigers

After earning a split in their mini two-game series in Miami, the Blue Jays are now heading to Boston for a crucial five-game set with the Red Sox.

Heading into a series, I’ll generally do a look at the starting pitching match-ups, but, given the state of Boston’s pitching staff, there isn’t really much to look at. It’ll be Martin Perez on Thursday and then ‘Guy You Haven’t Heard Of’ followed by ‘Other Guy You Haven’t Heard Of’ with a touch of Zack Godley sprinkled in the middle.
From a Blue Jays’ perspective, it’ll be Taijuan Walker starting the series opener on Thursday. After that, we know Ross Stripling will start one of the games on Friday, and we can estimate that Tanner Roark will start the other, and then Saturday and Sunday should be Chase Anderson and the Julian Merryweather/Robbie Ray combination respectively.
But, of course, a lot can change over the course of a good old fashioned five-games-in-four-days-at-Fenway baseball fest, so… ¯_(ツ)_/¯
Anyways, this is a really, really important set for the Jays. The Sox are 12 …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Blue Jays get swept in final series of the pre-Vlad era

hough this week’s two-game series against the visiting San Francisco Giants (11-14) was lined with joy due to the homecoming of longtime franchise anchor Kevin Pillar, it quickly turned sour as the Blue Jays (11-14) were beaten in back-to-back games in their first interleague series of the season.
Here’s a look at the good, the bad, and the weird from the tilt against the Giants:
The Good
Rowdy Tellez (2-for-6, HR, 4 RBI, BB) made some noise this week, thanks chiefly to his late-game grand slam Tuesday, while Eric Sogard (2-for-8, BB, HR, 2 R) also had himself a solid series. Socrates Brito finally contributed offensively, going 1-for-3 in Tuesday’s game with an RBI triple; his season’s OPS now stands at .342.
On the mound, Ryan Tepera (1.1 IP, 0 ER, 0 H) turned in a solid inning, fortunately rebounding from a rough second outing against the Athletics in Oakland.
The Bad
At the plate, Justin Smoak (0-for-7, 4 SO), Alen Hanson (0-for-2, SO, BB), Brandon Drury (0-for-8, 2 SO, 0 TB), Danny Jansen (0-for-3, 2 SO), Luke Maile (0-for-3), and Randal Grichuk (2-for-7, SO) all struggled, lending to just 11 hits earned by the team over the two games.
In addition, Freddy Galvis’ consecutive games played …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation