The Yankees believe Sahlen Field’s lighting is the reason they allowed the Blue Jays to score 10 runs in one inning

The Yankees can’t accept that the Blue Jays are New York’s best team.

On Monday night, the Blue Jays hosted the Yankees at Sahlen Field in Buffalo for the first time this season. After going down 6-2, the Jays exploded for a 10-run sixth inning to run away with the victory and extend their lead on the Yanks to two games in the standings.
After the game, the Yankees suggested that the reason for their implosion simply came down to the fact that the lightning in Buffalo made it difficult for the pitchers to see which signs were being put down…
“A lot of it had to do with he had a tough time seeing the signs,” Yankees catcher Kyle Higashioka said on a Zoom call, when asked following the game about his pitchers’ struggles. “It’s pretty dark there. Once it really got dark, yeah.
Naturally, if you can’t see the sign your catcher puts down, you just lay a soft meatball down the middle of the plate, which is surely what happened when Danny Jansen sent a pitch from Adam Ottavino into space for a grand …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

What would a 16-team MLB playoff field look like?

The New York Yankees and the Washington Nationals are set to kick off the 2020 season a few hours from now, the Toronto Blue Jays are currently without a home, and Major League Baseball is focused on… *checks notes* adding more teams to the playoff field. OK!

If you’re a baseball puritan, this is terrible news. Of all the major North American sports leagues, the Major League Baseball playoffs are undoubtedly the most legitimate test of merit.
You have to grind through a 162-game marathon and come out on top of your five-team division in order to guarantee yourself a playoff spot. The two best non-division winners play a one-game playoff for the opportunity to face the team with the best record in their league. Seldom do you see bad teams bullshit their way into the playoffs in baseball.
But, if you’re a Blue Jays fan, this is great news. When you’re trapped in a division with the free-spending New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox and the consistently-frustratingly-good Tampa Bay Rays, the more playoff spots up for grabs the better.
It’s really no surprise that MLB wants to add …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Don’t help the Yankees

It was reported on Tuesday that the New York Yankees are “actively” trying to trade away J.A. Happ and the $17 million in salary he’s owed next season.

Happ, of course, was acquired by the Yankees for the wildly underwhelming package of Brandon Drury and Billy McKinney prior to the 2018 trade deadline. The lefty would go on to be a key addition to New York’s rotation, posting a 2.69 over 11 starts down in the stretch without picking up a single loss.
That showing was good enough for the Yankees to ink him to a two-year deal worth $17 million annually, plus a vesting option for 2021 if he pitches 165 innings or makes 27 starts. There isn’t a buyout attached to the deal, though, so the commitment really is just one more year if the team wants it to be.
But after an ugly 2019 season, the Yankees want to rid themselves of this commitment. Happ posted a 4.91 ERA last year, which was the worst showing of his career since he got things all sorted out in Pittsburgh back in 2015. Happ has always been more of a pitch-to-contact type of guy rather than somebody who strikes everybody out, but, a slight decline in …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

The Blue Jays won’t lose 100 games this season

With last night’s 4-3 win over the Yankees in New York, the Jays picked up their 63rd win on the season. This ensures the team won’t hit the 100-loss plateau for the first time since the 1970s post-expansion years.

The final eight games in the season will determine whether or not 2019 is the worst season in the Blue Jays history since those expansion days. The Jays currently sit with a 63-91 record. Three more losses would match them with a 2004 team that was shockingly bad considering it featured strong seasons from Orlando Hudson, Carlos Delgado, Ted Lilly, and Vernon Wells.
Also, the final eight games of the season will determine how Toronto will fare at next year’s draft. On one hand, you’d like for the team not to set a new post-expansion franchise standard for losing, but, on the other, the higher the draft pick the better.
Detroit is solidly entrenched in last with their whopping 45 wins, Baltimore is just ahead of them 50 wins, Miami has 53 wins, and Kansas City has 56. None of those teams are catching up to the Jays, who sit fifth-last in baseball with their 63 wins, but Toronto could jump Seattle and Pittsburgh, …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Justin Smoak heard Tim Mayza’s tendon pull off his bone from first base

In the middle of the Sept. 10 game against the New York Yankees, lefty reliever Tim Mayza suffered a UCL injury and will require Tommy John surgery. The tendon ripped off his bone so hard that Justin Smoak heard the sound it made from first base.

Tim Mayza had surgery today to repair a torn UCL and torn flexor tendon in his left elbow. Dr. Keith Meister in Dallas. Grade 3 tear of each, so estimated return is spring training 2021. Tendon pulled off the bone so hard that Justin Smoak heard it at first base. #Bluejays
— Mike Wilner (@Wilnerness590) September 18, 2019

No idea what a tendon pulling off a bone sounds like, but I’m sure it’s not the most pleasant sound in a ballpark.
In an arena full of bat cracks and a catchers glove making a loud thud after a swing and miss, a pitcher’s arm tendon ripping itself from the bone mid-pitch might be one of the more gory clips of audio you could get.
The injury will keep Mayza out for the entire 2020 season, most likely aiming for a return for 2021 spring. The reliever has a 4.91 ERA and has a 9.6 K/9 through 51 and 1/3 innings this year.
When …

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Author: Thomas Williams / Blue Jays Nation

Series Preview: Holiday weekend

Despite getting swept by the Yankees, the Blue Jays come into this four-game series continuing to play their best-baseball this season. Over the past week, the Blue Jays have recorded the 2nd-most runs and hits in the AL. If the Blue Jays’ pitching staff hadn’t surrendered an average of 6.2 runs/game over their last six games, then this team could have swept both the Red Sox and Yankees.
However, the Blue Jays have a very good chance at coming away with a sweep of the Royals in this series. The Royals offense has been nowhere to be found this month. Their offense currently ranks 2nd-last in home runs, OBP and OPS this month. So if the Blue Jays’ offense can continue to produce in this series, then both the Blue Jays and Raptors could be winners following this holiday weekend.
Friday at 7:07 ET
Sean Reid-Foley will be getting the start in the opener of this four-game series against the Royals. The man who owns one of the worst mustaches in the league, will be getting another chance to show that he can become a starter at the major-league level.
The 23-year-old hasn’t exactly earned this promotion to the …

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Author: Thomas Hall / Blue Jays Nation