TORONTO — Relief pitcher Jason Grilli had his US$3 million team option for the 2017 season picked up by the Toronto Blue Jays on Saturday morning. The 39-year-old Grilli was traded to Toronto on May 31 from the Atlanta Braves. He pitched 42 innings for the Blue Jays, striking out 58 with a 3.64 earned-run…
Seemed like a pretty obvious move. Really the Jays are probably figuring it’s pretty cheap insurance. Kind of like Justin Smoak. Except that Grilli actually contributed pretty consistently through the season.
Seems like the Jays are going to let Osuna stay on as the closer. Unless of course another big option comes along, but they tried and failed that move last year didn’t they? (a la Drew Storen) Osuna was so good this year, why should they even try to move his to start? With a terrific core returning, I imagine they will leave him be.
While Jose Bautista sat out his UNdeserved 1-game suspension, the Toronto Blue Jays, well, pretty much Josh Donaldson, overcame the AL East leading Boston Red Sox. A few defensive snaffoos but JD overcame those with 5 RBIs, 2 home runs and a double play off a line drive with the bases loaded. It was the 3rd time JD had 5+RBIs and the first time this season with a multi-home run game. Roberto Osuna remained the pillar of the Jays bullpen with a shutout 9th inning, his 11th save of the season.
Troy Tulowitzki had what are increasingly characteristic at bats with 3 strikeouts and an uncharacteristic overthrow to Justin Smoak at first base. He also got beaned up in the shoulder. The BoSox are a classy team though and you can see the catcher checking on Tulowitzki after the hit. I feel like Tulo plays better without the chip on his shoulder. He’s not a chip on the shoulder kind of guy as opposed to some of the other Blue Jay guys. Maybe if he lets that go a bit, he can do better.
Don’t worry, Bautista kept himself busy trying his hand at the PA in the 4th announcing Kevin ‘I can catch everything’ Pillar. And he attended the last game of the Toronto Raptors groundbreaking season with PK Subban.
How sad is this image? KLow gave it everything. What an amazing season. Let’s not forget the Raptors made it to the final 4 with the Warriors, Cavaliers and OKC!
“The only thing I know is that I would never compromise the integrity of the game of baseball. I love this game too much,” Colabello said in his statement released by the player’s association. “I hope that before anyone passes judgment on me they can take a look at the man that I am, and everything that I have done to get to where I am in my career.”
THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
I’m sorry to say it but there is NO WAY that people aren’t going to pass judgment on any pro athlete who fails a drug test. And from the sounds of Troy Tulowitzki’s comments, some of his teammates are none too happy too. Maybe they don’t believe him. Maybe they’re pissed that he didn’t tell them sooner. Maybe they’re pissed that he kept trying to play these past 17 games and hitting .069. What could he do before they suspended him? Take himself out of the roster?
He is using his long difficult road to the majors as a defence. He is claiming that he would never compromise his career when it took so long to get here. But, maybe he lost patience and wanted a boost to get himself across the finish line by the age of 30. I can’t imagine that he had never had a drug test before. And why dope before spring training when you know that you’re going to get tested?
I think we’ll never know for sure whether he’s innocent. But it doesn’t matter. Even if he took uncertified supplements that were laced with steroids, he’s still responsible. And what a shame considering that he isn’t buff and he isn’t performing well! But I have a feeling this shocking blow could divide the clubhouse. Or maybe it will help them focus. Friday night’s game against the Oakland Athletics kind of fell apart. Was it the news? I don’t know but Sanchez was not the pitcher he’s been and gave up 6 runs before they finally yanked him in the 5th inning. But the Blue Jays did battle back run by run to get back to 6-5. When Osuna came to the mound, there was hope that magic would happen. If it was September 2015, it would have. But there isn’t much spark or magic yet within this club. Hoping they ignite today.
Another close one.
The Toronto Blue Jays won the 1st of a 3-game series with their archrivals, the Baltimore Orioles. When was the seed of this rivalry planted? Benches got warned back in 2014 after this pitch by Marcus Stroman.
Stroman pitched 7 innings. Bautista shot an RBI double. Tulowitzki got a 2-run double to continue his 3-game hitting streak. He’s had 1 hit in the last 3 games and his is average is now .148. Is it a coincidence that we have also won the last 3 games? Do we need Tulo to hit to win?
Cecil did his job. Osuna shut down the last 4 batters to get his 5th save. I mean do you not have the utmost of confidence in this 21-year-old or what?
There are articles out there talking about the lineup and that changing the order actually has a small effect. There is less than a 1 run differential between the worst lineup order and the best. But it’s still interesting to think about. Right now we have the 3 worst hitters hitting in the 5th, 6th and 7th spots. They are supposed to be there to bring in any of the power hitters who are still on base. Right now, Pillar and Goins are in 8th and 9th. Gregg Zaun says that’s good because they are not hitting often, but if they get on base, the big hitters at the top of the lineup will drive them in. So which is it? Should they shuffle the lower half of the lineup until the bats get going?
Aaron Sanchez has done everything the Blue Jays were hoping he would do and more. Yet, the ‘W’ had eluded him in his first 2 starts of the season. Sunday afternoon he finally got paid with a 5-3 win over the Boston Red Sox. He gave up only 1 earned run, and shockingly, the other 2 were given up during the controversial insertion of closer Roberto Osuna when Shaw hit a 2-run homerun over the right field wall. Controversial because it was not a save situation, thus allowing the Red Sox to see more of the ace-in-the-hole. I did not expect to have to worry about losing the game with a 4-run lead in the 9th with Osuna on the mound. But you know what? In typical Osuna fashion, the homer didn’t get to him and he closed down the rest of the inning to preserve the win. He essentially saved the game from himself!
Jose Bautista homers off Wright in the first inning. The Jays got a total of 14 hits including each member of the starting lineup.
What I saw…
I saw the determination on Ryan Goins’ face when running home on Josh Donaldson’s double. You know, it’s so easy to say things like ‘you suck’ when a player underperforms, but that one look tells you that most of the time, they try very hard at their job, harder probably than most people at their jobs. Yeah they’re easy to target because you have to pay to watch them and they make good money. But Goins made it home and I appreciated that.
Despite a really strong 8-inning outing by Marcus Stroman Thursday night, the Jays found themselves down 2-0 after the 4th inning, when in the 5th the reigning MVP Josh Donaldson launched a 424 ft 3-run homerun to the centre field 2nd level.
With the Jays leading 3-2, Tulowitzki drove a homer down the left field line for a nice insurance run. It was more like a REassurance run, letting everyone know that the Tulo that we know and love is still in there somewhere just making his way out.
Did you notice…?
Do you know what I’ve noticed that’s really cute? Have you ever noticed that whenever Smoak closes out a game at 1st base (and the Jays have won), Donaldson and Smoak will meet each other on the mound and hug? Maybe they just get there first for the team high 5s. Or maybe they’re buddies? I never see them hugging anyone else.
Anyway, Osuna the bett-a man. He’s a Mexican rock.
Thank you Marco Estrada! The quiet, humble, understated, under the radar Marco Estrada came out big on this frosty Sunday afternoon final game of the 2016 home opener series against the Boston Red Sox. After losing the first 2 games of the series pretty BADLY (I mean, any loss would have been bad), most of us felt we needed to win. John Gibbons said after the game that there really isn’t such a thing as a MUST WIN so early in the season, but as a bandwagon fan, it certainly felt that way didn’t it? We needed some confirmation that we weren’t out of minds. That the team wasn’t just great on paper. That all the hype wasn’t just hype and that we were in fact headed for a disappointing season. Afraid that despite being good, the rivals were better.
The Jays hadn’t been swept since May 2015 in Houston. The Jays hadn’t lost 3 straight at home since August 2014. Thanks to Marco Estrada, they still haven’t.
Estrada had 8 strikeouts in 91 pitches over 7 innings pitched. To put it in Gibby’s words, he was ‘vintage Estrada’. Smooth. On target. Quietly understated finesse. Estrada in his subtle fashion shut Boston down and the Jays took home the win 3-0.
Thankfully the defense found their groove, like they had to give Estrada everything he needed to quiet the naysayers. Dustin Pedroia almost got home but the defense came alive with power throws by Bautista and Goins and a perfect tag by Russell Martin.
Oh, and Donaldson got his 4th homer of the season. At first I thought I was watching a replay, that perfect Josh Donaldson homerun swing.
And don’t you just love watching Osuna run out to the mound to save the game? Strikeout. Strikeout. Strikeout.
Jose Bautista, who walked twice, has reached base in 20 consecutive games (including post-season), dating to Oct.3, 2015.
The Rogers Centre has had 15 straight sellouts going back to last season. And I think that’s going to continue for a while. I mean, everyone including me, is just hanging off every detail about this team. The expectations are extraordinary. Who knows what’s going to happen but it sure is going to be a fun ride.