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Series 29: Astros @ Blue Jays (Thurs., Fri., Sat., Sun. July 6 to 9, 2017)

Started by hockeyfan1, July 06, 2017, 12:58:27 AM

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Place:     Rogers Centre   Toronto, ON

Thurs. July 6
Starting Pitchers:      Francisco Liriano RH       (Jays)       4-4  5.66 ERA   
                               Lance McCullers Jr.  RH   (Astros)    7-1  2.69 ERA
Time:                       7PM
TV/Radio:                 Sportsnet,  The FAN 590

Fri. July 7
Starting Pitchers:      Aaron Sanchez       RH    (Jays)       0-1  3.33 ERA
                               Charlie Morton       RH    (Astros)    5-3  4.06 ERA
Time:                       7PM
TV/Radio:                 Sportsnet,  The FAN 590

Sat. July 8
Starting Pitchers:      Marcus Stroman    RH   (Jays)        8-5  3.42 ERA
                               Mike Fiers             RH   (Astros)     5-3  3.80 ERA   
Time:                       1PM
TV/Radio:                 Sportsnet,  The FAN 590

Sun. July 9
Starting Pitchers:     J.A. Happ               LH  (Jays)         3-5  3.47 ERA
Time:                      1PM
TV/Radio:                Sportsnet,  The FAN 590

Source:   MLB.comtheStar.com


Major League Baseball's most prolific team this season, the N.L.'s Houston Astros, are coming to town.

The Astros (58-27) easily sport the best record in the major leagues, and to most Blue Jay observers, this series may either exemplify Houston's dominance, or enhance Toronto's motivational energies, if we can call it that for want of a better (potential) description.  In other words, the best vs among one of the worst.
The Blue Jays (39-45) are still searching for .500 nirvana.  Alas, they are currently  on a very modest two-game win streak, having just taken two out of three from the Bronx Bombers, the New York Yankees.

It may have been very fitting indeed, that closer Roberto Osuna struck out the A.L.'s home run leader, Aaron Judge, in a two-out ninth inning in the last game (won by the Jays 7-6).  Also, the Jays bats awoke in striking the long ball over the field at Yankee Stadium.  In other words, the Jays anemic offence got going after the second-game win.

The Jays pitchers got their wins, and the relievers did their jobs, and Osuna did his.  While not pretty, they somehow got it done.

Now, against a team as diverse as the Astros are in their approach to playing the opposition this season, if the Blue Jays could continue to show consistency and find a way to come up with the right offence at the right time, AND keep a lead, for cripes sake, then they stand a chance against Houston.  If not...prepare for an onslaught. 

Good luck, Blue Jays.
P.S.  Toronto starting pitcher Aaron Sanchez makes his start after a somewhat lengthy absence (due to a blistered finger injury).  That alone is worth all the luck.



Astros 4  Blue Jays 7

A five-run fifth inning spurred the Toronto Blue Jays past the Houston Astros in the first game of this four-game series.

The Blue Jays got hits from just about every player on the team from  Donaldson to Martin (homer) to Tulowitzki (who broke a 0 hits in 22 games slump), plus steady consistent pitching from starter Francisco Liriano, etc.

In fact, Liriano, who got the win, pitched six innings having allowed just three runs, and a bevy of Jay relievers -- Sparkman, Leone, Beliveau -- conbined to deny the Astros the chance to tie it up on the scoreboard. 

Closer Roberto Osuna earned the save, and continued his now 23-save streak.  The Blue Jays record,  by the way, is held by Tom Henke at 25 games.

Game story:


Astros 2  Blue Jays 7

A day after a 12-2 thrashing at the bats of the Houston Astros, in which Jays's starter Aaron Sanchez, (who hadn't pitched since early May due to having been on the DL & rehab thanks to a blistered finger I jury), gave up eight runs (five earned all in the first inning), the Blue Jays roared back Saturday afternoon at the Rogers Centre.

Powered by three-run homers by Donaldson and Tulowitzki, and with Jays starting pitcher Marcus Stroman earning the win, Toronto made short work of Astros starter Mike Fiers and lit up the scoreboard.

Stroman worked seven solid innings before handing the rest to a combination of relievers Barnes and then Biagini (yes, Joe Biagini is back in the relief rotation) to preserve the win.

Game story:


Astros 19  Blue Jays 1

What a debacle!  The Astros pounced on two Josh Donaldson errors and gave no peace to the Jays pitchers, most notably relievers Lucas Harrell & Joe Biagini.  Jays' starter J.A.Happ took the loss.  Actually Happ only allowed two earned runs in the four innings he pitched.

Not since 2004 have the Toronto Blue Jays been trounced as badly as they had this afternoon.  That was the last year the Jays allowed nineteen runs to be scored on them.

Not worth reading about:

Captain Canuck

2004 is also the last time the Jays were this bad at the All-Star break.
Time to start thinking about moving some bodies and looking ahead to 2018.

I'm not sure what the deal is with Biagini moving back to the pen. Sure he hasn't been very good as a starter, but you are probably going to need him in the rotation again after the trade deadline. The UFA guys all need to be moved to the highest bidder...Liriano, Estrada and Smith. I'd deal Bautista too, but it will be up to him to waive his NTC as a 10 and 5 player. Happ won't be a free agent, but is another guy that could be moved at the deadline. There is the odd rumbling of a guy like Donaldson being dealt, but personally don't see anything that drastic happening. Should be more of a retool than a rebuild at this point.