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Blue Jays Split Series with Dodgers

After every Blue Jays series, this Canadian will sum up his five stars of the set and throw in my two cents (worth .015 US).

Before we begin, here is a personal flashback of a few months ago:

For a hot minute, it looked like we landed Shohei Ohtani.  The hot rumor reported by Canadian media was that Ohtani was on his way to Toronto in a private plane, and the bar I frequented at the time in Winnipeg was full of barstool geniuses like myself gushing over Ohtani repping the Jays uniform and the monster blasts he would launch in the Rogers Center (which he did this past weekend, albeit in Dodger blue), but once I heard the hat he signed with the Los Angeles and that $700 million I had to rethink it. 

First, Ohtani (provided that his interpreter really did place those bets without his knowledge) should be by far the highest-paid player in baseball, but a backloaded contract for someone who will likely be limited in future pitching performances is a risk that Toronto does not have the ducats to take. L.A. is far more likely to recoup its losses and constantly reload if Ohtani falters and escapes its financial yoke…and wait six years…that is happening.

Nevertheless, these are the Dodgers, who have been contenders for years. They came to Canada as the National League West division leader, a penthouse they are very familiar with. In the first game, they showed the Bluebirds why they are perennial favorites.

Los Angeles crushed the Jays in the first game, 12-2, chasing Chris Bassitt in the third inning after he gave up seven runs.  The aforementioned Ohtani was booed by the Jays crowd, who bemoaned his decision to sign with the Dodgers, though I suspect most of them did not know that Ohtani never was on that plane.  Ohtani greeted those boos with a first-inning Home Run, with Will Smith and Max Muncy also going deep in the game.  Both Smith and Muncy had three RBIs in the contest.

The second game was another loss for Toronto (4-2), with Ohtani blasting the hardest hit Home Run of 2024 with a 119.2 mph exit velocity blast against fellow countryman Yusei Kikuchi, who pitched six innings and surrendered four runs and took the loss.

Toronto’s five-game skid ended on Sunday’s finale, thanks to an unlikely source, Kevin Gausman, who has been bluntly awful going into this game, went seven frames, allowing no runs, no walks and only five Hits.  It could not have come at a better time.  Toronto, who won 3-1, got their runs in the first two innings off of Dodgers starter, Michael Grove.

The top third of the order (George Springer, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., and Bo Bichette) failed to gain an RBI, and all remain with OPSs well below .700. If this doesn’t change, the Jays can never contend for a playoff spot, let alone finish over .500.  Astoundingly, they leave this series only one game below .500 (14-15) and sit in fourth place, five games behind the Yankees.

Here are my five Blue Jays stars of the series (which was not easy).

Kevin Gausman, 1 W, 7.0 IP, 0.00 ERA, 5 SO, 0.71 WHIP:  Gausman had his season-high Game Score of 69, and did it against a Dodgers team that had been scoring at will.  This was Gausman’s first win of the year, and plummeted his ERA to 4.50. 

Alejandro Kirk, 1 R, 3 H, 1 XBH, 1 HR, 1 RBI 1.000/1.000/1.250/2.250:  The walking refrigerator that is Alejandro Kirk only played one game (Danny Jansen played the other two at Cacther), but went three-for-three with a solo shot in Toronto’s lone win against L.A.

Davis Schneider, 1 R, 2 H, 2 XBH, 0 HR, 1 RBI .333/.500/.667/1.167:  Two Doubles, two Walks and an RBI, and Toronto’s best moustache is enough to get him a top-five star in this series. 

Jordan Romano, 2 G, 1 SV, 1.2 IP, 0.00 ERA, 2 SO, 1.200 WHIP:  Romano is still finding his groove, but his fourth save of the season in Toronto’s lone win against the Dodgers.

Tim Mayza, 2 G, 1 H, 1.1 IP, 0.00 ERA, 0 SO, 0.750 WHIP:  Mayza is not the type of player who will appear here often, but we are scrounging here, and in his two appearances, he only allowed one hit.

Honourable mentions for nobody.

Up next, Toronto hosts Kansas City for three games and a chance for redemption.

Until then, touch them all!

Kirk Buchner
Kirk Buchner
Owner/Operator at the Notinhalloffame.com network @notinhalloffame


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