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Blue Jays Take Series From Seattle

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).

To the best of my knowledge, none of the Toronto Blue Jays are from Kansas (O.K., I didn’t actually check), and I seriously doubt that they have ruby red cleats, but the Jays and their fans can agree with Dorothy Gale on this:

“There’s no place like home.”

Toronto finally won their first series, defeating Seattle, who entered 2024 with similar expectations with similar returns.  With commanding starting pitching as the backbone, they had a chance to sweep the series, but Jays Pitcher Tim Mayza gave up the tie with a three-run Home Run to Jays killer Cal Raleigh, in the 10th.  Nevertheless, the Jays hurlers delivered the goods, especially the three starters who combined for 19.1 Innings with only 2 Earned Runs and 12 Hits allowed. 

Going back to Mayza, the Jays bullpen may have blown the series finale, but help is on the way. Jordan Romano and Erik Swanson are returning soon, so much-needed depth is on the way. 

Offensively, I haven’t seen what I wanted from Toronto’s bats. Bo Bichette finally had his first Home Run, and Vladdy’s game-tying home run in Game three was the only other tater in the three-game set.  As Greg Maddux famously said in a series of commercials, “Chicks dig the longball.”  So do Wins.  Still, this is a step in the right direction, and I am not alone in exercising cautious optimism about Toronto’s offence going forward.

Here are my five Toronto stars of the Series, and how nice it was that I had to exclude them instead of racking my brain to come up with five!

Jose Berrios, 1 W, 6.2 IP, 0.00 ERA, 6 SO, 0.79 WHIP:  O.K., I am colossally impressed.  Berrios finds ways to win despite often being outpitched, but his sinker has been devastating thus far, and if you bat on the left side of the plate, you are not approaching the basepaths.  In his third start, Berrios had his best start of the year, shutting out the Mariners over 6.2 Innings and lowering his season ERA under two. 

Chris Bassitt, 1 W, 6.2 IP, 1.35 ERA, 8 SO, 1.35 WHIP:  This is sweet.  Bassitt started each of his first two starts in 2024, only to be destroyed shortly after, but that did not happen in this series, and we are reminded again why he is an asset to any rotation.  Hopefully, this is a harbinger of things to come, and based on his past, it should be. 

Yusei Kikuchi, No Decision, 6.0 IP, 1.50 ERA, 9 SO, 0.857 WHIP:  Kikuchi had another quality start, matching Seattle’s Logan Gilbert, and though he did not gain the decision (he was actually losing 1-0 when he left the game), he kept Toronto in it, so when Guerrero hit his solo shot in the 7th, the game was tied.  Toronto lost it in the tenth, but Kikuchi had another quality start.

Justin Turner, 1 R, 5 H, 2 XBH, 0 HR, 0 RBI .500/.583/.700/1.283: Turner continues to be a phenomenal pickup for Toronto, reaching base safely multiple times in every game of the series. Thus far, Turner has been Toronto’s best hitter.

Isiah Kiner-Falefa, 1 R, 5 H, 2 XBH, 0 HR, 2 RBI .625/.625/.875/1.500:  Kiner-Falefa collected five hits in the series’ first two Games, including going two-for-two with runners in scoring position.  He is now batting over .300 for the season.

Honourable mentions for Vladimir Guerrero Jr. 3 R, 3 H, 2 XBH, 1 HR, 2 RBI .231/.286/.539/.824,  Yimi Garcia 2 G, 3.1 IP, 0.00 ERA, 6 SO, 0.600 WHIP.  Bo Bichette 2 R, 3 H, 2 XBH, 1 HR, 2 RBI .231/.231/.539/.769

Up next, Toronto welcomes the Colorado Rockies for three Games starting Friday.

Until then, touch them all!

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


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