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Blue Jays Lose Series to Rays

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).

I might have to temper my expectations for the rest of the Blue Jays season in 2024.  If you are a Toronto fan or even a casual observer of baseball, you know that last place in the AL East is not what we had in mind in mid-May.  The overall payroll, the talent and the past season logically told us something else.  When the ball is round, bounces happen, and here we are.

Hey, at least we aren’t the Chicago White Sox!

The forces of good have now failed to win eight series in a row. Time is ticking away for Toronto to stake a claim for a playoff spot, but to do that, they first have to get to .500.   

There were early-season vibes in the first game of the series, as Houston’s Ronel Blanco’s first no-hitter of 2024 (which was against Toronto), looked to give way to the first perfect game of the year with Tyler Alexander taking that status into the eighth.  With a 4-0 lead, the Blue Jays climbed back with three runs in their half with a Davis Schneider two-run Home Run, but Tampa’s Pete Fairbanks shut the door in the ninth, giving the Rays a 1 4-3 win.

In the second game, the slumping George Springer began the scoring with an RBI single in the fourth, and the Jays tacked on three more with a two-RBI double by Daulton Varsho and Vladimir Guerrero Jr.’s RBI single.  Kevin Gausman pitched five scoreless innings for his side, but Amed Rosario singled home two with Jose Caballero tacking another run with an RBI single in the sixth.  Gausman left with a 4-3 lead, but a Win would not be added to his stat sheet.  Yimi Garcia shut down the Rays in the seventh, but Nate Pearson could not get an out in the eighth, facing four batters and allowing a two-run shot to Jonny DeLuca, giving Tampa a 5-4 lead, which is how it stayed, ensuring a series loss.

For all of the woes that the Blue Jays have had this season, they have yet to be swept, and they avoided it again thanks to Alek Manoah and Daniel Vogelbach.  Manoah built on his last performance with a gem and picked up his first win of the year.  Pitching seven innings, Manoah gave up no runs, and allowed only one hit and walk.  Offensively, Daniel Vogelbach hit his first home run of the year (a solo shot in the second), with Springer and Alejandro Kirk also doubling in runs to give them a 5-0 lead.  Isaac Paredes slammed one to left off of Zach Pop in the ninth to bring them within three, but Jordan Romano slammed the door shut with a strikeout and his seventh save.

I still have hope!

Here are my five Blue Jays stars of the series:

Alek Manoah, 1 W, 7.0 IP, 0.00 ERA, 7 SO, 0.286 WHIP:  How sweet this is!  You have to love Manoah, who rebounded from a horrible season debut with a solid performance and an absolute gem.  Manoah’s 81 game score is a high for the Jays this year, and can we say he’s back?  Even if that is in doubt, his swagger is, and it looks good on him. 

Vladimir Guerrero Jt.,, 1 R, 5 H, 1 XBH, 0 HR, 1 RBI, .417/.417/.500/.917:  Vladdy had five hits in the series, including three in the second game.  He has grown his OPS by nearly 90 points since May 1 and has only had one game since where he did not reach base.

Daniel Vogelbach, 3 R, 3 H, 2 XBH, 1 HR, 1 RBI .600/.600/1.400/2.000:  Vogelbach hit his first home run of the season in Toronto’s series finale win, and had three hits in that game.

Davis Schneider, 2 R, 3 H, 2 XBH, 1 HR, 2 RBI .250/.250/.583/.833:  When has there been a player in recent years that has captivated the Toronto fan base like Schneider has?  There are now entire rows dedicated to the moustachioed utility player who hit his fifth home run of the season and boasts an OPS+ of 140.

George Springer, 2 R, 2 H, 1 XBH, 0 HR, 2 RBI .200/.333/.600/.633:  Springer’s 2024 has been awful, and he has been removed from the top of the order, but had a two-run double in their win on Sunday

Honourable mentions for nobody.

Next, the Blue Jays entertain the struggling Chicago White Sox for three games starting Monday.

Until then, touch them all!

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


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