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Blue Jays Split With The Phillies

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 was anxious about Toronto’s trip to the City of Brotherly Love, and it’s not hard to see why. The Phillies have been on fire this year, leading the National League East, while Toronto is still stuck in their usual spot at the bottom of the American League East. Philadelphia has been playing exceptionally well, coming into the two-game series on a five-game winning streak with hopes of making it to the World Series. On the other hand, Toronto’s chances of success don’t look very promising. The Sportsnet preview of the second game openly questioned whether they will be sellers at the trade deadline and how much time they have left to turn things around with such a high payroll.

We got the split, but it started off ugly.

In the opener, Jose Berrios was shellacked for the first time all year, allowing eight runs off seven in hits in 3.2 Innings of work.  It ballooned his ERA from 1.44 to 2.85, and even though this is his third straight loss (4-3), this is the first time he looked bad in the year.  The only thing worse was Toronto’s offense, who generated only one RBI on a ground out by Isiah Kiner-Falefa.  They lost 10-1.

It was a much better result for Toronto, winning 5-3 when Chris Bassitt, Toronto’s most inconsistent starter outpitched Aaron Nola.  Bassitt, now 3-5, gave up two runs and three hits in 6.1 frames.  Offensively, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Kevin Kiermaier had three hits, with the latter going 2-for-2 with runners in scoring position. 

In the win, Bo Bichette hit a soft single that gave the Jays. 2-1 lead, and hopefully, that is the spark that lights the fire.  Bichette, who had dropped to sixth in the order, is struggling badly with the worst OPS (.514) of all qualified batters in the American League East and the seventh worst overall in the Majors.  For what it is worth, the six players worse than him include two Detroit Tigers (Colt Keith & Javier Baez), two Chicago White Sox (Andrew Vaughn & Andrew Benitendi), Cincinnati’s Christian Encarnacion-Strand and Miami’s Tim Anderson.  Last year, Anderson and Baez were the bottom two in OPS (among qualified batters) and Bichette was 39th overall.  Damn, he is so much better than this!

Here are my five Blue Jays stars of the series:

Chris Bassitt, 1 W, 6.1 IP, 2.84 ERA, 6 SO, 0.789 WHIP:  Outpitching Nola is no easy task, but with a mix of speeds, Bassitt got the job done.  He had a game score of 63 and threw over 100 Pitches for the second time this year.  What was most impressive is that Bassitt loaded the bases with nobody out in the third and escaped with only one run allowed.  It was not until the seventh inning when Philadelphia got another hit off Bassitt.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr., 0 R, 3 H, 0 XBH, 0 HR, 1 RBI .375/.444/.375/.819:  Vladdy still has not found his 2021 power game, but he got on base four times in two games with a ribbie.  He is trending, albeit slowly, in the right direction.

Danny Jansen. 2 R, 3 H, 2 XBH, 0 HR, 0 RBI .375/.375/.625/1.000:  Jansen currently has a Slash Line of .311/.404/.667/1.071 and over 45 At Bats has a 203 OPS+.  Toronto likely will do what they can to get him more at-bats in the foreseeable future.

Kevin Kiermaier., 0 R, 3 H, 0 XBH, 0 HR, 2 RBI .500/.571/.500/1.071:  Kiermaier is not known for his hitting, but he had three hits in the second game and has been doing well with the bat since coming off IR.

Davis Schneider, 1 R, 2 H, 1 XBH, 0 HR, 1 RBI .333/.500/.500/1.000:  They say that Schneider will never be a superstar, and they are probably right.  Saying that, there is no other Blue Jay I want to see make an All-Star one day than Schneider.   

Honourable mentions for nobody. 

Next, Toronto comes back home to welcome Minnesota in a Wild Card rematch from last year.  That series begins on Friday. 

Until then, touch them all!

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


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