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Royals Take Series From Jays

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 looking forward to this series, as it is rare to face a non-division opponent so quickly after playing them this early in the season.  Is Kansas City overachieving?  Is Toronto underachieving?  I am not alone in Jay’s fandom in believing that the Blue Jays are better than their record, or am I deluding myself as to what the 2024 squad really is?

After a 2-4 homestand, I am leaning towards the theory that I deluded myself.

In what was perceived as a revenge series (at least to me), the Jays bats again were quiet, with the lions of George Springer, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette acting like lambs.  They combined for only one extra-base hit, leaving this series with a combined bWAR of 0.1. 


That is not a misprint. 

The top of the order remains a dumpster fire, and no team can make a post-season when the three batters who get the most plate appearances all have OPS+ metrics of 100 or less.  I will have more on that in a separate piece.

As for the series…

Justin Turner remains the most pleasant surprise, hitting two home runs (a two-run shot in the first and a solo in the third), and Toronto kept the lead winning 6-5.  Turner is my MVP of April, and as I have said before the man who looks like he might be the lost uncle of Gritty (or maybe the lost nephew of Youppi?) has been the best pickup of the off-season.  Astoundingly, they scored six runs despite going 1 for 11 with Runners in Scoring Position, and 2 for 17 in the series.

With a 2 for 17 overall RISP, it is no shock that the Jays lost the last two games with a combined two runs.  Jose Berrios, the staff ace, lost a duel to Cole Ragans, who had a 6.2 Inning gem.  Berrios allowed a two-run shot by Michael Massey (who had seven RBI in the series), and Erik Swanson surrendered two runs in the eighth in a 4-1 loss.

In the series finale, the inconsistent Chris Bassitt gave up three runs in six innings but faced a dominant Seth Lugo, who threw seven innings, allowing Toronto’s only run when Bo Bichette singled in a run.  The Jays bullpen was again poor, this time with Massey tagging Nate Pearson with a three-run blast in the eighth.  Toronto lost 6-1.

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

Justin Turner, 2 R, 2 H, 2 XBH, 2 HR, 2 RBI .222/.222/.889/1.111:  Turner’s two Home Runs in the first game, put Toronto on top, and we can argue that the Jays would be three games worse without him.

Jose Berrios, 1 L, 6.2 IP, 2.70 ERA, 3 SO, 0.86 WHIP:  Berrios took his second straight loss, but he had a good outing with a 61 Game Score.  The problem was that Cole Ragans had a Game Score of 69 and allowed only one run in 6.2 Innings of work.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr., 1 R, 4 H, 1 XBH, 0 HR, 1 RBI .364/.462/.455/.916:  I said earlier that I have been very disappointed by Vladdy, but he was the only one who hit safely in all three games, and he raised his OPS+ to an even 100.  He deserves to be one of my five stars here

Danny Jansen, 2 R, 2 H, 2 XBH, 2 HR, 2 RBI .286/.375/1.143/1.518:  Jansen hit a homer in both of his games, both of which were solo shots.

Tim Mayza, 1 G, 1 H, 1.0 IP, 0.00 ERA, 1 SO, 0.050 WHIP:  This is a reach, but Mayza, who played an inning was the only relief pitcher worth remotely praising this series.

Honourable mentions for nobody.  This was hard enough!

Next, Toronto will travel to the Washington Nationals for a three-game set beginning on Friday.

Until then, touch them all!

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


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