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Toronto Takes Care Of The Guardians

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).

The Cleveland Guardians came into Canada with a commanding lead in the American League Central, while the forces of good remain in a dogfight to reach .500.  This was going to be a tough task for the Jays, especially with a good road team like the Guardians, but unlike other tests for Toronto in 2024, they were up for it.

Before we get to the series, the tinkering of the Jays roster continued.  Daniel Vogelbach was designated for assignment to make room for Addison Barger, who was recalled from Triple-A Buffalo.  Vogelbach played mostly at DH, with a Slash Line of .186/.278/.300 with a bWAR of -0.4 in 31 Games.  In Barger’s 50 games with the Bisons, he had eight home runs, 34 RBI, and a slugging percentage of .467.

Toronto lost 3-1 in the opening contest, with all four runs charged to the starting pitchers.  Cleveland’s Logan Allen bested Kevin Gausman, who gave up eight hits, including a solo shot by Will Brennan.  Toronto’s only run came in the sixth from an Ernie Clement double.

Fortunes changed for the Blue Jays over the weekend, as the Blue Jays shut out the Guardians with six pitchers (Trevor Richards, Tim Mayza, Zach Pop, Bowden Francis, Genesis Cabrera, and Nate Pearson).  Francis got the win by throwing four innings (3rd to 6th).  The Jays scored three in the second with RBI singles by George Springer, Addison Barger (his first career RBI), and Spencer Horwitz.  Isiah Kiner-Falefa, who had two hits in the game, added an RBI in the fourth.  The Jays won 5-0.

The series finale saw one of Jose Berrios’ worst starts of the year (his game score was 41), but as he showed all season, he does enough to keep his team in the game.  He surrendered eight hits and four runs over six innings, but the Jays took the lead in the fifth with a Daulton Varsho grand slam and Barger single to take a 7-2 lead.  Cleveland fought back with a two-run homer from Daniel Scheermann in the sixth off of Berrios, and in the ninth, Brayan Rocchio tagged Yimi Garcia for a two-run shot, chasing him out of the game.  Nate Pearson got the final out to secure Toronto’s 7-6 win.

Toronto begins their next series (again), a win away from .500. 

Here are my five Blue Jays stars of the series:

Daulton Varsho, 2 R, 3 H, 2 XBH, 1 HR, 4 RBI .273/.273/.636/.909:  Varsho had his third career grand slam and is the club leader in Home Runs (11), RBIs (40), and bWAR (2.9).

Addison Barger, 1 R, 3 H, 0 XBH, 0 HR, 2 RBI, 1 SB .429/.500/.429/.929:  After being recalled from Buffalo (he had only one hit in five games earlier in the year), Barger collected his first Major League RBI, walk, and stolen base.

Ernie Clement, 2 R, 4 H, 3 XBH, 1 HR, 2 RBI, .667/.667/1.500/2.167:  In the two games he started, Clement had two hits each and had three extra-base hits overall

Bowden Francis, 1 W, 4.0 IP, 0.00 ERA, 4 SO, 1.800 WHIP:  Francis had his second solid performance and is now on an eight-inning scoreless streak

Vladimir Guerrero Jr., 1 R, 4 H, 0 XBH, 0 HR, 0 RBI, .364/.462/.364/.825:  Guerrero Jr. may not be a power hitter anymore but if he keeps getting on base, most Jays fans will take it.   He did so six times (four singles and two walks) in this series.

Honorable mentions for Brendon Little,2 G, 1 H, 2.1 IP, 0.00 ERA, 1 SO, 0.428 WHIP, Genesis Cabrera 2 G, 2.2 IP, 0.00 ERA, 1 S0, 0.375 WHIP.

Next, the Jays welcome their division rival, the Boston Red Sox, for a three-game series.

Until then, touch them all!

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


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