The three game sweep in Boston came at a very opportune time for the Blue Jays. After being swept out of New York and losing Jose Bautista to the DL, Toronto wasn’t exactly at the top of its game to be heading into Fenway.
The offense was the big story of the weekend as it produced 34 hits in the three games, scoring 28 runs in total. The team set season highs in runs and hits on Sunday, plating 15 men on 18 hits. All of this happening without their number three hitter and missing Brett Lawrie for a game on Friday. The outpouring was a balanced of homeruns, situational hitting and good base running. Just the kind of balanced offensive approach Toronto has been looking for.
Defensively, the Jays played very well throughout the series. Travis Snider made some great plays on balls off the green monster and a great diving catch on Saturday, showing that his experience in left field pays off. His return has been long awaited by many in the fan base. After competing for a roster spot in Spring Training, then being sent to AAA and spending time on the DL with a wrist injury, Snider doing a god job of taking advantage of his call-up with the big club. Manager John Farrell has said that between Snider and Anthony Gose, it will be whoever has played/is playing better that will stay with the club when Bautista does come back.
It was also a relatively good series for Toronto’s pitching. Aaron Laffey when seven strong inning on Friday night and didn’t give up a run. Carlos Villanueva pitched into the six and a third on Saturday, while allowing three earned runs. On Sunday, starter Henderson Alvarez struggled and was responsible for all seven of Boston’s runs, but made it to two outs in the fifth before handing things over to the bullpen. Chad Beck gave up a hit to the only batter he faced, while Aaron Loup and Drew Carpenter combined to keep the Red Sox hitless and scoreless to close out the game.
Toronto’s bullpen seemed to have shored itself up nicely since GM Alex Anthopoulos traded for J.A. Happ and Brandon Lyon on Friday. Both pitchers came in handy on Saturday, showing they just might be the bridges between starters and closer the bullpen’s been looking for. In Happ’s case, there’s also the chance he could transition into the starting rotation if the Jays really feel the need.
The Jays have the day off Monday before starting a three game series against the Oakland Athletics. As the A’s are a team to beat in the Wild Card race, the series will be another good opportunity for Toronto to gain some ground. If they can keep winning without Bautista in the lineup, it will make it a much bigger boost when he does come back.
Game time on Tuesday is 7:07pm. Brett Cecil takes the ball for Toronto against Oakland’s Travis Blackley.
About the Author
Written by Amanda Tallon
Self-professed baseball nerd, blogger, writer, tweeter, learning addict and once colour commentator. Celebrating over twenty years of love with the Toronto Blue Jays and the beautiful game of baseball. I also contribute to thegalsgotgame.com, a sports website for business women by women.