Blue Jays have their greatest strength sapped in Game 1 loss to Rays — The Latest News

[ad_1] Before Rays right-hander Nick Anderson entered Game 1 of the AL wild card round on Tuesday, the typically prolific Blue Jays lineup managed just two hits and whiffed 10 times through 6 1/3 innings. With runners on first and second in the seventh, Anderson jammed Teoscar Hernandez with a two-strike fastball, forcing a pop […]

Blue Jays have their greatest strength sapped in Game 1 loss to Rays — The Latest News

Earlier than Rays right-hander Nick Anderson entered Recreation 1 of the AL wild card spherical on Tuesday, the usually prolific Blue Jays lineup managed simply two hits and whiffed 10 occasions via 6 1/3 innings.

With runners on first and second within the seventh, Anderson jammed Teoscar Hernandez with a two-strike fastball, forcing a come out, and retired Joe Panik through line out. Anderson labored round a pair of hits the following body, permitting one run, to arrange teammate Peter Fairbanks for his first save of the season.

In limiting harm, Anderson preserved among the finest staff pitching performances towards the potent Blue Jays in 2020. Toronto averaged greater than 5 runs per recreation this 12 months earlier than shedding 3-1 in Recreation 1. Tampa Bay starter Blake Snell carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning.

Toronto now faces elimination as a result of its offense disappeared, not as a result of the employees it frightened could be inadequate didn’t carry out.

MORE: MLB playoff predictions

The Blue Jays are poised to be offensive juggernauts for a few years, largely due to Cavan Biggio (116 profession OPS+), Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (109 profession OPS+) and Bo Bichette (137 profession OPS+) on the high of their order. The younger trio will not hit free company till 2026. Complementary mashers Randal Grichuk (106 profession OPS+), Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (123 profession OPS+) and Hernandez (114 profession OPS+) are beneath contract till not less than 2024.

However the group’s first go at October baseball Tuesday went poorly and, barring a fast turnaround on this best-of-3 sequence, its postseason debut will likely be short-lived.

Whereas some Blue Jays followers blamed supervisor Charlie Montoyo for making too many pitching adjustments in Recreation 1, the mixture of Matt Shoemaker and 4 relievers allowed solely 4 hits and stored the competition shut. The highest 4 spots in Toronto’s order, in the meantime, struck out eight occasions and went 1 for 13.

The Rays current a tricky impediment for Blue Jays batters, maybe jittery on a stage they weren’t supposed to achieve so quickly. Snell is without doubt one of the high left-handed aces in MLB, and projected Recreation 2 starter Tyler Glasnow will be equally efficient at getting hitters to chase pitches out of the strike zone. Tampa Bay’s bullpen is loaded with rocket arms.

Plus, because the No. 8 seed within the AL, it was at all times going to be a problem for Toronto to advance.

Worst-case situation, the Blue Jays’ batch of proficient however inexperienced hitters will depart a busy 2020 having internalized the sensation of being within the playoffs. Whatever the Recreation 2 outcome and a possible Recreation 3, then, the membership can take solace in gaining that psychological edge, even when it might be mystifying for its bats to cease producing after being dependable all year long.

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