Toronto Blue Jays enter playoff game without Bo Bichette


TORONTO – When they kicked off a 28-game 27-day streak on Friday, it was clearly a playoff on the Toronto Blue Jays’ schedule.

Buyers or sellers on the August 31 trade deadline?

The next two weeks will tell this story, and it got a lot harder on Sunday when Bo Bichette surprisingly landed on the 10-day injured list with a sprained right knee.

The injury came to light after Saturday’s game was suspended due to rain, with the locked-down 22-year-old shortstop telling the club he “felt something” in his right knee as he stretched.

Exercising great caution, the Jays sent Bichette for a battery of tests, including an MRI, which led to the diagnosis.

It wasn’t a good day overall for the Blue Jays.

Awkwardly, Charlie Montoyo’s club gave up Sunday’s two games to the Tampa Bay Rays, leaving the sophomore manager looking for answers on the pitch the same day he lost his burning star.

“I don’t really have a schedule,” Montoyo said of Bichette. “It just wasn’t good news, of course, for everyone when we heard it. ”

The Jays’ bats started to heat up a bit throughout training, but Bichette was the clear catalyst – as well as the most consistent – cutting .356 / .387 / .678 with five home runs and four interceptions in 13 games.

Bichette has success in all but one of those 13 games, and he’s been in absolute tears since his one knockout, posting a .441 / .486 / .941 slash with those five bombs since August 5. Atlanta.

He’s heading to IL with homeruns in four straight games, a streak he won’t be able to resume until at least August 26, when the Jays host the Boston Red Sox in Buffalo.

If the injury allows.

At this point, Bichette is out indefinitely, leaving the Jays without a player who has been their best hitter since the day he was recalled last July.

Thanks to 274 career trips to plate, Bichette is at batting .322 with an elite .961 OPS and 16 homers.

Now the Jays will replenish the top of the roster and give rookie Santiago Espinal time on a shortstop, with some veterans. Joe Panik and Brandon Drury also able to stand in the position if necessary.

Late losses have unfortunately become the norm for this young ball club.

If you’re a half-glass-full type of person, that means they should have a much better record than the 7-11 CV they’ll take to Baltimore for the start of a three-game series with the Orioles on Monday. .

On the other hand, good teams find ways to win and bad teams find ways to lose.

Montoyo continues to remind everyone that this is a young team which is still in the process of rebuilding itself, and that will lead to mistakes, as evidenced by the right-back. Teoscar Hernandez Lazily bringing the Rays to life with a bad field play in the seventh inning that ended up costing them the game.

“Stay positive and keep working on it,” Montoyo said when asked how they clean up mental and physical mistakes that led to late heartbreak. “That’s all we can do.

“Nobody wants to make mistakes and lose games, which just happened today. This is the third best team in baseball, this team that we play there. If you don’t play clean baseball, you’re not going to beat them. And that’s what happened. ”

After scoring just 39 points in their first 13 games (3.0 points per game), the Bats woke up once they got to Buffalo and the Jays had 35 runs in five games (7.0 points per game). ) against the home teams, the Miami Marlins. and spokes.

The problem, however, is that despite this wave of offense, the Jays finished the “homestand” just 2-3.

On a dramatic day that saw Bichette land on the IL and the Jays drop two very winnable games, the second game of the truncated double header was also punctuated by the starter. Matt Shoemaker get thrown for arguing balls and strikes, with Montoyo following him shortly after to defend his veteran.

There were obvious signs of frustration in the Jays canoe.

“We’re so close to being an amazing team, it’s just that we have to do a lot of the little things better,” Shoemaker said afterward.

Approaching one-third of the 60-game schedule on Tuesday, there’s no time to waste to get back to .500, but doing it without their top player will be intimidating.


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