Nothing fuzzy about it: momentum is the starting pitcher the next day, as was proven yet again on Saturday at the Rogers Center when Jose Berrios – and, hell, let’s stretch the narrative and include his teammate, Danny Jansen – has set the Toronto Blue Jays on their way to a…
Nah, go ahead. What do you say about this? Given the current situation of the Blue Jays, a win is a win is a win. Holding on for a 10-8 win over the Oakland Athletics in a game where you were leading 10-3 going into the ninth inning? Do you do it less than 24 hours after Lourdes Gurriel, Jr.’s grand slam and Marcus Semien’s three-point home run helped you overcome an 8-2 deficit in the eighth inning for an 11-10 win ? Better not overthink it, folks. Here’s Robbie Ray to kick off the series finale on Sunday afternoon with a chance to sweep the A’s, the closest hurdle to your faltering post-season ambitions, and as Charlie Montoyo put it: ‘C’ is Robbie Ray tomorrow. He must give us a chance.
“The key today was Berrios. It all starts on the mound. He was exceptional, he commanded his fastpitch for his last two outings and when does he do that? He’s the guy we thought we had.
So ok. We’re still sure the momentum continues depending on the guy on the mound, even after those two brawls that saw the As’s almost knocking down Friday’s script. If so, the Blue Jays certainly have the right guy on Sunday.
Montoyo has said the Blue Jays will be without Jordan Romano and maybe Tim Mayza, depending on how he feels. Mayza threw 15 shots on Saturday, but hasn’t played back-to-back games since July 24-25. Romano was needed on Saturday when Joakim Soria couldn’t get a ninth strikeout with the Blue Jays’ 10-3 lead suddenly turned to 10-6 on Mark Canha’s three-point circuit. Romano ceded a two-run home run to Sean Murphy before Yan Gomes and Josh Harrison took off and Khris Davis was pulled out.
Gurriel, Jr., followed Friday’s exploits with a three-run eighth inning brace on Saturday that turned into something more than padding. He also landed on one of the Blue Jays’ four home runs – including a two-point shot from Brayvic Valera, Jansen’s second home run since leaving IL on August 31, and Teoscar Hernandez’s 100th career home run. , a three-point shot from Jake. Deikman in the seventh.
Gurriel, Jr., who is the eighth player in franchise history with more than four RBIs in consecutive games, has reached .368 in the past three weeks. His slam on Friday was his third of the season and he credited teammate Santiago Espinal with some tips earlier this season for hitting with bases loaded.
“He told me ‘don’t rush’… take your time… regroup,” said Gurriel, Jr.
Likewise, Jansen noted that he spent his time on the IL trying to stabilize his own approach. “Slow down my movements and keep my head still,” he said.
Like a wild card race, sometimes the game will come to you.
“It was a big triple… double… whatever it was,” Montoyo said of Gurriel’s move, noting that, like Hernandez, one of the keys to Gurriel’s resurgence isn’t chasing after them. throws.
Berrios (10-7) is still tinkering with his delivery after changing his windup before his previous start, a change he says helps him maintain his balance and release point and also mitigates what was becoming a tendency to switch locations. He played 6 2/3 innings, allowing three runs and four hits while removing seven sticks and walking none. Canha’s two-out RBI single knocked him out of the game after needing 14 shots to knock out the A-roster’s midfield – Matt Chapman and Jed Lowrie – after Matt Olson’s brace.
Berrios hit the second batter he faced – Kemp – but escaped with the help of Jansen in a double strike ’em out / throw’ em out play. Berrios put out the next nine batters before Chapman scored to lead the fifth. It was Athletics’ first kickback after a 4-0 delay. There was more to come.
“(Berrios) has a lot of pitches,” Jansen said of his first assignment with acquiring the Jays trade deadline. “We had a good game plan… keeping the guys off balance and then making the change later when the guys get more aggressive. “
The Blue Jays and A’s are similar in some ways beyond their proximity to the standings, because if neither of them ends up making the playoffs, the blame can be laid directly at the feet of their relief pitchers. The Blue Jays have straightened the ship up slightly, but there still remains the question of all those losses out of the reliever pen, as the A relievers’ efforts on Saturday left them with a 7.41 relief ERA in their Last 13 matches. The As’s also have 23 missed saves, the second biggest in the majors.
The Blue Jays were also reminded that outside defense could be a soft underbelly as long as George Springer is limited to DH. Sure, Olson’s ball was hit well, but a more polished center fielder than Corey Dickerson could have found it. Dickerson hadn’t played at center since October 3, 2016, with Springer unavailable and Randal Grichuk’s playing time reduced and a right-handed starter on the mound for the As, it was up to Dickerson and Jarrod Dyson to manage the center. And while Gurriel was one of the offensive heroes, his decision to throw Canha’s RBI single at home in the seventh inning instead of hitting the cut man put Canha up to second place. He scored the third A point when Chad Pinder picked Adam Cimber, who had just entered the game for Berrios.
But it’s forgotten now. Like the Blue Jays, A’s, Seattle Mariners, Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees wild cards don’t care about style points. Not at this time of year.
“Last night’s comeback shows just how beautiful sport it is sometimes and how crazy it is,” Berrios said after his departure, reflecting on a Friday still fresh in everyone’s mind. “We come back from 8-2. Then it’s linked. Then they go ahead. Then we come back. This is why we love the sport and why we play and come every day to do our job.