The Toronto Blue Jays weren’t their sharpest against the Boston Red Sox this week
For “Snake” Plissken (a.k.a. Kurt Russell), the objective was always simple: escape from New York and later L.A. without blowing the mission. The fate of the United States (and the free world by extension) depended on it.
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Things are a bit different for the Toronto Blue Jays these days but just as critical. After getting crushed by the lowly Boston Red Sox in two of their last three games, they’re just happy to escape New England with their divisional lead intact (thanks mostly to the unexpected but certainly welcome heroics of the Baltimore Orioles).
I’m not sure if the Jays were busy looking ahead to their four-game series against the New York Yankees or if the dog days of September are starting to leave their mark on the team, but they were ill prepared for their three-game set against the Red Sox. Toronto was outscored, out-pitched and out-defended by Boston – the first time we’ve been able to say this in a long time.
Mar 9, 2015; Dunedin, FL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Marcus Stroman (6) walks to the dugout after being removed from the game in the third inning against the Houston Astros in a spring training baseball game at Florida Auto Exchange Park. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
The Red Sox got things rolling in the first game of the series by trouncing the Jays 11-4. Toronto fought back to win the second game 5-1 in extra innings, but the tide quickly swung back in Boston’s favour last night as they nursed an early nine-run lead to ultimately beat Toronto 10-4.
Yes, you read that correctly: Boston out-slugged Toronto 22-13 to win the series.
They also chased Mark Buehrle and Drew Hutchison early from their respective starts, raising two big question marks in the Jays’ rotation moving forward. Can we depend on these guys? What other options can we run?
Friars on Base
We’ll see if Marcus Stroman can pick up some of the slack on Saturday when he gets the start against the Yankees, but things don’t look good right now. The Jays’ rotation is showing signs of fatigue at a bad time; they now need to fill two big holes heading into the final stretch of the season.
We wanted meaningful baseball in September and we finally got it. Unfortunately, for the last three games at least, someone forgot to tell the Jays this. I expect a sharper effort against the Yankees, but it’s important that the Jays put forth their best effort every night moving forward. We’re past the point in the season where we can afford to see Hutchison labour through his regular brain farts, and if Buehrle’s hurt, it’s time to admit this and address it.
I say all this because there can be no escape from New York – everything now comes down to New York.
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