Toronto Blue Jays: Marcus Stroman Sharp in Season Debut


The Toronto Blue Jays got big performances from Cliff Pennington and Marcus Stroman yesterday

The big news concerning the Toronto Blue Jayssweep of the New York Yankees in yesterday’s doubleheader is the possible season-long loss of Troy Tulowitzki, but there were a few bright spots that shouldn’t be ignored as a result.

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One is the stellar defensive play and big two-run blast from Cliff Pennington, who came into the first game as a relief player for Tulowitzki and started in the second game. It would be an understatement to say Pennington helped the Jays win both games; he exceeded all expectations given the nature of the situation. Now we’ll have to see if he can replicate the same level of success in the weeks ahead.

Toronto also saw a strong start from Marcus Stroman, who was making his season debut in one of the most important games of the year for the Jays. Aside from a tough fifth inning where Stroman surrendered a three-run blast to Brett Gardner, the 24-year old native of Medford, New York kept the Yankees hitless over the first four innings of the second game.

Sep 12, 2015; New York, NY, USA; Toronto Blue Jays shortstop Cliff Pennington (9) hits a 2 run home run during the second inning of the game against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

Stroman had some command issues – he hit a batter and issued two walks – but part of this can be attributed to the playing conditions: there was visible rain throughout most of the second game.

With a good showing from Stroman, the Jays now have more flexibility to rest Mark Buehrle and pitch Drew Hutchison exclusively from home. A big concern going into Stroman’s start was whether the Jays rushed his return to the big leagues. His performance last night should silence the doubters.

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  • Looking forward, the Jays and the Yankees conclude their four-game series in the Bronx today with Toronto aiming for another sweep of New York on the road. R.A. Dickey (10-10, 4.01 ERA) gets the start for the Jays while the Yankees will send Masahiro Tanaka (11-6, 3.57 ERA) to the mound.

    Can the Jays pull off the sweep? Or is yesterday’s loss of Tulowitzki too much for the Jays to overcome? Have the Jays already done enough against the Yankees? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

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