Philadelphia – With three runs ahead and six teams remaining, the Blue Jays were well positioned at the bottom of the eighth inning Wednesday night.
Tim Maeza had just hit Bryce Harper with loaded bases to escape the seventh-round jam, and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. responded without a doubt, with Homer by three runs. With their best painkillers and two shorts resting, the Blue Jays were in a good place.
But Yemi Garcia immediately allowed three innings, and Matt Ferling later walked past Adam Semper with his fifth strike of the night as the Phillies beat the Blue Jays 4-3 in a 10-run match that took four hours and eight minutes to complete. Kevin Gausman’s strong start was in vain and a wild streak at Citizens Bank Park ended in disappointment for Blue Jays.
“It was just a tough night,” said Blue Jays interim manager John Schneider. “You always feel good by going three and back in our Bullpen. It just didn’t work out tonight.”
The Bullpen Blue Jays have certainly been doing better the past couple of months, with Jordan Romano the Closer in particular providing great consistency. But he has now made two saves in a row dating back to Sunday’s series finale against Baltimore. And while Cimber entered with a ghost runner already in second place, he was unable to escape.
Meanwhile, Anthony Bass didn’t interfere at all, but Schneider said the right-handed was available. The Blue Jays simply preferred the other painkillers over the Bass, who presented last Friday against the Orioles. If nothing else, the timing of this slump comes at an inopportune moment, given the importance of upcoming games.
“We depend on these guys a lot,” Gussman said. “That’s going to happen. It’s a baseball game. At this time of year, you don’t want to think about it too much… Wipe it and move on.”
Earlier, it appeared that Guerrero Jr. The Blue Jays have given all the humiliation they need. With sprinters in the corners and none at the top of the eighth inning of a goalless match, Guerrero crushed Jr. Land 99 mph Seranthony Dominguez 429 feet in left field seats for his 30.The tenth Homer season.
Perhaps these strength numbers are easier to overlook than it should be. By hitting 48 Homer last year, Guerrero Jr. He can achieve more. This year, this potential was not realized.
Meanwhile, he entered Wednesday’s play at 134 OPS+, which means he’s 34 percent better than the league average in the board when taking into account the era and pitch. The hitters who have hit OPS+134 include: Mookie Betts, Prince Fielder and Fred McGriff. This performance does not match what Guerrero Jr. last year, but it still puts him among the best offensive players in the game.
As Schneider said, “Very important to Vlady.”
Meanwhile, Gausman only allowed five singles as he walked in two and hit eight against a strong Phillies lineup. His stuff was lively, with a fast ball topped at 98.4 mph and a dispenser that led to 11 flips and misses. In addition, he worked seamlessly with Alejandro Kirk, who returned to his position behind the board after left thigh pain led to an eight-day break from catching.
Thanks to the Rays’ loss, the Blue Jays stayed even with Tampa Bay, but the Yankees swept the Pirates, meaning the Blue Jays dropped to 6.5 games in the AL East. At this point, each Yankees win pushes the division title out of reach and increases the likelihood of a three-game wild card streak.
“Everyone is checking the scoreboard and paying attention,” third baseman Matt Chapman said Wednesday afternoon. “For us, every game has to be won… that mentality is winning every day right now.”
Of course not helping the Yankees make an unexpected comeback the way they did on Tuesday, when Aaron Judge scored 60 on home soil and was followed by Giancarlo Stanton with a major knockout.
“We’re paying attention,” Chapman said. “Watching what Aaron Judge does day in and day out is impressive. He’s a fantastic player. He’s fun to watch. Unfortunately, he’s leading this team that’s ahead of us now…that’s how tough this division is.”
Meanwhile, two players had problems on the left side on Wednesday. Santiago Espinal was knocked out with left-sided discomfort, while Guzman extended his left arm in an attempt to beat a second push from Guerrero Jr., only to extend the side of the gauntlet. After that, he said he feels better physically despite the awkward play.
From here, the challenge only intensifies when the Blue Jays head to St. Petersburg, Florida, for four games against the Tampa Bay Rays, the team chasing the Blue Jays in a wild card race. Since Tampa Bay has an 8-7 advantage in the season series, the Blue Jays will need to win at least three of four against the Rays to secure a tie-breaking advantage if the teams finish the season with identical records.
And while there’s an issue that a third-place finish and a closing first-round match against the AL Central winners should be made, that’s not how Chapman sees it. Blue Jays are between 43 and 32 years old at Rogers Center this year, and there’s more comfort at home, too. Even if it is now highly likely that the Blue Jays will do it Reach In the playoffs, they care about how they got there.
“No matter where we end up, we want to host it,” Chapman said. “We want to play in front of our fans. We know how to play at home and how fun it is to have our fans behind us. I’ve played on the road in the playoffs before and it’s tough. It’s always good to have an audience at home, so we really want that.”
Ideally, Blue Jays will make sure that these four games in the Trop are the last.