TORONTO – This weekend is a chance for the Toronto Blue Jays to focus the rest of the regular season on what’s ahead of them rather than what’s behind, and it’s an opportunity to help secure a comeback October 3-5 against the Baltimore Orioles. Adjust, no more.
The way their rotation began from here after another Bullpen game – bolstered by bullets from Matt Chapman and George Springer from three runs – in Friday’s 6-3 win, both Alek Manoah and Kevin Gausman could be available for that close group. At Camden Yards.
This is great, if necessary. Much better for the Blue Jays (82-63), and now six games ahead of the fourth-placed Oriole (75-68) and 1.5 games for the third-placed Tampa Bay Rays (80-64) in the wild card standings. , makes sure the dominant front is relaxed and available to play in the first round of the playoffs starting October 7.
They created a break from the junior Orioles by taking three out of four in Baltimore September 5-7, and while it’s risky looking too far ahead, if the Blue Jays take advantage of the streak, they’ll make their lives a lot easier for the rest of the campaign and beyond.
“Every match is obviously crucial — you play against your division, but not only that, the calendar as well, there are a lot of matches left, so it’s hard to make matches,” Chapman said. “Any chance we can get of getting a game, whether it’s separating ourselves from Baltimore or putting pressure on the teams out there in the mix with us, is huge. This streak is definitely important because if we keep paying attention to the business it will give us more space.”
The Bulls’ third day in the past two weeks, with the exception of Mitch White’s Tuesday double-header outing against the Tampa Bay Rays, could not have been much better for the Blue Jays. Trevor Richards opened with a hit from the side, Julian Meriwether followed with two clean tires and Homer Chapman first, from Jordan Lyles in the second, opened 1-0 up.
Yusei Kikuchi, almost on script, took charge in the fourth, immediately allowing the trio Cedric Mullins and Adley Rutschman Homer and then settled to retire from the next six strikes, Jekyll and Hyde’s latest outrageous and intriguing outing.
This carried the Blue Jays through five tires and took control of the bottom of the fifth when Lyles left a 3-2 curved ball away and Springer shook the wall in the left to make it 4-2.
After Tim Maiza broke through the top of the Orioles standings, Chapman fired a two-stage shot over the wall in the left in the sixth inning and Adam Semper, Anthony Bass and Yemi Garcia, who allowed a single shot for Gunnar Henderson in the ninth, closed things off from there.
“For us, when the phone rings, you are, so when you’re in the game, you’re competing,” Richards said of the prevailing mindset. To communicate and plan things. That’s tough, to cover a full nine rounds and then you got some yesterday, you have some tomorrow. We’re more focused on the game that night and when the phone rings, go to them.”
The Blue Jays’ reducers only allowed eight runs on 26 innings during the three bowling games, which Kikuchi’s struggles as a novice and the lack of viable options to support a very strong front four necessitated. There won’t be another gap in the rotation until September 24 in Tampa Bay but White will be eligible for a call-up by then.
“It’s a big request from them and they have answered the bell,” said interim manager John Schneider. “Every time we do that, they all kind of look forward to it and accept the challenge and pitch in, go on extra round, extra out, whatever. You really can’t say enough about how good it is and we are doing our best to make sure that the execution There is, but there is also the appropriate rest.”
Richards’ outing was particularly significant because it wasn’t a lock he was throwing after throwing 29 throws in a mop outing in Thursday’s 11-0 loss from Rays. He allowed five runs with three hits and walked twice in the ninth game of that hit, needing David Phelps to save him, then rebounding to attack the Orioles.
“Baseball is crazy, isn’t it? Yesterday, I couldn’t hit the water if I fell off a boat. Today, it’s crazy how things change,” Richards said. “I just wanted to focus on going after the hitters and setting the tone.”
The Orioles have lost for the seventh time in 11 games since crawling through 1.5 games of the Blue Jays for the last wild card spot at the start of the month, perhaps a sign that their rush from doormat to prominence this season has fizzled out.
Manager Brandon Hyde, who made the Blue Jays job final when Charlie Montoyo was hired in the fall of 2018, spoke before the game about how useful the experience would be for his current group and before a crowd of Rogers Center’s staggering 36,573 people, there was another lesson. I learned.
“These kinds of series are very different from the series in May or June,” said Hyde, whose team will be a problem in the Middle East in the coming years. “Being able to play in games like this, for me, it gives you confidence going forward. That’s the big difference for us this year compared to last year, we got confidence, guys trusted their ability, guys became confident in each other. I feel like that kind of changed a little bit in May and we’ve stayed that way the whole time. And you add Gunnar, he’s a very self-confident and talented guy, and the more games you can play that way, the better.”
Blue Jays tutored them last year. They are determined to do more this time and prepare themselves as best they can for a wild card streak that will be tough no matter how decisive the opponent is in that regard.