Twins walk off Jays in a back-and-forth affair

Baseball is a game of highs and lows, and we witnessed all of them tonight at the Blue Jays dropped a heartbreaker to the Twins 6-5 in 10 innings on Friday night.

A lot happened in the bottom of the 10th, starting with Jake Cave striking out on a ball in the dirt, but Danny Jansen couldn’t complete a tough throw to Vladimir Guerrero Jr. at first base. This allowed Cave to reach at first, and ghost runner Nick Gordon moved to third. Blue Jays Sportsnet analyst Caleb Joseph argued after the game that Vladdy didn’t give Jansen a clean window to throw the ball. The next batter, Tim Beckham grounded a ball to Matt Chapman at third. Chapman tried to throw Gordon out at home, but he short-hopped his throw, Jansen couldn’t secure the ball, and Gordon scored.
It’d be easy to point to the meltdown in the 10th inning as the reason for the loss, but those types of plays simply happen sometimes. Danny Jansen has had to make tough plays like that before; the ball just didn’t bounce Toronto’s way in the 10th. Truth be told, they were in that position largely due to another tough road start from Jose Berrios.
The heart of Berrios’ rough night was t …

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Author: Evan Stack / Blue Jays Nation

The Blue Jays Fired Charlie Montoyo. Now What?

If turning around a struggling baseball team was as easy as firing your manager, there would be a constant cycle of middle-aged baseball dudes getting laid off weekly. But it rarely is that easy, and thus despite the Blue Jays firing Charlie Montoyo yesterday, a lot of work remains to be done in order to turn this team into one that not only will make the playoffs, but will be built to go on a deep run in October.

It is impossible to tell if replacing Montoyo with John Schneider will have any impact on how the players perform, but it became clear yesterday just how important of a first step it was to getting this team on the right track. From the first reports that were trickling out of the US, to this excellent piece from The Athletic’s Kaitlyn McGrath, Montoyo had clearly lost the confidence of his team, and once that happens, a move needs to be made. (Ironically, all arguments I saw and contributed to pre-firing assumed Montoyo was well-liked by the team. Once that assumption was thrown out the window, the argument for making a change became much simpler).
Now, after taking responsibility for where the club is in the standings at this point in the season yesterday, the task Ross Atkins has ahead of him is to identify the faults in this team and address them. It’s a tricky situation to navigate because if you’ve been watching the Blue Jays closely this year, you might identify many issues plaguing this team. In reality, though, I believe the issues are actually pretty simple. 
Despite what many might think, the Blue Jays’ offense is more or less fine. They’ve been the fifth-best team in baseball according to wRC+ this season in the aggregate. Their issues offensively have more to do with being inconsistent – which I don’t think is something you can ever avoid in baseball – and an inability to hit in high leverage spots.
That last point has been a thorn in their side since the beginning of 2021, and there have been many theories floating out there, from a lack of “clutch” – which would …

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Author: Gideon Turk / Blue Jays Nation