A nihilist’s season preview for the Leafs

A nihilist’s season preview for the Leafs

Here we are at the Leafs first game of the season. In many ways, this feels like it should be a meaningful day, but frankly, it hits just about the same as the start of the preseason. I’ll tune in. I write about the Leafs, so I should probably watch them play, but I don’t know if there is much excitement that comes from committing to a season that is about 20 games too long and will ultimately get us to the same place, the Leafs will finish somewhere in the top three in their division, and somehow 4th or 5th in the league, and then something will finally be put on the line as we see if the Leafs are now 19 years removed from a second round appearance or if the mocking of the Leafs needs to revert to the standard 1967 reminder that admittedly I’m far more comfortable with.
That’s not to say that there aren’t storylines to care about with the regular season. Whether Kyle Dubas was active enough for you or not in the offseason, the fact that he’s given Toronto two new goaltenders to hastily develop misinformed opinions on is a bit of a blessing. Last year the g …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Aaron Judge hits home run No. 61 as Yankees spank Blue Jays in series finale

Kevin Gausman said after Monday’s game that he didn’t want to be the answer to a trivia question regarding Aaron Judge’s (potential) 61st home run of the 2022 season. While Gausman avoided that label, there is finally an answer.

That man is Tim Mayza.

61 years since 61.
Aaron Judge has written his name alongside Roger Maris in baseball’s record books. pic.twitter.com/1V4Gums34C
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) September 29, 2022

Judge battled through an 8 pitch at-bat with Mayza, and eventually deposited a 94 mph sinker into the Blue Jays bullpen. While he has only tied the record for most home runs in a single season, it absolutely sucks that this happened in Toronto. Glass half full, I think we can all look at the silver lining in all of this and be grateful that Zack Hample wasn’t able to collect the home run ball.
Judge also put Roger Maris Jr. out of his misery, as every camera shot of Maris Jr. showed a man who couldn’t wait to be home.
Judge’s legendary moment came amidst some glaring momentum shifts throughout the game. The Yankees were in complete control through the first five innings. Mitch White walked the first two batters he faced en route to allowing three runs in the first inning. He pitched 3.2 innings total, only allowing those three runs, but eight baserunners.
His opposition, Gerrit Cole, cruised through five perfect innings in only 54 pitches, as the Blue Jays only managed to produce two batted ball outs in the air.
It was the sixth inning, however, that Cole imploded and let Toronto right back int …

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Author: Evan Stack / Blue Jays Nation

Another bullpen meltdown results in the Blue Jays splitting the two-game series in Philly

Last night’s game was exciting in its own way. The Blue Jays and the Phillies combined for 29 runs, Jackie Bradley Jr. homered, and position players pitched. Tonight, it was a pitcher’s duel for seven innings, followed by the Blue Jays blowing a late 3-0 lead.

Unfortunately, Philadelphia ended up winning tonight’s contest 4-3, as Matt Vierling capped off a 5-for-5 night with a walk-off single in the bottom of the 10th inning. Jordan Romano blew his second consecutive save, the first time in his career that that has happened, and Yimi Garcia continued to show some concerning signs as the bullpen couldn’t back up a great start from Kevin Gausman.

Blue Jays bullpen: Last 6 games
ERA 8.51Opponents AVG .306WHIP 1.81
— Sportsnet Stats (@SNstats) September 22, 2022

So, how did we get there?
The game seemed in hand in the 8th inning for the Blue Jays, as Vladimir Guerrero Jr. smoked a 3-run home run off of Phillies reliever Seranthony Dominguez to give Toronto a 3-0 lead. No one had scored through the first seven innings of the game, but Guerrero Jr. quickly ended that trend with his 30th home run, now only 12 RBIs shy of a 30-100 season. Guerrero also drove his hitting streak to 14 games, amidst what most would call a “slump” considering how much he is hitting the ball on the ground.
If you’re in for a good laugh, Guerrero absolutely deflated the emotions of the Phillies’ broadcasters with that home run…

“Oh man.” pic.twitter.com/glLtSbZOta
— Jared Carrabis (@Jared_Carrabis) September 22, 2022

The …

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Author: Evan Stack / Blue Jays Nation

Angels blank Blue Jays for second straight day, spoil anniversary of 1992 World Series team

Today’s game between the Blue Jays and the Angels included a day-long celebration of the 30 year anniversary of the 1992 World Series champion Toronto Blue Jays.

Multiple Blue Jays legends were recognized on the Sportsnet broadcast such as Dave Stieb, Mike Timlin, Joe Carter, Pat Borders and many more. All of those aforementioned names were spectators for an absolute duel between two of the MLB’s best pitchers in Alek Manoah and Shohei Ohtani. Unfortunately, they couldn’t celebrate a win, as the Angels defeated Toronto 2-0, shutting out the Blue Jays for a second straight day.
Both pitchers were on their game from the jump, as they both pitched to their strengths. Ohtani blew batters away with his 98+ mph fastballs and his wipeout splitter/slider, while Manoah had plenty of movement on his fastballs and sliders. They both also had to overcome long first innings by their standards; Manoah and Ohtani threw 25 and 28 pitches, respectively.
Their final lines were very similar, but the biggest difference was that Manoah was the first to blink as he allowed an RBI single to Luis Rengifo in the top of the 6th. The inning could’ve looked a little different had one play gone their way; with runners on first and second with no outs, Ohtani ground …

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Author: Evan Stack / Blue Jays Nation

Alek Manoah and Gerrit Cole beef as Yankees avoid sweep with 4-2 Sunday win

In an attempt to sweep a four game series in the Bronx just like the 2021 Jays did last September, the 2022 Jays fell a little short. The Yankees got the best of Toronto today 4-2 behind a late two-run home run from Andrew Benintendi. It was Benintendi’s first home run as Yankee (because of course), and only his fourth on the season.

Alek Manoah was the starting pitcher for the Blue Jays today in a ballpark where he has been very successful during his young career. While he was very good today, his defense surely did not help him through the early stages of the game.
In the first inning, with Anthony Rizzo on first, DJ LeMahieu shot a ball into left field for a single. Rizzo advanced to third on the play, but left fielder Lourdes Gurriel Jr. tried to rush a throw to Matt Chapman at third base. Gurriel short hopped the throw, and Chapman was unable to get to it. The ball got away, and Rizzo scored. Gurriel was charged with the error, but Manoah wasn’t charged with the run.
Whit Merrifield would even things up at 1 in the top …

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Author: Evan Stack / Blue Jays Nation

Pre-Series Notes: New Blue Jays make home debuts, Canadian Cal Quantrill returns to face his childhood team

Coming off two days rest and riding a two game losing streak into tonight, it feels like the Blue Jays haven’t won a game in forever. That said, they still hold the top spot in the American League wild card race with a record of 60-50.
Meanwhile the Guardians have won five in a row to take the lead in the AL Central. The tightest division race in the Majors, the Central still has three teams battling for the division crown. The Minnesota Twins trail the Guardians by just 1.5 games and the Chicago White Sox are 3.5 back.
The Jays will be looking for revenge after losing two of three in Cleveland back in May.
Things Worth Mentioning…
A pair of Blue Jays will be making their home debut tonight.

Whit Merrifield (2B) and Jackie Bradley Jr. (CF) will make their #BlueJays home debut starting tonight. pic.twitter.com/NVdbg7HgdB
— Ben Wagner (@benwag247) August 12, 2022

George Springer is still on IL so Bradley Jr. will start in center and Merrifield will make his first start at second for the Jays. One of the best defensive CF’s of the last decade Bradley Jr. provides plus defence and speed with a below average bat. He did however hit two home runs in his last series against the Blue Jays while he was with the Red Sox. In 92 games this year he is slashing .210/.257/.321 with three home runs.
One of the favourites for the AL Rookie of the Year, Steven Kwan is on a tear recently.

.@CleGuardians OF Steven Kwan has now hit safely in 26 of the last 29 games
Tale of the tape:
.358 (42 hits) 9 doubles 1 triple 2 HR 8 RBI 12 multi-hit games; 5 three-hit games pic.twitter.com/wJJZW94DEx
— Jensen Lewis (@JLEWFifty) August 11, 2022

In his debut season, Kwan it batting .300 …

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Author: Scott Ony / Blue Jays Nation

That was embarrassing

If an MLB game was ever to be rated R for explicit content, tonight’s Blue Jays-Orioles game would be it. A nightmarish 8th inning including a go-ahead home run from R*****d O**r highlighted Baltimore’s 6-5 win over Toronto on Tuesday night. Tonight’s loss also clinches the Orioles’ first series win over the Blue Jays since 2019.
It was a tale of two halves for the Jays, as Toronto led this game going into a rain delay during the 6th inning. Toronto struggled to get much going off of Orioles starter Kyle Bradish, who boasted a 6.55 ERA coming into tonight. Bo Bichette homered off of Bradish in the 2nd inning, but that was all the momentum Toronto would have early as the first few innings were once again littered with double plays.
The Jays gathered some momentum going into the delay, as an RBI single from Alejandro Kirk and a 3-run blast from Bichette (who continues to rake in the month of August) put Toronto up 5-3.
However, after that, it was all for the worst. Ryan Mountcastle hit an RBI double in the 7th inning off of Adam Cimber to cut the deficit to one. Mountcastle’s hit came exactly during Dan and Tabby raving about how good M …

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Author: Evan Stack / Blue Jays Nation

Big Blue Jays bats pound Twins bullpen in 9-3 win

Tonight’s game officially confirmed that playing at the Trop significantly affects the way the Toronto Blue Jays swing the bat.

Despite a slow start, the Blue Jays elevated almost all of Minnesota’s relievers’ ERAs tonight in a 9-3 rout of the Twins to kick off a four game set. Toronto had 13 hits tonight, one more hit than they had total in their last series against Tampa Bay. Alek Manoah got his 17th quality start of the season, putting the cherry on top of a very enjoyable win for Blue Jays fans.
Sonny Gray got the start for Minnesota, and, although his numbers were very good, those who watched the game could see that Gray did whatever he could to throw pitches on the outside parts of the zone. Gray finished the night with five walks in five innings. 46 of his 96 pitches were balls. He did paint some corners nicely, but it was frustrating watching the Jays only tally one hit off of him due to Gray throwing several borderline pitches.

However, in the 6th inning, with Gray out of the game, the Jays were able to find some hits. With one out, Teoscar Hernandez hit an absolute moonshot to left field. The ball was hit so high that the Sportsnet cameras couldn’t track where the ball absolutely landed. Viewers were led to believe that the ball was hit into the first row of seats in left field, but in reality, the ball landed 409 feet into the second deck.

Teoscar with the bat drop pic.twitter.com/Jf1mRcJDl1
— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) August 5, 2022

Bo Bichette followed the home run with a double, and he was cashed in by the steaming hot Lourdes Gurriel Jr. The exact same Bichette-Gurriel combo occurred in the 8th, as Gurriel sin …

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Author: Evan Stack / Blue Jays Nation

3 takeaways as Raptors’ Summer League schedule nears end

3 takeaways as Raptors’ Summer League schedule nears end

The Toronto Raptors are just one game away from officially wrapping up their Summer League grind. With star youngsters like Christian Koloko and Dalano Banton on full display on the Las Vegas circuit, many had Toronto’s games circled on their July calendar. Toronto has had mixed results in their first three games, to say the […]
3 takeaways as Raptors’ Summer League schedule nears end – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ