The Blue Jays are alive again

It wasn’t pretty, but it counts.

The Blue Jays came into Monday night’s game with the Chicago Cubs badly in need of a win after being swept by the Los Angeles Angels, a team you really shouldn’t be getting swept by if you have aspirations of playing in October.
Things were looking incredibly bleak in the sixth inning as Tim Mayza came into the game in relief of Jose Berrios and promptly gave up a two-run double to P.J. ‘Please Stop Asking If It’s Short For Pyjamas’ Higgins that made the game 4-0 in favour of the Cubs.
Berrios was getting squared up by the Cubs and he gave up some loud contact but the Blue Jays’ defence bailed him out a few times. He managed to navigate his way to four earned runs over five-and-two-thirds innings on 10 hits and one walk while striking out four.

What. A. Catch.#NextLevel | @BlueJays pic.twitter.com/ru6rsNCStZ
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) August 30, 2022

As fans everywhere were debating who to fire and trade in the off-season, Matt Chapman and Raimel Tapia drew back-to-back walks before Danny Jansen brought the team to life with a three-run bomb. In the eighth inning, Cavan Biggio hit a two-out double and then Chapman drove him home with a single to tie things up at 4-4.
While the Blue Jays had played well fundamentally in the first nine innings, things started to get weird in extras. Alejandro Kirk was intentionally walked but then got doubled off as he slid into second base with his leg sticking up in the air. Jackie Braldey Jr. and Santiago Espinal let a routine fly fall between them and Bo Bichette got Vladimir Guerrero Jr. tangled up with a baserunner with an errant throw to first.
Thankfully, some excellent pitching from Yimi Garcia and some impressively bad clutch hitting from the Cubs resulted in the Blue Jay …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Alek Manoah leads the Blue Jays to their fifth straight win

Well, it wasn’t 28-5, but it was still a W.

The Jays were backed by yet another quality start from Alek Manoah, his 16th of the season, as they topped the struggling Red Sox 4-1.
Most of Toronto’s offense came in the third inning. Four straight hits to start the inning included RBI singles from Santiago Espinal and George Springer. Alejandro Kirk also chipped in a sacrifice fly later in the frame. Espinal’s RBI was heavily attributed to the Blue Jays putting Matt Chapman in a hit-and-run situation. Chapman took off from first base right as the pitch was delivered, and Espinal delivered a perfect hit into right field.
That play was part of many “little things” the Jays did well today. More specifically, Bo Bichette made a sound defensive play in the 5th inning, diving for a ground ball, setting his feet, and retiring Christian Vazquez, who has been a pain in the Blue Jays’ side this series. Teoscar Hernandez doubled in pinch-runner Bradley Zimmer in the 9th inning, providing Toronto with a big insurance run. Zimmer ran for Alejandro Kirk, and he stole second base before Hernandez brought him home.
Today also marked the return of George Springer, who sat out last night’s game in order to continue resting his elbow. Springer contr …

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Author: Evan Stack / Blue Jays Nation

Juan Soto upsets Julio Rodriguez to win 2022 MLB Home Run Derby

It just wasn’t meant to be.

Despite having a Home Run Derby for the record books, mighty Seattle Mariners rookie Julio Rodriguez was toppled in the final round by Juan Soto.
The Washington Nationals slugger, meanwhile, showed the world why he’s worth every penny of a $500-million deal smoking 19 home runs in the final round.

JUAN SOTO WINS THE HOME RUN DERBY pic.twitter.com/1CpYTXB2H8
— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) July 19, 2022

As great as the comeback was for Soto, Rodriguez stole the show with a performance for the ages.
The rookie Seattle Mariner blew the doors off the derby cruising through the first two rounds.
Rodriguez bested Texas Ranger Corey Seager in the first round 32 to 24, then blasted another 31 in round two to beat two-time champion Pete Alonso.
Through two rounds, J-Rod totaled 63 home runs becoming the first to ever have two 30-run rounds in the history of the derby. Safe to say he, and his pitcher Franmy Pena, were absolutely dialed in.

Through two rounds, Julio Rodríguez’s 63 total HRs are already third-most in a single #HRDerby
He’s off to the Final Roundpic.twitter.com/p4gvgWXqGu
— ESPN (@espn) July 19, 2022

Come the finals, you could see some fatigue setting in, but Rodriguez still managed to put up 18 dongs. Soto, meanwhile, had a slow start, but turned it on in the end taking it to extra time to hit his 19.
In total, Rodriguez smoked 81 home runs through all three rounds — 10 back of Vladimir Guerrero Jr., who in 2019 smoked 91 (!) homers, but lost to Pete Alonso in the finals.
One has to wonder if this whole thing needs to be rejigged considering those performances.
Round one
The derby got started off in a big way as Julio Rodriguez stepped up to the plate mashing 32 dingers right off the top. He topped up  opponent Corey Seager, who st …

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Author: Zach Laing / Blue Jays Nation