A short week last week due to the All-Star break, but don’t let the reduced number of games fool you. It was a week full of twists and turns for the Blue Jays.
Two good games against the Yankees, two not-so-good games against the Yankees, and one significantly scary injury combined to put Jays fans through the full gamut of emotions. Though the weekend didn’t end as well as it began, Toronto did get back to the .500 mark briefly – a good sign as the second half kicks off.
Here are three things from week 16:
Week 16: July 11 – July 17
Record: 2 – 2
1. Jose Bautista: The Good, Bad, and Ugly
It was quite a week for the Jays leader. First the good – Bau lived up to his record setting All-Star vote tally by having himself a heck of a midsummer classic.: 1 for 2 with one of the most
outstanding catches in All-Star game history. The robbery of Brian McCann left the AS announcer speechless.
Next the bad: his feeble performance at the HR Derby. Foiled by bullpen catcher Alex Andreopoulos, Bau only managed four bombs and was eliminated in the first round. Not what we expected from MLB’s HR leader.
Finally the ugly: the brutal looking ankle twist from Thursday night. Replays looked terrible, and visions of the DL danced through Jays fans heads. Luckily it looks like a trip to the disabled list will be avoided, with the big man set to return as early as tomorrow night.
2. He Just Keeps Going and Going and Going and…..
It seems like Travis Snider is doing his best Energizer Bunny impression these days. From growing some fur on his upper lip, to his non-stop hitting performance since his return, Snider is seemingly getting better and better.
In the four games last week, he had three multi-hit efforts. In total he blitzed the Yankees to the tune of a .438 average and 1.037 OPS, with 3 doubles, 3 stolen bases, and 4 RBI thrown in. Since his recall from AAA Vegas, Snider has been on a mission to prove he belongs at the big league level. He is hitting .391 in 11 games, and has only gone hitless in two of those contests.
Of course eleven games is still a small sample size, but the strides made by Snider are encouraging. He has raised his season average 72 points to .256 and his OPS a whopping 174 points to .714. The Snider / Thames combo has been rock solid, and could be giving fans a glimpse of Toronto’s secondary offense for years to come.
3. Brandon Morrow to the Rescue
There’s not a lot of kind words you can say about Toronto’s rotation lately. Ricky Romero is 0-2 with a 6.32 ERA in July. Jo-Jo Reyes hasn’t made it into the seventh inning since June 17th. Carlos Villanueva was roughed by the Yankees on Sunday.
Thankfully Brandon Morrow seems to have figured it out. Whether it was his delayed start to the season due to a DL visit or second year Toronto jitters, Morrow has struggled for most of this season. After being lit up by the Red Sox on June 11th, Brandon sat at 2-4 with a 5.63 ERA. With the sudden emergence of Brandon League as a (gulp) top shelf closer in Seattle, whispers were developing that maybe we didn’t win the Brandon for Brandon swap after all.
Well, Morrow must have heard them because he has certainly turned things around. Since that day in Boston he has been outstanding: 4-0, 2.68 ERA, 0.94 WHIP. 9.82 K/9, and 6.7 IP/Start. In
that time he has lowered his season ERA from 5.63 to 4.37, and more importantly given the Jays a reliable turn in the rotation.
Once Romero gets back on track, Toronto suddenly has one of the best 1-2 punches in the division.