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Every Monday during the 2018 season, 500 Level Fan will take a look back at the week that was, giving readers a snapshot of all things Blue Jays, including three top stories and the Blue Jay player of the week.
This is what happened in week 12.
What a weekend in Toronto! The Jays celebrated Father’s Day in style with a riveting 8-6 victory over Washington to cap off a series sweep of the Nationals. The Nats came to Toronto just a half game back of first in the NL East, with Bryce Harper sitting in the top-5 of baseball in HR, and with dominant ace Max Scherzer scheduled to pitch the Saturday game, so anybody who predicted a Blue Jay sweep is most definitely a liar. But behind great pitching and timely hitting, sweep is what they did, easily one of the most unexpected results of the season. Toronto has now won seven straight games at home, and while they’re still miles behind a playoff spot, at least they are sending fans home happy.
- Sweep 🙁
It’s only worth talking about because of how ridiculous it is. Once again the Toronto Blue Jays paid a visit to Tampa Bay to face the Rays, and once again they were thoroughly pounded. The Jays scored a mere 5 runs and were swept in three straight games. Worse was the fact that the Rays shut the Jays down without using a true starting pitcher, instead using a parade of relievers in all three games. Just in case you needed a reminder: the Jays can’t win in Tampa Bay. The sweep dropped their record in TB to 1-5 in 2018 and a woeful 73-109 in franchise history.
- June Resurgence
After an absolutely miserable 9-19 month of May, the Blue Jays have actually been playing fairly well in June, with a record of 8-7. The driving force behind the strong month can be traced back to three players who were putting up some of the worst numbers in baseball early in the season but who have turned things around in a big way. Randal Grichuk entered June with a .106 / .208 / .227 / .435 slash line, and Devon Travis‘ .188 / .242 / .329 / .571 wasn’t much better. But both are resembling the players that Toronto thought they were this month. Grichuk had another big week last week and his now hitting .326 with a 1.097 OPS , 5 HR, and 13 RBI in June. Travis, who hit a huge HR off Scherzer on Saturday, is up to .351 for the month with a .941 OPS. Not to be forgotten is Marco Estrada, who finished May with a 5.98 ERA, but has allowed only 3 ER in 18.2 June innings while striking out 19 hitters and allowing only 3 walks. Now if only these guys could rub off on Russell Martin.
Player of the Week
Devon Travis, 2B
8-for-16, 1 BB, 1 2B. 2 HR, 4 R, 5 RBI, .500 / .500 / .938 / 1.438
Down on the Farm
A look at how the minor league affiliates are doing
Reminder: Better Days Are Ahead
Stats as at June 17 (AA New Hampshire Fisher Cats)
The Look Ahead
June 19 – 20 vs. Atlanta Braves
June 21 – 24 at Los Angeles Angels