Blue Jays president Mark Shapiro weighed in on Toronto’s slow start prior to yesterday’s game. “It’s not a time you get external help,” Shapiro told Shi Davidi of Sportsnet. “Less than 10 games in, this is not the time to start looking at external help. There may be a time and a place when you start to think about that, but you’re not going to replace five hitters.
“We need to remember why we believe in these guys, remember their track records, recognize that they are extremely competitive and that they are high-character guys. They care, they’re working hard and continue to believe that it will turn, as much as it doesn’t feel like that at any given moment, that’s the cruelty of baseball. It’s not a game for weak players or weak people. It tests your toughness all the time."
You can read Shapiro’s full comments to Davidi here.
Jackie Robinson day was a success for the Blue Jays, as they defeated the Orioles 2-1 on a walk-off Kendrys Morales home run. The game, tied at 0-0 going into the seventh inning, was Toronto’s first victory since April 6th, when the beat the Tampa Bay Rays 5-2. Marco Estrada, with Jarrod Saltalamacchia starting behind the plate, looked especially strong, giving up four hits and three walks over seven innings pitched. He struck out eight.
Even with the victory, the offense remains ambiguous in a way that wasn’t solved yesterday. Although Morales provided the timely hitting that Toronto needed to win the ballgame, the lack of scoring and capitalization on earlier chances nearly lead to a Blue Jay loss.
The Blue Jays will conclude their series with the Orioles this afternoon at 1:07 ET. J.A. Happ and Dylan Bundy will pitch for their respective teams. Happ has struck out 17 batters without a walk in 2017, but has given up two home runs in both of his outings to date. You can watch the game on SNET-1 and listen to it on SN590.
Yesterday was Jackie Robinson day, which is one of my favourite occasions in professional baseball. On the 70th anniversary of Robinson breaking the major league colour barrier, the Dodgers unveiled a new Robinson statue, which looks pretty great.
Blue Jays bench coach DeMarlo Hale told Keegan Matheson of MLB.com his opinions on the development of Jackie Robinson day. “There became an open dialogue about the different cultures and relationships. Here we are now, years and years later, I can truly say that it is better. There is a relationship that two people can talk with different backgrounds or different cultures and respect each other. I think that impact is so much stronger.
"I'll say this. It went from recognizing him and his accomplishments - and you have a day where everybody's wearing '42' - to this younger generation understanding more of the impact he made. Not only in baseball but in society. You start to have conversations with them and you hear a change in their conversation."
- Jim Bowden of ESPN has confidence in the Blue Jays. He tweeted yesterday that Toronto, Seattle and St. Louis fans should “stop it,” citing his success with the 1995 Reds as proof. “In ‘95 when I was GM of [the Reds,] we started 1-8 and won the division by nine games... so [Blue Jays, Mariners and Cardinals] fans stop it you play 162.”
- My previous affection of Ryan Tepera solely based on his Twitter presence has been increased even more by this.
- This revolutionary take on Ezequiel Carrera’s short comings in the field will make you rethink baseball. Seriously.