Grand Slam Review: Toronto Blue Jays vs. Texas Rangers (June 28, 2015) and Other Highlights

Three strikes and you’re out: That was the feeling I received after watching the last batter whiff at a pitcher’s, um, pitch in ninth inning of the Jays Rangers game yesterday. Here, I will review the game in three stages through the viewpoint of a pitcher: the starting pitcher, the setup men, and the reliever/closer. Also, I’ll be telling you some other highlights throughout the jam-packed day I had.

The starting pitcher for the Jays was Drew Hutchison, the ace of the Jays. His stellar 7-1 win-loss (W-L) record coming into this game has been marred a bit by his earned runs average (ERA), but nonetheless, he was solid in this game, giving up four hits, three walks, an unearned run, and eight strikeouts for his fifth straight win. He also oversaw a 3-0 lead from the American League’s most dynamic offense. Most of the time, I was thoroughly impressed by his accuracy with his pitches, putting a Mark Buehrle-esque game with strikes in areas that pitchers would love to whiff at, but can’t because of the last-minute turns. If he keeps this up, we can definitely move past the horror that was the Ricky Romero era, especially towards his last years in the Jays leading up to his demotion in the minor leagues. Welcome to the Jays, folks!!

With the game now 3-0, Hutchison’s penchant for strikes and his overall presence began to dwindle, and so began the process of calling up on the bullpen to help maintain the lead. The first pitcher John Gibbons (our manager) calls up? Aaron Loup, who is far and away our worst setup man in the bullpen. How bad you ask? He didn’t even last the inning he was called up for, and gave up two runs which made Texas down one. But more than that, however, is that because he didn’t pitch a full inning, there is a chance he’ll be pitching in the next series against the woeful Red Sox. Take that in, Jays fans. We’re gonna get used to the Ricky Romero in the bullpen for at least another game. Fortunately, we got a good performance from Steve Delabar, who you might remember pitched an immaculate inning (nine pitches, three strikeouts) a couple of years ago. Despite a couple of duds on his part that game, Anthopoulos really found a diamond in the rough with him, and I’m really looking forward to his progression as a future lead setup man.

The unequivocal star in yesterday’s game was Roberto Osuna, our closer/reliever. He really showed his worth to the team, getting out power hitters like Mitch Moreland and Shin-soo Choo out on strikeouts, with the former out leading to his second save and a Blue Jays win. Much like Delabar, I’m really looking forward to seeing his progress as the lead closer, a role currently occupied by a down-year Brett Cecil.

*takes a deep breath.* Okay, so on to the highlights of my day. Upon getting into Rogers Centre and getting our panel hats (because nothing smells giveaway day more than a panel hat day), I was very fortunate to get signatures from Jamie Campbell, the lead sports anchor on Rogers Sportsnet’s “Blue Jays Central” and Gregg Zaun, a former Blue Jay who plied his trade as a catcher. After the game, a couple of my friends decided to go eat somewhere, with our first stop being at a Casey’s at Simcoe and University. After learning how packed it was, we walked for a bit and stopped at John and Adelaide; yes guys, I ended up going to a Hooters for the first time. My thoughts? Boobs, and lots of them. No but seriously though, the food wasn’t too bad, and it wasn’t poorly priced given that it was downtown. 10/10 would go again, and not for the reason you’re thinking 😉

Until next time folks,
Kelvin P

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