The biggest slate of the Toronto Blue Jays series of the year so far begins Monday in Baltimore against the Orioles.
All two or three of you who saw this coming at the beginning of the year, raise your hands.
It would have been absurd to suggest that the Blue Jays, chosen by many to win the American Eastern League, and the Orioles, chosen by nearly everyone to finish at the bottom of the division, would fight for a watershed point at this point in the league. season.
However, here we are, on Labor Day, with the Blue Jays just 2.5 games ahead of the surprising Orioles in third and final place in the MLS wild card race.
As if that wasn’t enough drama, we’ve got a traditional double header to get things going after last month’s rain at Camden Yards – making this a four-game series.
Here is a look at the match.
Monday, 1:05 PM ET / 10:05 AM PT: Toronto RHB Kevin Gusman (10-9, 3.14 PM) vs Baltimore RHB Mike Bowman (10-9, 4.25 ERA)
Monday, game two after opening game close: Toronto RHB Jose Berrios (9-5, 5.32 ERA) vs. Baltimore RHB Jordan Lyles (1-2, 4.50 ERA)
Tuesday, 7:05 PM EDT / 4:05 PM PT: Toronto RHB Mitch White (1-5, 4.67 ERA) vs Baltimore RHB Kyle Pradesh (3-5, 5.17 ERA)
Wednesday, 7:05 p.m. ET / 4:05 p.m. Baltimore RHB Dean Kramer (6-4, 3.22 p.m.)
(All games on Sportsnet)
The latest on Blue Jays
After a disappointing 2-4 break, the Blue Jays (73-59) came out with a humble Pittsburgh Pirates sweep.
All three games were close until the final stages, but Toronto won each time to improve to a top 14 game of the season .500.
Tioscar Hernandez’s song in the seventh game broke the tie 3-3 on Sunday and the difference in victory was 4-3
Jordan Romano allowed the first two Buccaneers to make it to base in the ninth and the racers took second and third with no exit, but the closer they got then they hit the side to make his 30th block.
The Blue Jays went on Saturday to put Gussman, the former Oriole, and Berreus into a double header on Monday.
The latest on the Orioles
The Orioles’ five-game winning streak ended with a 5-0 loss to bottom line Oakland A on Sunday in Baltimore.
It was a minor setback, but the reconstruction of the Oriole (71-62) is still early on schedule.
Baltimore has been aged 36-18 since July 3, allowing the Orioles to run into the playoff despite shipping some key talent into the trade deadline.
The Orioles are the first team in AL/NL history to win over 70 games after completing the past three seasons complete with over 100 losses.
The Orioles haven’t played in the playoffs since 2016 when Toronto’s Edwin Encarnacion hit the first leg in the eleventh inning against Baltimore in a wild card game at Rogers Center.
The Blue Jays have won only three of their nine matches so far against the Orioles. The two teams are still out 10 games against each other this season, including the last three games of the season in Baltimore.
Toronto lost both games in Baltimore last month, including heartbroken when lone player Rugend hit the smell. Advance Homer In eighth place to win 6-5.
The smell, of course, is regularly booed by Toronto fans for a lollipop punch on Jose Bautista when he played for the Texas Rangers in 2016.
A week after dropping two in Baltimore, the Blue Jays lost two of three against the Orioles at the Rogers Center, avoiding a sweep with gem Ross Streabling (one hit, no runs in 6.1 innings) and seven six runs at the end of the series.
Stripling is the only Toronto starter that hasn’t started in the series.
be aware of…
Orioles first baseman Ryan Mountcastle, who has celebrated on the Blue Jays his entire career.
Mountcastle hits 0.351 (in 37 at-bats) with five Homers and 12 RBIs against the Blue Jays this year. He has a 1.089 OPS against Toronto in his career.
words of wisdom
“Morale is still good. I mean, yeah, we played a bad game. That’s what it is. Going to Toronto, I think everybody’s still hungry. We see that wild spot, and we’re going to fight for it he-she.” – Orioles Spencer Watkins Right
go away rain
Rain is in the forecast for the first two days of the series.
With a double head already braided, the bleach would be less than ideal.
a year ago …
Last September, there was a strange sight at the Blue Jays-Orioles game in Baltimore.
Orioles manager Brandon Hyde was heard talking trash and then Blue Jays champ Robbie Ray early in Baltimore’s 6-3 win.
Ray was not impressed. “I wouldn’t waste my time on someone who doesn’t get into the box,” he said of Hyde’s engagement. “I don’t have time of day.”
Hyde apologized after the match “to all the fans out there, the Blue Jays, Robbie Ray, Charlie Montoyo.”
Ray is now the Seattle Mariner and Montoyo has been replaced by John Schneider, but Hyde still runs the Orioles.
After a day off on Thursday, the Blue Jays wrapped up a 10-game road swing with a three-game series against the Texas.
While the Rangers are 17 games under 0.500, one could argue that they are better than their own record as the running differential is -11 for this season.