May 20, 2022

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CLEVELAND. The day will come – most likely quickly – when Theoscar Hernandez will return to the Blue Jays, backing up his crew’s attacking assault.

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Whereas the Jays have performed fairly properly with no damage of their striker’s 20 video games, the success doubtless will not be sustainable as a result of latest lackluster plate play.

It definitely wasn’t Thursday evening at Progressive Area, the place Vlad Guerrero Jr.’s residence run hit within the first inning. it wasn’t sufficient to fireside up the guests, who misplaced 6-5 within the first of 4 scheduled conferences with the Guardians.

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And Hernandez’s imminent return was made much more harrowing when the Jays ahead cleared a house run in Dunedin on Thursday, finishing his rehab task in Florida.

Whereas the Jays had been capable of make issues fascinating on a wet evening close to the shores of Lake Erie, they’re nonetheless ready for that high-flying breakthrough that’s speculated to outline them.

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There have been moments, most notably Guerrero’s double throw that sparked a quick flashback of his virtuoso efficiency right here on the 2019 Residence Run Derby.

There was Alejandro Kirk’s first homer of the season – a solo shot within the seventh and a two-out clutch from Zach Collins who hit a pair within the sixth.

However there was additionally the acquainted replay of the Jays hitters going solely 1-for-10 with runners in scoring place, an sickness that was a serious hindrance to a purportedly scoring assault. And with losses in three of their final 4, the Jays’ file has fallen to 16-11.

Supervisor Charlie Montoyo says the mileage hole will straighten itself out over time, and he is most likely proper. For now, although, the Jays proceed to search for new methods to get one-run victories, all of the whereas rising put on and tear on a closely used bullpen.

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“It is going to get to the purpose the place we begin doing this as a result of we’ve got a observe file of hits,” Montoyo mentioned after shedding on Thursday. “I am not upset. I am essentially the most spiritual.”

After all, even earlier than the rain had begun to fall on the introduced crowd of 9,104, Jace’s efforts had been compromised by the grim effort of starter Jose Berrios.

The precise-hander had bother attacking the strike zone as he solely lasted 4.2 innings, permitting eight hits and 6 earned runs. It was hardly the first-class effort anticipated from an Opening Day starter who failed to attain in his 82 paces (59 strikes).

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Montoyo mentioned the Jays are nonetheless hopeful that Hernandez will return to the crew earlier than the top of the weekend collection in Cleveland. So why not Thursday?

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The supervisor mentioned that Hernandez needed to make one other look in Florida, ostensibly as a way to play a full recreation on the sphere. He added a single to his homer in that competitors with Clearwater, which once more signifies he’s virtually able to return.

And right here is only a small snippet of how this can assist the offense on the whole, particularly within the case of the Hernandez impact on Guerrero.

From April 8 to April 14, when the 2 went 3-4 with the Jays, Guerrero hit .333 in 28 video games, hitting 4 homers. In 75 plate appearances (till Thursday) with Hernandez off the lineup, he hit simply .266 with two homers.

Earlier than Hernandez’s damage, Guerrero’s hitting share was .815, and after that, it was .406.

“He was certainly one of our greatest hitters and he protects Vladdy,” Montoyo mentioned. “When you do not need to do an excessive amount of, Vladdy, go forward and pitch to Theoscar.

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“He’s an enormous a part of our crew. We miss him and might’t look ahead to his return.”

Blue Jays starting pitcher Jose Berrios pitches during the first half against the Cleveland Guardians at Progressive Field.  KEN BLAZE/USA TODAY SPORTS
Blue Jays beginning pitcher Jose Berrios pitches throughout the first half in opposition to the Cleveland Guardians at Progressive Area. KEN BLAZE/USA TODAY SPORTS

BORDER DELAYS

What was to be one of many Jays’ shortest journeys of the season was something however the truth that they did not arrive at their downtown lodge till virtually 4am on Thursday.

Trigger? A caravan of buses carrying world-class athletes clogs the Canada-US border in Buffalo. The backlog included the Jays, Yankees and Tampa Bay Lightning, all of which flew out of Buffalo Worldwide Airport after Wednesday evening’s video games in Toronto.

That is nothing new as skilled groups have been utilizing this technique over the previous few weeks as a result of land border crossings don’t require proof of damaging COVID-19 exams to enter the US.

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THE GAME STARTED

Typical of the Jays’ runners in scoring positions was what occurred within the fifth spherical when Santiago Espinal’s brace was wasted as he failed to maneuver ahead to attain. Nevertheless, within the backside half, the Guardians confirmed the way it was performed, with three consecutive RBI hits with two outs… Beau Bichette’s type on the plate continues to warmth up. The Jays shortstop has scored in every of his three at-bats and has now recorded a success in every of his final six video games (11 of 23 in that stretch). “I knew this is able to occur,” Montoyo mentioned of Bish. “Good hitters will hit.” … Montoyo mentioned George Springer’s absence from the lineup was only a scheduled break day, however the Jays may use his bat for the remainder of the collection. In 4 video games in opposition to the Guardian final season, Springer hit .444 (8 of 19), hitting two doubles and hitting two residence runs. Springer did are available in as a striker on Thursday, putting to guide the ninth… Some questionable climate within the forecast for Friday’s competitors right here, a matchup that may see Kevin Gausman face Guardians Shane Bieber.

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