The 2021 Blue Jays season continued with the three-game series versus the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. The Blue Jays entered the series with an 8-10 record and continue to battle the injury bug which has bit them since the season began. The Blue Jays had three left-handed starting pitchers on the mound to face off against Tampa Bay.
2021 Blue Jays: Game One, Matz Remains Perfect
The Blue Jays entered game one with Steven Matz on the mound as he looked to remain unbeaten for the 2021 season, he has been outstanding since the season began and he did not disappoint in game one of the three-game series. Steven Matz was dueling with Tampa Bay Rays ace Tyler Glasnow who was also unbeaten so far in 2021.
Steven Matz was reliable once again, he pitched five innings giving up one home run and three earned runs, however, he struck out seven batters and allowed the Blue Jays the opportunity to put up runs and that’s exactly what they did. Toronto hit the first home run that Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Tyler Glasnow had given up in 2021, he entered the series with a 0.75 ERA. Toronto would score five runs on Tyler Glasnow and held on to take game one by a score of 5-3 and had a chance to take the series in game two.
Game Two, Homeruns and Errors
The 2021 Blue Jays have struggled with errors regularly to begin the season and in game two of the series that was evident once again. Robbie Ray was on the mound for the Toronto Blue Jays and he looked good early in the game, giving up one run in the first five innings out of six that he pitched.
The Blue Jays would score three runs in the first inning giving them a 3-1 lead through the first five innings. Robbie Ray would give up a home run in the sixth inning and the Tampa Bay Rays would tie the game up at 3-3. Robbie Ray had nine strikeouts in his six innings of work against the Rays taking a no-decision with him as he exited the game.
The Blue Jays would rely on the bullpen heading into the seventh inning as relief pitcher Anthony Castro entered the game and pitched a scoreless seventh inning before giving way to Jordan Romano, returning from the injured list. Unfortunately, Jordan Romano did not fare as well as the coaching staff was hoping for, he gave up two runs in the eighth inning, one earned run and one he inherited.
The Blue Jays could not muster up any more offense to contend with the Tampa Bay Rays and ultimately drop the second game to the Tampa Bay Rays, by a score of 5-3. The Blue Jays would look to take the series in the Sunday afternoon series finale as they look to ace Hyun-Jin Ryu on the mound.
Game Three, Hyun-Jin Ryu Looking for Redemption
Hyn-Jin Ryu was looking for some redemption coming off his worse outing of the 2021 MLB season and also looking for revenge against the Tampa Bay Rays, the last time he faced Tampa Bay was in the final game of the 2020 MLB playoffs for the Blue Jays.
2021 Blue Jays ace was on point and sitting batters down one by one, pitching three scoreless innings while striking out 5 Tampa Bay Rays hitters. Unfortunately, for the Blue Jays after two batters in the fourth inning, Hyun-Jin Ryu called for the trainers and was taken out of the game, with a Right Glute Strain. This put the pressure on the Blue Jays bullpen once again as there were only two outs in the fourth inning and the game tied 0-0.
Pitching by the committee once again as Tim Mayza entered the ball game for Toronto, Mayza has pitched in nine games this season, racking up seven strikeouts over six innings of work, he holds a 0.00 ERA heading into the game. Tim Mayza would keep the earned run average perfect, he gave up two hits but was able to get out of it making way for right-handed pitcher Tyler Chatwood. The Blue Jays right-handed reliever would get Toronto out of the fifth inning recording the final two outs and would hand the ball off to reliever Ryan Borucki with a 1-0 lead.
Ryan Borucki enters the game with a 2-1 record this season and a 2.45 ERA in eight games in 2021. The Blue Jays right-hander would inherit the 1-0 lead courtesy of an RBI single from the third baseman Santiago Espinal which scored Marcus Semien. Ryan Borucki would continue to work into the seventh inning before being removed for right-hander David Phelps.
David Phelps would enter with two outs in the seventh inning and would walk the first Tampa Bay Rays batter after hitting him with a pitch in his right arm. David Phelps would strike out the second batter he faced to get Toronto out of the inning into the final two with a slim 1-0 lead.
Rafael Dolis would take over working into the ninth inning still up by one run and he would get the job done holding on to the one-run lead and earning the Blue Jays the victory and the series win over the Tampa Bay Rays. This was the first 1-0 win for the Blue Jays since 2019, pulling Toronto to a record of 10-11 in 2021.
2021 Blue Jays: Hosting the Nationals in Dunedin
The Toronto Blue Jays will have the Washington Nationals in Dunedin for a two-game series at TD Bank Park. The 2021 Blue Jays injury circus continues as left-handed pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu pulled himself out of the series finale in Tampa Bay after 3 2/3 innings. Coming off an off-day following that series the Blue Jays will look to the bullpen committee in game one versus the Nationals.
The Blue Jays will have a committee on the mound in game one, giving two or three innings to multiple pitchers allowing their starters a chance to have an extra day of rest. The Blue Jays will face the always tough Max Scherzer and the Washington Nationals in the first of two games of the series. Max Scherzer has a 1-1 record this season with a 1.80 ERA and 33 strikeouts. The first pitch of game one is scheduled for 7:07 PM Eastern Time on Tuesday, April 27th, 2021
Game two against the Washington Nationals will have 4-0, Steven Matz, on the mound for Toronto. The left-handed pitcher has been outstanding for the Blue Jays to begin the 2021 season, currently unbeaten, and holds a 2.31 ERA and 25 strikeouts. He will battle Washington Nationals right-handed pitcher Erick Fedde who is 1-2 this season with a 5.51 ERA in 2021. The first pitch of game two is scheduled for Wednesday, April 28th at 7:07 PM Eastern Time.
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