TORONTO – In an iconic position, the Toronto Blue Jays are built as an offensive ball club, primarily with a deep lineup. That’s why the way they picked up two-thirds of the New York Yankees in the opening series of the season at the Bronx is just as important as the wins.
“We didn’t score much, we won two games,” Shortstop Bo Pichet said of the series with a combined score of 9-8. “Everyone knows we can hit. Defensive and defensive play is great in games like that. We did a good job.”
The offense will come just as it did in Monday’s 6-2 win over the Texas Rangers, highlighted by a return home from Marcus Semion and Cavan Piccio in the decisive second inning. But it’s Blue Jays ’pitch and defense that will ultimately determine the club’s fate this season, which is why Steven Mats’ debut was so significant.
The left-hander was allowed two hits and a walk when he hit nine Rangers over 6.1 innings in front of a capable crowd on the Globe Life Field, where 38,238 tickets were sold to the home opener as Texas canceled the Cowd-19.
The Mets made rivers in his 15 swinging strikes with a crack of 95.3 mph on average, and one shift led to five more sweeps, countering the batters from balance throughout the afternoon. With 11 Carvelballs and eight sliders to spare, the Rangers had no chance of clearing pitches, especially how he filled the zone.
“I told our team in spring training that if we were going to win games in the American League East, we were going to go deeper or something, or if it was a good year, it would be the pitch and the defense,” said manager Charlie Montoyo. “Everyone talks about our offense, right. But the pitch and defense win games in the major leagues. That’s what we’ve done in the first four games, and it’s great to watch.”
From a bad 2020 season, the New York Mets pushed him to the Blue Jazz for three list-edge weapons, with Mats trying to regain his past form. With the way Robbie Ray played before the injury, the 29-year-old’s victory in the Grapefruit League was an important development for a team looking for stability to its rotation.
Monday’s release marks a turning point in his career, and with some verification that spring performance will translate into the regular season.
“Yeah, of course,” Mats said of the positive reinforcement from the exit. “Now the season is going on, obviously with a lot of fans, you’re got extra adrenaline – it’s really calculated. So it’s really good, another good trip to build, going to keep trying every time. It’s definitely good to get the first one.”
Blue Zeus gave him an immediate margin of error, with Vladimir Guerrero Jr. delivering an RBI single for the first time, while Semyon finished second on a Randall Christian walk with his second Homer, following Piccio’s first home of the season.
After Nate Lowe had a base win in the lone Texas run against the Mets, Deescar Hernandez smashed in fourth place when Blue Zeus could not handle another run in Christchurch’s RBI single in fifth and third paceman Charlie Culbersen in sixth.
As the Blue Zeus went from 3 to 11, there were plenty of opportunities with runners in the race. Towards the return of George Springer – who is due to do some live batting practice on Tuesday – the line-up will deepen quickly and they will do more damage as the hitters shorten their time.
“Our queue will show you how you can win in so many ways,” Piccio said. “When some guys get in trouble, our lineup is so deep, we can hurt you with others. In New York, the first three guys, I didn’t really have a great first game with Cem and Po, but it’s really taken over in the middle of the line. That’s what makes this team so special. Every night, I think there’s pressure on each other not to do it, whether it’s win-or-lose. Overall, that line is very deep. It’s a lot of fun to play and brings a ton of energy. “
Combine the Mats provided and the Blue Jazz genres with the days they receive, and then enjoy low-capacity games.
Although Montoyo warmed up to Jordan Romano slightly behind Tim Meiza in eighth and Rafael Dolis in ninth, he was able to give his relievers a low pressure day and keep his foreign weapons – Julian Merweather added – available on Tuesday.
Merryweather saved two wins in New York in electric style, and how he is used is increasingly an intriguing question. Blue Zeus had ideas about stretching him during spring training and then using him as a multi-inning option, but there should definitely be a case for allowing things to go out for one inning at a time.
“Our goal is to keep him healthy even if we do,” Montoyo said. “If he needs to pick up an inning at a time, we’ll do it. Of course, he’s very good on an inning trips.” We have a chance to do that, but we’ll see. It’s about communicating with him and seeing how healthy he is, and we’re going from there. “
Notes: A bad tip caught Danny Johnson at a break between paddles directly on his right knee, and he finished the sixth inning, leaving the game in seventh. “To get Danny Johnson out of the game, it has to hurt,” Charlie Montoyo said. “We’ve done all the testing, and it has to be day to day. He’s performing better than we took him out of.” It’s always scary when it’s happening, because you know how weak the hands are, “Montoyo said.” He’s good, he’s good to go. ” Mostly without masks – a familiar but sharp look at the restrictions given to meetings over the past 13 months. According to Steven Mats, the whole house is about the normal size of the neighborhood. It was cold. Once you enter the yard, you compete against the hitter and you forget everything. But it was definitely cool, that extra little adrenaline warmed up and landed in the game. It was fun. It was great to have fans on the stand. “