Mets mash as Blue Jays blown out in worst loss of season

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BUFFALO — The Blue Jays can see the playoffs now, with just 16 regular-season games remaining and in solid position to finish well within the top eight teams of the American League.

They could feel it a little on Friday night as well as there was a definite chill in the air at Sahlen Field, a reminder that October isn’t far off.

With three pitchers unable to find the strike zone early on, the Jays were destroyed 18-1 by the New York Mets for easily their worst loss of the season.

The Mets barrage included a 10-run fourth inning in which they sent 14 batters to the plate, taking advantage of their one-time prospect, Anthony Kay. Following a 7-2 loss to the Yankees on Wednesday, the Jays won’t want to let this fester much longer.

With the Yankees sweeping both halves of a doubleheader against the Orioles on Friday, the Jays are now just a half-game ahead of the Bronx Bombers for second in the AL East. On top of that, once they are done with the Mets on Sunday, 11 of the Jays’ remaining 14 games are against teams currently in a playoff spot.

A pair of ugly losses will be easy enough to put aside, but the team is going to need more consistently reliable starting pitching and creative offence, given the team’s three best hitters are still on the IL.

“We’ve asked a lot of this young team and this developing team and they’ve been exceptionally resilient,” Jays general manager Ross Atkins said on a Friday Zoom call.  “They’ve answered every challenge. They haven’t made excuses. They continue to focus on one another and winning.

“Often times that takes a lot of pressure off of individual performances. It makes it a lot more fun when guys are focused on the collective.”

It’s possible that the fun is just beginning, a prospect that excites Atkins as his team makes as run for its first post-season berth since 2016. They still have a comfortable hold on a playoff spot, but will now get the added experience of securing it through a couple weeks of meaningful September baseball.

This team has tasted plenty of adversity already this season, of course, a factor that could help them in the final strides of the 60-game season. From getting turfed from Toronto, to having its three hottest hitters on the injury list, the Jays have achieved plenty.

A pair of ugly losses will be easy enough to put aside, but the team is going to need more consistently reliable starting pitching and creative offence, given the team’s three best hitters are still on the IL. In their past three games, they’ve scored just five runs.

“We’ve asked a lot of this young team and this developing team and they’ve been exceptionally resilient,” Jays general manager Ross Atkins said on a Friday Zoom call. “They’ve answered every challenge. They haven’t made excuses. They continue to focus on one another and winning.

“Often times that takes a lot of pressure off of individual performances. It makes it a lot more fun when guys are focused on the collective.”

It’s possible that the fun is just beginning, a prospect that excites Atkins as his team makes as run for its first post-season berth since 2016. They still have a comfortable hold on a playoff spot, but will now get the added experience of securing it through a couple weeks of meaningful September baseball.

“We don’t have an easy road ahead of us. We’ve got a tough schedule ahead of us,” Atkins said. “I’m very excited about it. Very much looking forward to each inning and each out that comes with that.

“But I’m looking forward to these guys facing that challenge and facing it together and seeing the resilience of them because they are going to have to have it down the stretch.”

The fourth inning was a disaster for the Jays. With the bases loaded, Danny Jansen made an error at home when he had the easy force-out. The next batter up — Dominic Smith — took a 3-0 pitch from Kay and destroyed it for a grand slam. … Bringing his tidy 1.69 ERA into town, two-time reigning Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom was pretty much as advertised for the Mets, though the Jays managed to ding him for his only first-inning run of the season … After that, deGrom was dealing, however, with a handful of fastballs in the 100 mile per hour range. He allowed just three hits and struck out nine …. It was another rough outing for Jays starter Chase Anderson, who lasted just 2.2 innings, threw 67 pitches (34 balls) and allowed four runs … How ugly was it? Shortstop Santiago Espinal pitched the ninth for the Jays as manager Charlie Montoyo opted to rest his bullpen. “Our pitching’s been good. Not today,” Montoyo said afterwards. “You just have to let that stuff go.” … The 17-run differential made it the fifth worst loss in Jays history and the 10-run fourth was the first time the Jays allowed double-digit runs in an inning since July 3, 2010.

Though he wasn’t willing to declare Rowdy Tellez done for the season with a knee strain, Atkins did acknowledge that the injury sustained earlier this week was to a tendon.

“There’s no real update,” Atkins said. “We’re still taking things a day at a time and see how he is recovering and remain hopeful he can recover as quickly as possible.”

* Bo Bichette is getting closer to a return and, after playing seven innings at the team’s alternate training site in Rochester on Friday, was in the dugout here during the game. Bichette will be evaluated on Saturday before the next move will be decided.

“We’ll be working with him on the next steps, what’s best for him, what’s best for his recovery an what’s best for the major league team,” Atkins said.

* Teoscar Hernadez, who is in the injury list with what Atkins called a mild oblique injury on Saturday in Boston, was on the field before the game but is not participating in baseball activities yet. The GM said that Hernandez will start “rotational work” soon. If the right fielder responds to that work, it opens the door for a return for at least a handful of games.

* Closer Ken Giles, who has missed 40 games with a forearm strain, was activated prior to the game and pitched the eighth. It was a welcome sight, of course, as it gives the veteran plenty of time to ramp up.

While getting the work was the most important thing, the first pitch Giles threw was lit up, allowing a Wilson Ramos homer to deep centre field and later a single.

To the delight of his cult following the catching pride of Mexico, Alejandro Kirk was activated prior to the game. Looks like he will make his big-big-league debut on Saturday catching Robbie Ray. “We think Kirk can give us (offence),” Montoyo said. “That’s the big reason he got activated.” … Montoyo said that ace Hyun-Jin Ryu will pitch the series finale on Sunday.

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SOURCE: https://www.w24news.com/news/mets-mash-as-blue-jays-blown-out-in-worst-loss-of-season/?remotepost=267258

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