A series to raise your blood pressure north of the border.
1) You checked the Jays record on Friday afternoon, their batting averages, their home run totals, their pitchers ERA’s knowing Max is pitching one of the games and you figure 2 out of 3 easy. The Nats got swept, and this weekend is now history.
2) There was some good news from the weekend. Anthony Rendon is rounding into shape. Good at-bats and solid contact almost every time out. Really promising for the rest of the season.
3) Also, Adam Eaton and Daniel Murphy are getting better plate appearances every passing day and the better news is that they are both moving reasonably well. I think Murphy makes his debut at 2nd base this week unless Adams has to go to the DL.
4) The catching position remains a deep dark black hole offensively. I think at this point Spencer Kieboom looks better at the plate than Pedro Severino.
5) Juan Soto had his 1st setback this weekend as the Jays pitchers threw him a diet of changeups on Saturday. On the bright side, today he made adjustments as he managed to serve a solid oppo single off a Tyler Clippard changeup. It was good to see him adjust to the adjustments.
6) Michael Taylor is having some excellent at-bats time after time recently where he is swinging for singles, and he has stopped flailing at bad pitches (except his last at-bat today). He is a complete menace on the base paths.
7) A nice game from Brian Goodwin. He had 2 clutch hits with RISP, and he played some solid defense.
8) Tanner Roark and Gio Gonzalez are a real cause for concern. At a time when Stephen Strasburg and Jeremy Hellickson are hurt they have both laid eggs in several games in a row. This is particularly troublesome when we need Max Scherzer to be perfect every time out.
“I stunk today,” Roark said. “Didn’t really have much working for me.”
You said it Tanner, and we are not going to disagree with you.
9) The bullpen which has looked so good lately was shaky in Toronto including the formally untouchable Justin Miller. For a while now, Ryan Madson has become a major cause for concern with multiple hard hit balls in most games against him.
10) The Shawn Kelley horror show needs to end. There were semi valid reasons to keep him when we had Enny Romero and Trevor Gott but now he is clearly the worst of the bunch and he should never be allowed to pitch in a game hanging in the balance. Time to swallow the remaining $3 mil or so and move on.
11) Bryce Harper remains the 64 ton Gorilla in the room. I don’t think anyone knows what’s going on with him although the national media will spin some tales. He is taking pitches that need to be crushed, and he is swinging through 90 MPH fast balls right down the middle and the only hard contact he makes is when he hits the ball into the shift. We have been seeing this every day, and it’s a stunning development.
The Nats are stuck between a rock and a hard place with Bryce Harper as they keep penciling him into the heart of the lineup ever day hoping some light bulb comes on. I don’t know if I believe this will happen anymore and not likely any time soon. I wish Bryce had a go to person he could spend time with away from the games to figure this out.