After some speculation, Alek Manoah made his major league debut this week. His call-up was seemingly equal parts a warranted promotion and also a necessary personnel move. The team had already exhausted its starting pitching resources.
Some believe that Manoah should continue his development in the minors. He had been dominant but his overall lack of minor league experience gave some pause.
So it was that the big right-hander would make his MLB debut against the Yankees in the Bronx.
Alek Manoah, 96mph Fastball and 84mph Slider, Overlay with Tails. 😯 pic.twitter.com/Fwu4kXn15M— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) May 27, 2021
The extra time didn’t faze Manoah at all. He was masterful, pitching six innings, allowing zero runs and only two hits and a pair of walks.
It didn’t take long for Sportsnet cameras to find Manoah’s family in the stands. The emotion, excitement, and energy of those closest to him added to the game’s intrigue and clearly fueled young Alek.
Alek Manoah’s mom was crying as he faced his first MLB hitter and she was PUMPED after he recorded his first strikeout pic.twitter.com/tVUGGxiLj0— Jomboy Media (@JomboyMedia) May 27, 2021
Solo home runs by Marcus Semien and Bo Bichette were all the offense needed in a 2-0 win. Manoah earned the win and his addition to the rotation could go a long towards solidifying a shaky back end.
The bullpen meltdown that started last week carried into Monday but there were bright spots. Trent Thornton opened that game and it was a rough start. He was unable to get close calls and walked in a run, then gave up a grand slam.
Ross Stripling came in next and looked better than he ever has in a Jays uniform. Showing off an adjustment in his delivery, Stripling was fabulous over seven scoreless innings.
The Blue Jays’ bullpen has been pushed to its limits because of MLB’s relentless schedule and injuries to their rotation. @ArdenZwelling explains how multiple doubleheaders and Ross Stripling’s resurgence offered the bullpen a much-needed reprieve. https://t.co/kWE8gDttQA— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) May 30, 2021
Steven Matz looked more like the pitcher he was in his first four starts. He was almost perfect through 6 frames and ended up going 6.2 innings, giving up one run and striking out ten. He joined Dave Stieb (1989) and Chris Carpenter (2001) as the only Blue Jays pitchers to record ten strikeouts with zero walks against the Yankees.
“It’s fun being back here”— SNY (@SNYtv) May 26, 2021
Steven Matz talked about returning to New York and pitching at Yankee Stadium today for the Blue Jays
His outing: W, 6.2 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 10 K pic.twitter.com/a85IoadBzD
Hyun-Jin Ryu is the ace and while he didn’t have his best stuff Friday night, he didn’t have to. The 11-run outburst allowed the veteran lefty to comfortably rebound from a 32-pitch first inning.
Rain Rain, Go Away!
After Wednesday’s game was postponed, Saturday’s matinee in Cleveland was also rained out. The latter resulted in a doubleheader being played on Sunday. The Jays took the first game behind another encouraging start by Stripling.
On the left: Ross Stripling’s start on May 19 vs BOS (he got shelled)— Chris Black (@DownToBlack) May 30, 2021
On the right: His last appearance (7 scoreless IP)
A bit more of a delivery…
But also, hands tucked closer to his body for majority of delivery, which hides the ball, especially when hands separate. pic.twitter.com/XA9FZZQ6YJ
They seemed to have the second game in the bag as well. Their bullpen is letting the team down. After briefly retaking the lead, the Blue Jays blew it in the bottom of the seventh. The bullpen surrendered four consecutive walks before Jose Ramirez won it with a sacrifice fly.
- Seems as though I’m not the only one who thinks the Jays could be targeting Max Scherzer.
- Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is now the MLB’s co-leader in home runs.
- The Jays STA (starter’s trending average) for the week was -2.08 and their starters’ ERA is now 4.21, 8th in the AL
- Orelvis Martinez, likely the best Blue Jays prospect you don’t know about, is mashing in his first full season of A-ball.