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.

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. 

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.

Rotation Rebound

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. 

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. 

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. 

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.

Clickety-Clicks

  • 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.
Thanks for reading I hope you enjoyed it! Check out more of my articles here and other Belly Up content here. Follow me on Twitter here.
About Author

Graeme Wallace

My name is Graeme Wallace and I love Blue Jays baseball! I grew up with the World Series Championship teams in '92 and '93. There were some lean years in between but some good ones too, all leading up to Jose Bautista's epic bat flip in 2015. I'm so excited to be on the Blue Jays beat for Belly Up Sports!

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