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The Blue Jays have had an awful start to the year, and blew one of their best chances to erase it last week when they dropped series to a pair of division rivals. This week presented a chance to undo at least a little of that, as Toronto was facing the also-struggling Cardinals in a three-game set. The Jays took game one, 6-5, and then had the second matchup rained out, setting up a doubleheader for Thursday. That doubleheader managed to right the Cardinals' metaphorical ship while further sinking that of Toronto.
The Jays lost both games of the doubleheader to St. Louis, but how they lost is what stands out. Toronto was up 4-0 heading into the bottom of the seventh, as Mat Latos somehow got through six frames unscathed. The bullpen would then give up a run in the seventh, one in the eighth, and then a two-run homer to Randal Grichuk to send the game into extras in the ninth, though, and the Cardinals made the most of it with a Matt Carpenter grand slam to win the game in the 11th. Toronto used six relievers in the first game of a doubleheader, and only one of them managed a scoreless outing.
The second victory of the day was a bit more traditional: the Cards scored six runs in their first four innings, and the Jays could only scratch out four before Trevor Rosenthal closed the game out. That win put St. Louis at .500, 1.5 games back of the Cubs in the NL Central, and the pair of losses pushed the Jays nine games back in the AL East already. Toronto has to play .600 ball from here on out just to get to 90 wins, and while it's not impossible, they're also a team currently blowing gift performances from the 2017 version of Mat Latos.
Basically, that second loss to the Cardinals has some metaphorical meaning for how their season might go: the Jays started out terribly, then put up a good fight to nearly salvage it all, but it was too little, too late.
- It sure seems like whatever was bothering Bryce Harper in 2016 is in the distant past, as he hit his eighth homer of the year on Thursday, and is now batting .418/.535/.823 while leading the NL in runs, hits, walks, RBI, average, on-base percentage, and intentional walks.
- Cody Bellinger doesn't seem like he's going to take after his baseball-playing father, Clay Bellinger, and Grant Brisbee explained how it's to the point where Cody might break the father-son molds we're used to.
- The Brewers have reportedly had discussions with the Giants about a Ryan Braun trade, which is fascinating if for no other reason than Milwauklee has a better record than San Francisco.
- The Orioles announced t-shirt giveaways, and the t-shirt designs are, uh, they are definitely shirts.
- Tim Tebow is starting to look like a legitimate baseball player. Is he any good? It's too early to tell! But he at least looks like he belongs at his level.
- Yes, Chiefs' draft pick Patrick Mahomes is the son of fomer MLB pitcher Pat Mahomes.
- NHL star P.K. Subban got props from the Blue Jays during one of the games on Thursday.
- What will happen to baseball statistics as X approaches zero? Patrick Dubuque is on the case.
- Masahiro Tanaka threw a Maddux against the Red Sox yesterday.