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SportsRosie DiManno: Elvis Luciano the lone bright spot in Blue Jays’ second straight loss to Angels

17:37  02 may  2019
17:37  02 may  2019 Source:   thestar.com

Rosie DiManno: Leafs’ Rielly learns to roll with playoff joy ride, speed bumps and all

Rosie DiManno: Leafs’ Rielly learns to roll with playoff joy ride, speed bumps and all The crowd has quietened. The national anthems are being sung. At the bench, Morgan Rielly sways gently, blinking, as spotlights swing around the darkened arena. He’s thinking: “Play the best you can. Be solid. Help the team.” And: “You don’t want to be the guy who makes a mistake. You want to be a guy that the coaches put out there because they trust you, they rely on you. “You’re nervous. But it’s fun, really fun. You’ve worked all year to get to this point and now you’ve got an opportunity to play the most important hockey of your life. That’s what it feels like.” Game 1: Coach Mike Babcock leaned on his stalwart defenceman for 24 minutes and 34 seconds of ice time.

Opinion | Rosie DiManno : The Jays might want to bottle the new Marcus Stroman, and lock him up to a long-term deal. Pannone could get that spot start. Or Montoyo might opt for an opener — which is what the Angels did Wednesday, using Luke Bard for the first inning.

By Rosie DiMannoColumnist. The calendar has yet to turn on August and already 2017 hangs limply, a wasted season dribbling towards its conclusion for the always last-place Blue Jays , either all to And they would have liked what Liriano took to the hill, as the lefty retired 15 of the first 16 Angels he

Rosie DiManno: Elvis Luciano the lone bright spot in Blue Jays’ second straight loss to Angels© Chris Carlson Toronto Blue Jays starter Marcus Stroman leaves after giving up four runs to the Los Angeles Angels during the fourth inning.

ANAHEIM, Calif.—The bright side: Nineteen-year-old Elvis Luciano got Mike Trout, merely the best baseball player in the world, to pop out with the bases loaded. Couple of innings later, the teenager induced a ground ball out to end the frame by Albert Pujols.

Both are future hall of famers. Luciano was 13 months old when Pujols made his major league debut.

“I’m very happy with my performance tonight,’’ said Luciano, the strapping Dominican reliever and Rule 5 acquisition, first player born after the year 2000 to play at Angel Stadium.

Rosie DiManno: Leafs’ Morgan Rielly brings will to win, even in defeat

Rosie DiManno: Leafs’ Morgan Rielly brings will to win, even in defeat It was unexpected, disarming, the wry smile on Morgan Rielly’s mug as he assumed his post-game stance, up against the back wall, hemmed in by a crush of reporters and TV cameras and a spider’s nest of microphones. Because what was there to smile about, seriously, after Game 6 had washed away in what might have been the final game at Scotiabank Arena this season. But it was, I think, a pre-emptive paste-on smile-cum-snarl, taking a bit of the p--s out of whatever questions might be tossed in the wake of Toronto’s 4-2 loss to the Bruins in a Sunday matinee.

Now the Blue Jays have Luciano right where they want him. Luciano was among the first cuts from the Blue Jays ’ big-league camp, called in by manager Charles Montoyo and “He’s in a great spot right now and he’s going to continue to get better. We feel like he has had great opportunities and

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“I know they’re great hitters but I came here to do my job. I wasn’t very nervous. I’ve been facing pretty good hitters. I know they’re legends. They’re going to be hall of famers one day. But I also like that I got them out.’’

Manager Charlie Montoyo, pleased with the kid: “He’s always going to remember that.’’

The dark side: A dozen strikeouts. Three errors. Zero hits until Randy Tellez took a mighty wallop in the fifth, solo moon shot, breaking up yet another looming no-hit bid by Toronto’s opposition.

First stinky start of the season for Marcus Stroman, on his 28th birthday no less. Lasted only three and one-third innings, departed with the Angels in possession of a 5-0 lead, and threw a ridiculous 91 pitches in the process.

All of which coalesced to hand the Blue Jays a 6-3 defeat, second loss in a row to a not- very-good Halo squad, on a bumpy night of baseball under the indigo California sky.

Rosie DiManno: A new Jay day is coming with Vladimir Guerrero Jr. making his debut Friday

Rosie DiManno: A new Jay day is coming with Vladimir Guerrero Jr. making his debut Friday Arriving in the Blue Jays clubhouse and eyeballing a dozen-odd media mooks — a larger-than-usual contingent of baseball chroniclers in these D-List days — Joe Biagini asks the reflexive question: “Whoa, is Vlad Jr. here?” Luke Maile, from his locker cubicle chair, fields that one. “Nah, he’s still on the plane.” De plane! De plane! He was kibitzing but he wasn’t wrong either. Everyone is waiting for Vladdy G. Jr. Waiting for the princeling’s Major League Baseball debut. Waiting to exhale. Well, V-Day has come. With a big post-game breath in-out, Toronto manager Charlie Montoyo finally delivered the words everybody has been eagerly, impatiently, expecting. Drum roll please.

From the Blue Jays to the Rangers. From Jose Bautista to the Lone Star State and mama don’t let your cowboys grow up to be babies. It was his second homer in Toronto’s second post-season game of 2016 and the sixth of his career, tying Bautista with Joe Carter for most in franchise history.

By Rosie DiMannoColumnist. Sun., Oct. And yet here he is, restored to the majors on the final weekend of the season, clad in Blue Jays threads. Even if his lone MLB appearance was a horror. Even if he never stands on a big-league bump again.

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Blue Jays can’t harness late-stage heroics in loss to Angels

It lasted three hours and 32 interminable minutes, which is crazy for a nine-inning game. Totally skidded out of what had been a lively pace until ‘round about the fourth inning. A grind after that, Toronto never really threatening to rally despite Randal Grichuk’s two-run jack in the sixth, halving the Angels lead. Scarcely got a ball out of the infield after that.

“I didn’t have a great feel, just a weird game in general,’’ said Stroman (1-4) later. “A bunch of weird things happened. Every ball that they hit on the ground kind of found a hole. To be honest, I’m not slightly worried about it. It’s one that you kind of wash and focus on your next one.’’

Best, as he said, to shake it off. Because nothing went right for the Jays on a teamwide evening of baseball stasis.

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Luciano ’s season with the Blue Jays is where creativity and reality meet. Plenty of eyebrows were raised at The Blue Jays had a strong scouting report on Luciano from special assistant to amateur scouting After pitching one perfect inning in Friday night's 6- 2 loss to the Rays, Luciano owns a

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Lousy way for Stroman to (non) celebrate his 28th birthday too, already downcast because nobody in his family could make it out to the coast for the occasion.

“I feel like I’m progressing with age. I feel like I’m getting stronger and better as I age,” Stroman said.

“I honestly think that 28-to-32 range, for pitchers, that’s their prime. You learn so much about the game of baseball, you learn so much about yourself. You learn how to attack hitters. I think the best years are ahead of me.’’

In Trout’s first two at-bats, Stroman attacked him first with sliders and, second time, with fastballs — single and fly ball out, respectively. Third time ’round, last Angel he faced, Trout scalded a three-run double over the third-base bag that rattled into the left-field corner.

“I mean, Mike Trout’s the best baseball player ever, I think. I think he’ll go down truly as the best baseball player. He doesn’t have many holes in his swing. He’s got a great approach. His in-zone judgment is crazy. He really zones the ball up. So you just have to do your best at attacking,” Stroman said.

“He’s a great lowball hitter, I’m a sinker-baller. So it doesn’t really match up to my strengths pitching against Trout.

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“I try to run the ball up. They say he has a little trouble getting to the ball up but he lays off of it so well, man. And if you miss throwing that ball up even slightly, it’s a homer.

“He’s tough man, he’s tough.”

VLADDY WATCH

Bit of the rough for Vladimir Guerrero Jr., in big league Game No. 5.

Pair of Ks on a 0-for-4 night. And an E-5 to boot, although that was a harsh error from the official scorer. Bouncing ball off the bat of Pujols — whom Guerrero had nailed the previous night, spearing a liner at third — popped in and out of his glove. Pujols would then score all the way from first on Kole Calhoun’s double, followed by a Billy McKinney error in right.

Guerrero also failed to turn what would have been an inning-ending double play in the eighth, recovering from a bobble to get just the one out, Pujols, at first.

Guerrero struck out with two on to end the sixth, on three straight pitches, and put a heck of a ride on the ball with a long, long fly ball out, deepest part of the park, to end the eighth.

Montoyo: “He made a couple of errors. But he also made a couple of good plays.’’

Not his usually smiley self afterwards and maybe the frustrations — of long ball expectations not yet met — are starting to grate.

Though his pal and Dominican compatriot Luciano says no, absolutely not.

“We talked about the guy. He just tells me that he’s trying to get better every day.’’

BULLPEN SHOT

An early exit for Stroman meant a substantial workload for the ’pen: Daniel Hudson, Luciano and Joe Biagini racking up four and two-third innings of work. At least Montoyo managed to save Thomas Pannone. Which was crucial because, as of this moment, the Jays don’t have a designated starter for their Saturday game in Texas, versus the Rangers.

Pannone could get that spot start. Or Montoyo might opt for an opener — which is what the Angels did Wednesday, using Luke Bard for the first inning.

“Not yet, not yet,’’ Montoyo said, when asked post-game if a decision had been reached for Saturday.

“Because now that we’ve used all our pitching today, we’ll see what we do tomorrow.’’

Rosie DiManno is a columnist based in Toronto covering sports and current affairs. Follow her on Twitter: @rdimanno

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Rosie DiManno: Stroman and Montoyo end Blue Jays blowup with Mother’s Day bouquet.
Rosie DiManno: Stroman and Montoyo end Blue Jays blowup with Mother’s Day bouquet

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