To distract from the much more serious things in the world, Sportsnet's Blue Jays radio station Mike Wilner has simulated every scheduled Blue Jays game in the supposed 2020 season and provided weekly updates in this room. With the ramp-up of Major League Baseball for a hopefully shortened 2020 season, much of our attention will shift to spring training 2.0 and all preparations for the return of baseball. This simulation will continue during the alleged 2020 All Star break. At this point, the Blue Jays should have played 100 games. Add that to the suggested 60 game schedule and we basically have an entire season. You can follow the games every day on Twitter @ Wilnerness590. The simulation is done with Dynasty League Baseball Powered By Pursue The Pennant, a tabletop (and online) simulation game with cards and dice, the player performance of which is based on statistics from 2019.
The Blue Jays came out high last week. They had just swept the pirates in Pittsburgh to extend their winning streak to four games and had won 10 of their last 11 games after ending 5-1 for a second week in a row. The juggernaut would not slow down.
This past week began with the second stage of the Interleague road trip. The Jays went to Milwaukee to face a Brewers team that built on their successive berths after the season by adding friendly faces like Justin Smoak and Eric Sogard over the winter, and well-known opponent Brock Holt. At the start of the series, Toronto's Chase Anderson faced his former team – and the Blue Jays wasted no time in building a huge lead for him.
Bo Bichette, honored the week before by his incredible AL-simulated player of the week (.536 average, 5 HR, 15 RBI), started exactly where he left off and opened the game with one Homerun, his fifth in the last four games.
The second inning began with three consecutive Blue Jays hits to avoid loading the bases with no one, but both Jonathan Davis and Anderson followed with floor balls that led to plate force-outs. Don't worry, Bichette was next and he hit a single with two runs. Travis Shaw then did the same.
In the third round Bichette again had two runners – after an RBI single by Pitchers Anderson, no less – and this time he went deep again. The three-run shot gave Bichette six RBIs in the first three innings and made it 9-0, Blue Jays.
You would win 15: 5 in a loss. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. added his own Homer with three runs and Bichette got the rest of the night off after his fifth inning single made him 4v4. Jacob Waguespack recorded Anderson for the last four innings and scored his first save of the simulation. He has not yet recorded his first real life salvation.
The middle game in the series was far less an exchange of blows. In fact, it was the first time in six games that the Blue Jays did not score at least eight runs. Maybe it was because Bichette went 0-3.
This time a brilliant performance by Trent Thornton did the trick. The second righty threw seven innings with four hits, the only damage being a Homer with two runs from Avisail Garcia at the end of the fifth. At the top of this inning, the Blue Jays took a 3-0 lead thanks to a double shot from Rowdy Tellez and a double pack from Joe Panik, which was collected from a Davis single.
Davis went deep into the sixth – just his second home run of simulation – to take out a little insurance and the pitching took it from there. Anthony Bass and Ken Giles each threw a perfect inning to relieve the spectacular Thornton, and the Blue Jays scored a seventh straight win 4-2 against the brew crew.
In the series finale, the Jays didn't just want to sweep the series, but the entire road trip. It was the 81st game of the season, the official center, and a Blue Jays team that looked pretty finished after a 1-8 road trip at 24-38 was now 39-41 and wanted to hit the halfway point only one Game below breakeven. And they had their ace on the hill!
However, Hyun-Jin Ryu didn't have it early and he dug a big hole for his team.
Five of the first six Batters that the Left faced reached the base. Ryu gave two consecutive RBI singles to Keston Hiura, the old Smoakey and Manny Pina. In the second inning Christian Yelich doubled home Lorenzo Cain and the Jays were 4-0. At that point, Ryu included it.
After the Yelich double, Ryu only gave up one goal before scoring one in the seventh. He dropped out of 14 of the last 16 goals and gave the Jays a chance to make a comeback. But Brandon Woodruff turned a gem for the home team. Woodruff only allowed three hits from seven great innings and hit ten while going three.
However, he didn't come out for the eighth time, and with a four-run lead, the Brewers didn't go to their regular setup man, Brent Suter, but got the right Ray Black.
The Jays were thrilled to see the end of Woodruff and even more excited when Black left the first two Batters he was facing. There used to be a pitching change here that Suter came in to save Black, but the helpers now have to face at least three fighters, so Black stayed in and served Guerrero Jr. a triple bomb to shave off the deficit one run.
That brought Suter into play and Reese McGuire greeted him with a game-winning solo shot. Suter withdrew the next two Batters, but then went a couple, so Milwaukee's highly competitive Josh Hader had two outs against Bichette, causing him to end the inning.
Travis Shaw walked away in ninth place. Hader argued that ball four called a little too loudly and threw himself out of the game, so former Blue Jay David Phelps came to try to keep the tie. After Cavan Biggio was crossed out, Guerrero Jr. came onto the plate and pressed a line down the middle. Lorenzo Cain chased him and crashed into the wall, but he couldn't think of it and Vladdy had a triple to give the Jays the lead for the first time in the game. Another perfect inning of relief from Giles and the Blue Jays was a 5-4 win and a 6-0 road trip. At mid-season, they were 40-41 after winning seven in a row and 13 out of 14.
Would a day off combined with a visit from the best player in the game slow them down?
Mike Trout and the angels rolled to Toronto and made an immediate impression. Tommy La Stella led the series kick off with a home game against Tanner Roark to bring the halos to the top early on.
In the second inning, Andrelton Simmons doubled and Jason Castro followed with a high pop-up to the seats on the first base page. Tellez ran after it and crashed into the short retaining wall. The ball fell lazily and Rowdy was forced to leave the game, replaced by Billy McKinney. That would turn out to be pretty useful.
David Fletcher scored Simmons with a single and 2-0 Angels remained until the fifth when the Blue Jays finally reached left Patrick Sandoval. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. doubled with an out and Guerrero Jr. went after him and brought out McKinney, who put you on the seats to give the Jays a 3-2 lead.
Roark had one of his best starts in simulation and he had withdrawn eight Batters in a row when he hit Brian Goodwin with an out in the sixth. A Simmons groundout put the runner in goal position with two outs, and Roark had to face Castro, who doubled Goodwin home to tie the game.
Sam Gaviglio came out of the Jays bullpen to throw a few innings while Cam Bedrosian did the same for the Angels, and it was still a 3-3 tie when McKinney came over. of course go deep. His second home run of the game was his third in simulation, and he shouldn't even be playing.
Giles wasn't perfect on a third of four days, but he stranded a leadoff double and got Trout to end the eighth consecutive Blue Jays win, a 4: 3 nail biter. Trout, Anthony Rendon and Shohei Ohtani went together 0: 12.
All good things must come to an end, but surprisingly it was Matt Shoemaker who put his ears back to end the winning streak. The former angel was the best starting pitcher of the Blue Jays in the simulation and, among other things, threw a no-hitter, but he didn't have it that day.
Shoemaker gave up a four-point spot in the first inning, with Ohtani doubling in the run and Goodwin taking home a pair with two failures. In the second, Shoemaker gave up a pair of singles and a walk to load the bases with an out, and Shun Yamaguchi received the call from the bullpen. Unfortunately, he wasn't feeling any better.
Yamaguchi gave Ohtani a runscoring baseball and served Albert Pujols a Homer with three runs for 8-0.
However, we thank the Jays for somehow making it tight. McKinney scored in race three and gave him a round tripper three times in a row. A Homer from Gurriel Jr. in round seven reduced the Angels' lead to 9: 6, but Toronto wouldn't get any closer. Ohtani added a two-run shot to Wilmer Font in eighth and the winning streak ended at eight with an 11: 8 loss.
The rubber match was another exchange, and again McKinney was the focus. After Bichette got the day off – he had played every game in the sim – McKinney was put to the top and tripled at the end of the first. Shaw followed with a quick 2-0 lead, which the Jays built to 7-2 through three innings with the help of a Tellez-Homer, a Gurriel Jr. RBI doubles and RBI singles from Panik and McKinney.
Anderson could not cope with prosperity and gave up three runs in the upper part of the fifth – when the first four Batters of the innings reached a pair of singles and a pair of walks. Waguespack came in to save him, but the lead had dropped to 7-5.
Not long, because McKinney struck again and drilled a triple home run at the end of the fifth to bring the lead back to five runs. In three incredible games, McKinney went 7 vs 12 with a triple, four home runs, and 10 RBIs. In this game, both he and Shaw ended up double behind the cycle.
The angels would never come close, even though they were the ninth to make the tie to the deck circle against Anthony Bass. It was an 11-7 win to end the Blue Jays 5-1 for the third week in a row and bring them back to 500 at 42:42.
The homework continues this week after a non-working Monday. The Blue Jays will host the White Sox for Canada Day and the Yankees for July 4th. This current 15-2 run was built almost exclusively outside the division with only three games against the Tampa Bay Rays. Once the White Sox leave town, it's the Yankees and Red Sox, followed by the great Minnesota Twins. It will be a good test until the All Star break.
Each Blue Jays game is simulated on the day it should be played, usually in the late afternoon for scheduled night games and in the early afternoon for day games. Follow every day on Twitter @ wilnerness590 to "see" the simulated season until reality begins!