Blue Jays renaissance was short-lived as old problems brought Toronto back to earth

The Blue Jays, after a great team win on Opening Day, find themselves in a familiar position.

Toronto Blue Jays v Tampa Bay Rays
Toronto Blue Jays v Tampa Bay Rays / Julio Aguilar/GettyImages

The Toronto Blue Jays' opening series celebration has been cut short early. After an excellent team win on Thursday, the Blue Jays lost 8-2 to the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday. The team played a near-flawless game on Opening Day, seemingly having all of their offseason issues addressed, but the loss has brought the fanbase back to a sobering reality.

Toronto's Opening Day starter, Jose Berrios, was excellent, pitching six innings while allowing two runs and striking out six. The relievers also pitched a combined scoreless three innings while punching out five. 

Friday's starter, Chris Bassitt, allowed five runs (four earned) in five innings pitched. He also hit a batter and gave up a grand slam to Brandon Lowe. The sole reliever, Wes Parsons, gave up three runs in three innings pitched. 

Blue Jay offensive inconsistency

On Thursday, the Blue Jays scored eight runs. They were patient (took seven walks), hit three home runs, and hit 3-9 with runners in scoring position. 

On Friday, the Jays walked once and were 0-3 with runners in scoring position. They only scored two runs, one of which came in garbage time (the top of the ninth).

Blue Jays defensive missteps

On Thursday, the Jays committed zero errors and played a nearly flawless game defensively. Key clutch plays were made throughout the night to strand Tampa Bay runners and limit them to only two runs. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette also helped get Berrios out of a jam with a double play. 

On Friday, the defense was awful. They committed three throwing errors (although it seemed like more). They turned no double plays and turned several routine outs into inning-extending plays. The defense never gave the team a chance to win this game. 

Looking ahead

First and foremost, this is a long season. With that being said, take all of this with a grain of salt. All I'm saying is not to be completely sold on the Blue Jays quite yet, especially while several of their fatal flaws are already becoming apparent. 

The front office and coaching staff still face the challenge of quickly rectifying these problems. Time is very much of the essence. As the season progresses, the Blue Jays' ability to overcome these old problems will be a true test of the team's character and resolve. The fans remain hopeful, but for Toronto to live up to its potential, an assessment and turnaround of these inconsistencies is required.

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