Blue Jays' Brooms Locked And Loaded; Can Leave Red Sox In The Basement With Win - Blue Jays @ Red Sox - July 22 GameThread

The winners' jig from last night.
Loading Scores

Game three of the weekend series sees the Toronto Blue Jays' Henderson Alvarez face off against southpaw Jon Lester of the Boston Red Sox. The Blue Jays have already secured the series win, and are looking for their first series sweep since facing the Philadelphia Phillies at home. If the Jays win this afternoon, they will change spots in the standings with Boston. This is coming from being swept out of New York with the Jays looking horrible and having lost Jose Bautista and Brett Lawrie with injuries. Whatever you say, this team is resilient.

This afternoon, our heroic azure-tinged corvidae will be hoping that the hosiery gules' Jon Lester will continue his struggling ways. High Heat Stats looked at Lester's stats to try to determine why he has been struggling: he is striking out 1 fewer batter and giving up 2 more hits every 9 innings. Combine that with a .331 BABIP and he's got a problem--opponents are hitting .282/.332/.448 off of him. And, as HHS's Andy points out, Lester has turned to his sinker as much as his fastball this year, according to PitchFX.

Of course, he has also been involved in a series of negative press outside the white lines, involving beer, fried chicken, and golf. Last week, he had to go out on Twitter to say that he loves Boston after Peter Gammons mentioned that he was unhappy on a local radio show. The Red Sox are 7-12 with him on the mound this year. His last win actually came against the Blue Jays, back on June 27 (he gave up 4 runs and 7 hits in that game). He hasn't been able to finish the 5th in his last two starts, giving up 10 earned runs, 16 hits, and 5 walks through 8 innings total while striking out 10. In those two starts, an astounding 51.7% of balls in play fell in for a hit.


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2012 - Jon Lester 5-7 20 19 2 0 0 0 116.1 129 68 62 12 33 98 4.80 1.39

Taking the bump for the good guys will be young Henderson Alvarez. He had a career high 6 strikeouts against the Yankees in his last start, giving up only 2 runs (on a Russel Martin solo homer and a Robinson Cano RBI-double). To be fair, he also gave up a career high 4 walks. The lack of strikeouts this season may be because he is being squeezed on calls, according to Jeff Sullivan's research. Unfortunately Alvarez and the Blue Jays were not awarded a win as Aaron Loup and Jason Frasor combined to allow a game-winning grand slam. The Blue Jays' record with Alvarez on the hill is just 5-13, actually worse than Boston's record with Lester pitching.


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2012 - Henderson Alvarez 5-7 18 18 1 1 0 0 113.1 129 60 54 18 27 42 4.29 1.38

I would imagine that the only two bullpen pitchers that would be unavailable today would be Darren Oliver (who has thrown two days in a row) and J.A. Happ (a starter who might not be used to pitching back-to-back days). Casey Janssen was not used last night thanks to Colby Rasmus' RBI fielder's choice in the top of the 9th, so he will ready to close the game should there be a need.

The Blue Jays' lineup today is in lefty-mode with Anthony Gose, Adam Lind, and Kelly Johnson sitting. Having Yan Gomes on the bench allows John Farrell to DH J.P. Arencibia.


Lineup

TORONTO BLUE JAYS BOSTON RED SOX
Brett Lawrie - 3B Jacoby Ellsbury - CF
Yunel Escobar - SS Daniel Nava - LF
Colby Rasmus - CF Dustin Pedroia - 2B
Edwin Encarnacion - 1B Adrian Gonzalez - 1B
J.P. Arencibia - DH Cody Ross - DH
Rajai Davis - RF Jarrod Saltalamacchia - C
Travis Snider - LF Ryan Sweeney - RF
Jeff Mathis - C Mike Aviles - SS
Omar Vizquel - 2B Nick Punto - 3B

Standard rules apply for the comments.:

  1. No asking for, or posting, illegal audio or video streams of this game.
  2. No posting of pictures or GIFs during the GameThread. You may post a link to the image if you wish. You can start posting pics when the game is over.
  3. No arguing with moderators, stop when one of them tells you to stop.--they are in slightly better moods after two straight Jays wins against the Bosox, but they are always ready and willing to ban.

GO JAYS GO!

    X
    Log In Sign Up

    forgot?
    Log In Sign Up

    Forgot password?

    We'll email you a reset link.

    If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

    Forgot password?

    Try another email?

    Almost done,

    By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

    Join Bluebird Banter

    You must be a member of Bluebird Banter to participate.

    We have our own Community Guidelines at Bluebird Banter. You should read them.

    Join Bluebird Banter

    You must be a member of Bluebird Banter to participate.

    We have our own Community Guidelines at Bluebird Banter. You should read them.

    Spinner.vc97ec6e

    Authenticating

    Great!

    Choose an available username to complete sign up.

    In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

    tracking_pixel_9351_tracker