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ALCS Game #5 Preview: Royals @ Blue Jays

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John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

The Blue Jays have another all-too-familiar elimination game this afternoon at 4:07 as the Royals look to punch their ticket to the World Series. After yesterday's drubbing, Toronto will have to find some leftover magic from their ALDS comeback to try to turn this series around. The pitching matchup is exactly the same as Game 1, where Edinson Volquez shut down the Jays in one of the most yawn-inducing playoff games of recent memory. Marco Estrada was pretty good that evening, although his command was a little off and he wasn't as precise as he's been for most of the season.

In the Game 1 preview we looked at how the righty Volquez normally relies on his off-speed stuff to get batters out, but in the actual game his fastball was much better than usual. Living on the outer half, the Dominican used a steady stream of sinkers, changeups, and curveballs to keep the Blue Jays off-balance to great effect. You can see that his game plan lined up with what pretty much every pitcher tries to do against the Jays sluggers:

Volquez

The same story can be seen on video as Volquez found the outer reaches of the umpire's strike zone and lived there all evening:

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If the righty is sporting equally good command this afternoon in Toronto, then it will be bad news for the Blue Jays' hopes of forcing the series to Kansas City. From a hitter's point of view, there isn't a ton you can do when Volquez is dealing like that other than try to shoot some balls the other way.

For Marco Estrada, his 5.1 innings pitched with three runs allowed wasn't all that terrible back in Game 1 and a repeat of that outing would do just fine for the Blue Jays. He was his usual fastball, changeup, and curveball self last Friday, with very few pitches he'd like back. The strikeouts were there and a couple hard hit balls, including a first pitch fastball home run to Salvador Perez, were the only blemishes on the evening.

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Hopeful Lineup

  1. Ben Revere LF
  2. Josh Donaldson 3B
  3. Jose Bautista RF
  4. Edwin Encarnacion DH
  5. Chris Colabello 1B
  6. Troy Tulowitzki SS
  7. Kevin Pillar CF
  8. Dioner Navarro C
  9. Ryan Goins SS
In terms of bullpen management....don't even get me going.

Find the Link

Find the link between Edinson Volquez and the only MLB player from Tanashi, Tokyo.

Hopefully the game is at least enjoyable this afternoon to make up for the majority of the previous affairs in this ALCS.