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Game #157 Preview: Blue Jays @ Orioles

Dalton Pompey slides home safely.
Dalton Pompey slides home safely.
Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The Blue Jays have the good fortune of facing another struggling Orioles pitcher tonight after just barely winning last night's game against Chris Tillman. Miguel Gonzalez is the man for the O's this evening, making his first start since August 30 as he's been dealing with some shoulder inflammation and general soreness. The righty started the season in usual Miguel Gonzalez fashion, posting a pretty good ERA despite non-impressive numbers in nearly every category. After a DL stint in June for a groin issue it all went wrong though, with the starter posting an ERA of 6.49 in 13 starts since returning to the rotation on June 25. Now with another long layoff, it'll be interesting to see what Gonzalez has to offer tonight against the high-powered Blue Jays.

The righty faced Toronto once this season back in May when he was still pitching well, dominating the Blue Jays over 7.2 innings of three-hit baseball. He's been throwing the same pitch mix as usual, that being the fastball, slider, curveball, and splitter with the heater topping out in the low 90's. It's mainly fastball and slider against right-handed hitters though, which is pretty much what the Blue Jays throw out there on a nightly basis. Gonzalez gives up a ton of home runs off his fastball when it's elevated, which is something the Jays should try to capitalize on tonight. He doesn't strike out many and has succeeded in the majors thanks to consistently low BABIP's, but that hasn't been the case this year which is part of the reason why his ERA has come up to match his poor FIP.

Marcus Stroman will go for the Blue Jays tonight meanwhile, hoping to help the team clinch a division title in just his fourth start this season. As you'll remember, Stro had some issues with the Orioles last year and would love to be able to toss on a '2015 AL East division champions' shirt tonight at Camden Yards. All it takes is a Jays win and Yankees loss, which means we'll get to do some fun scoreboard watching tonight with New York taking on Boston at the same time as Toronto's contest.

Hopeful Lineup

It's probably time to give Dalton Pompey a start, but it's beginning to look more and more unlikely.

  1. Ben Revere LF
  2. Josh Donaldson 3B
  3. Jose Bautista RF
  4. Edwin Encarnacion DH
  5. Justin Smoak 1B
  6. Russell Martin C
  7. Ryan Goins SS
  8. Cliff Pennington 2B
  9. Dalton Pompey CF

Bullpen Usage

Brett Cecil is certainly unavailable today after pitching back-to-back-to-back games, but everyone else in the bullpen should be ready to go.

Find The Link

Find the link between Miguel Gonzalez and the bullfighter immortalized in this statue.

Hopefully the Blue Jays will have more success against Gonzalez than they did against Tillman.