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Game #15(?) Preview: Garcia vs Kluber

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Blue Jays (9-5) might play against Cleveland (8-6)

MLB: Chicago White Sox at Toronto Blue Jays
Josh Donaldson, currently in Florida, is making sure that his team plays as few games as possible while he is on the DL.
Kevin Sousa-USA TODAY Sports

After an exciting win that Matt called “... the single most impressive Blue Jays win in 2018 thus far”, the Blue Jays enter Saturday with perhaps the sweep already locked up. Today’s game is scheduled for 4:10 ET, and while the forecast doesn’t say it will be heavy rain, it does say it will have been raining for hours and that it will continue through the afternoon and evening.

The heavy rain comes tomorrow.

Blue Jays’ Starter

Jaime Garcia might get the wet ball today, making his 3rd start as a Blue Jay. Over his first two games, he has thrown a total of 11.1 innings, allowing 4 runs on 9 hits and 4 walks, collecting 12 strikeouts while allowing a pair of home runs. If this is the kind of production we can expect from Garcia (it’s probably close), then the Jays will be pretty happy.

Cleveland Starter

Some guy named Corey Kluber might get to pitch for the Clevelanders today. The man with a pair of Cy Young awards sitting on his shelf, one with 2014 and the other with 2017 engraved into them, has somehow been even better this year. Even if we ignore the article Fangraphs wrote the other day about how he is the best pitcher in baseball, his start to 2018 is hard to ignore.

In three starts, Kluber has thrown 23 innings, the most in baseball (even though Cole Hamels has one more start than him). He has allowed 11 hits with 4 walks, allowing 4 runs along the way on 2 home runs (if you’re keeping track, that’s quite similar to the numbers of things allowed by Garcia in half the innings, and we’re quite happy with Jaime’s performance). He has struck out 27 in his 23 innings of work.

If ever I was going to be happy to have back to back games rained out, it would probably be now so the Jays don’t have to face Kluber.

Blue Jays’ Offense

This team is just so stinking fun to watch. After falling behind 4-0 early, they stormed back and scored 8 of their own.

Teoscar might be here to stay. And that means that Grichuk has until Morales comes back to prove that he can hit a baseball consistently, which is looking like an insurmountable task at the moment. He did take a walk last night, and has been pretty great on defense, so that is going to help his cause.

The sad news out of all of the fun yesterday was that Devon Travis was hit in the hand by a pitch. Trying to avoid becoming our own Roy Sullivan, Travis goes for x-rays this morning to see the extent of the damage. Gibby is only calling the x-rays “precautionary”, so maybe he’s fine. Look for Travis to end up on the DL Monday.

With Travis likely out of the lineup for at least today, we’ll probably see Gift Ngoepe play. I personally would rather we see what Steve Pearce, Third Baseman looks like. We’ll find out soon enough whose name will be on the scorecard as they stare out of the dugout at the falling rain.

Cleveland Lineup

They were showing signs of life coming into yesterday, scoring 5 runs and 9 runs in their last 2 games against Detroit. After piling on 4 runs in the first 2 innings, they were really starting to look locked in. But the Blue Jays pitchers, mostly Stroman, danced around danger the rest of the way to hold them at that 4 spot.

Roster Resource says that Bradley Zimmer and Tyler Naquin get platooned and sit against lefties. I’m not sure if this is true or not, so against Jaime Garcia we might see an outfield of Michael Brantley, Rajai Davis and Brandon Guyer.

Yesterday’s Heroes

Todd Frazier, now of the Mets, had a good day at the plate. He went 3-3 with a pair of home runs and a walk, helping lead his Mets to their 9th straight win, beating the Brewers 6-5.

Mitch Haniger of the Mariners is the WPA King of the day, posting a .538 mark. His 2-out, 3 run home run in the bottom of the 7th inning turned a 3-2 deficit into a 5-3 lead, as his Mariners beat the Athletics by a final score of 7-4.

The Pitcher of Day award goes to Vince Velasquez of the Phillies. He threw 6.2 innings, allowing a run on 4 hits while striking out 7 Rays. His team went on to win 2-1.

Milestone Watch

John Axford didn’t pitch last night, so he’s still sitting at 499 career relief appearances. Number 500 will be soon, and 502 puts him in a tie with John Hiller for 4th most by a Canadian.

2 more hits for Teoscar Hernandez and he’s at 50 for his career. 50 may not sound like much (especially for former teammate Jose Altuve, who hits 50 in a good 4 game series), but it’s still a nice milestone that will be forgotten exceptionally quickly.

Tim Mayza’s next appearance will be his first of 2018. He currently is 4th on the team in warm up pitches thrown in the bullpen.

Find the Link

Find the link between The Klubot and The Johan (Santana).