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Game #26 Preview: Colon vs Garcia

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Rangers (10-17) vs Blue Jays (14-11)

Texas Rangers v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

After yet another forgettable loss last night, the Blue Jays look to right their ship this afternoon and put an end to their losing streak before it destroys their early season progress. Today’s game against the Rangers kicks off at 4:07 ET.

Blue Jays’ Starter

Jaime Garcia gets the ball for the Jays today. Jaime has arguably been our most consistent starter, throwing between 5 and 6 innings while allowing 1, 3, 3, and 4 runs across his 4 starts. He has a 4.57 ERA over his 21.2 innings. He has impressively struck out 23, but it’s the 23 hits and 8 walks with 5 home runs that is getting him in trouble. But all in all, a backend starter averaging about 5.5 innings and and a 4.5 ERA is pretty good, and hopefully Garcia can keep it around there going forward, although I wouldn’t complain about better.

Rangers’ Starter

Bartolo Colon is making his 16th career start at the Skydome/Roger’s Centre (/Exhibition Stadium?). He made 2 last year, going a combined 11.2 innings, allowing only 4 runs but giving up 16 hits and striking out 1.

The master of contact and finesse throws pretty much only upper-80s fastballs (85.7% of the time) while dropping in a changeup or slider occasionally (although this may just be a classification issue). He has incredibly pinpoint command of his fastball, which has only improved since he has gotten older.

Colon is an entertaining pitcher, who has a lot of fun while playing the game. But he’s also frustrating to watch face your team, as balls you think should be hit hard are soft little grounders and popups. So be prepared to be frustrated watching today’s game.

Blue Jays’ Lineup

They’re struggling.

Since wandering into the Bronx just over a week ago, the Blue Jays are hitting a combined .189/.275/.352, good for a 72 wRC+. They’ve scored 25 runs with 7 home runs, while limping to a 2-6 record (although the 4.94 ERA by the pitchers is also at least partly to blame, as well as the quality of the opponents).

Josh Donaldson needs to come back soon, and thankfully he’s supposed to be getting reps at DH in Dunedin today. He’ll probably take a few games there. He’s “throwing to bases” in warmups, which means he might be able to throw and play 3B, maybe. Possibly.

As for what we’ll see today?

It’s the scheduled rest day for Travis, so Gurriel will be at 2B.

Curtis Granderson will be making what feels like a rare start.

I so hope for, but entirely do not expect Steve Pearce to be at DH today.

Martin might sit today as well, but I would guess that’s tomorrow.

Rangers’ Lineup

Roster Resource says that Ryan Rua and Renato Nuñez are platoon guys and start against lefties. Rua was just recalled from AAA earlier this week, so he may or may not actually be in there.

I apparently don’t know what position Joey Gallo (who hit a home run off Garcia on April 8) will be playing. When the rest of the infield was healthy, he was at 1B. Once Adrian Beltre got injured, I could have sworn he would just slide over to 3B. But there he was in LF last night, letting balls bounce over his head. Maybe today he’s back in the infield.

Isiah Kiner-Falefa is a name worth mentioning. He was born in Honolulu, for those that are wondering. He plays C and all around the infield. He really feels like the sort of guy that is going to get a chance at every position at some point in his career. I always enjoy players like that. And add in his unique name, and I regret not mentioning him yesterday.

Yesterday’s Heroes

Joey Votto and Jose Peraza get the co-hitter of the day award. Votto went 4-4 with a pair of walks and a home run, while Peraza went 4-6 with 2 home runs as their Reds won a slugfest in Minnesota 15-9.

Sir Didi Gregorius continued his hot start to the season last night. He had a big go ahead and eventual game winning home run in the top of the 10th in Anaheim, as his Yankees beat the Angels 4-3. His .484 WPA gave him the WPA King title for the day.

It was a pretty impressive day for pitchers last night. 10 starters threw at least 7 innings. I’ll give the Pitcher of the Day award to Blake Snell, who allowed 2 runs over 7.1 innings, but more importantly helped the Rays to a 4-3 win over the Red Sox, and that’s really what we’re all here for anyway.

Milestone Watch

Kevin Pillar is still at 59 stolen bases, sitting 2 back from being in the top 20 as a Blue Jay.

Tyler Clippard has 194 career holds (a very young statistic). That puts him 4th all time, 2 back of the still active Joe Smith. Clipp has 2 thus far this year, while Smith only has 1, so he’s closing in. Joaquin Benoit (212) and Matt Thornton (206) sit atop that list, but probably not after this year is over.

Find the Link

Find the link between Colon and:

FTL 1: Gaylord Perry

FTL 2: Gary Disarcina

FTL 3: Felix Sanchez

FTL 4: Ramon Ortiz

FTL 5: Ronald Acuña

FTL 6: Zach Lee