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Game #37 Preview: LeBlanc vs Garcia

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Mariners (20-14) vs Blue Jays (19-17)

MLB: Seattle Mariners at Toronto Blue Jays Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

After being no-hit by James Paxton in yesterday’s contest, the Blue Jays are looking for their first hit, run and win of their 3 game series against the Mariners this evening. Tonight’s game gets underway at 7:07 ET.

Blue Jays’ Starter

Left hander Jaime Garcia makes his 7th start for the Blue Jays. On the season, he has thrown 30 innings, allowing 22 runs (20 earned) on 34 hits, 13 walks and 8 home runs while setting down 32 batters. He’s getting hit around, walking a lot and giving up a lot a home runs. He’s not keeping the ball on the ground like he has in the past, instead pitching up in the zone shooting for more strikeouts. This has resulted in a 40% GB rate thus far, down significantly from his 55.4% career rate.

In his last start especially, Garcia did not do well, although not quite as bad as his final line seemed. He gave up 6 runs on 7 hits through 3.1 innings, looking pretty good through the first 3 innings. But that 4th inning got away from him, through luck, bad timing and a few bad pitches. Sandwiched between a hard leadoff single and a big home run to Francisco Lindor to knock him out of it, he allowed 3 hits with exit velocities of 85.8, 79.6 and 70.9 mph (average exit velocity of all balls in play is usually somewhere around 87 mph), plus a guy reaching first on a strikeout.

Mariners’ Starter

The Mariners counter with lefty Wade LeBlanc, making is second start and 7th appearance of the season. The May 2016 International League Player of the Month Award winner while pitching for the Buffalo Bisons is 0-0 with a 3.57 ERA over 17.2 innings thus far.

LeBlanc features a cutter, sinker and changeup. The two fastballs sit about 86-87, while the changeup dips down about 10 mph under that. After being no hit by a hard throwing James Paxton (his last 3 pitches were 98.3, 99.0 and 99.5 mph), they’re up against a completely different lefty today.

Blue Jays’ Lineup

I’m officially calling this game “Kendrys Morales’ Last Stand”. If he goes 0-fer yet again, this time against a soft tossing lefty, I sincerely hope that the Front Office is done with him. I’m sure they still have a lot of rope for him, and I know that most fans ran out of patience an exceptionally long time ago. But today feels like the day that should be an easy day for Kendrys, and if he can’t hit LeBlanc, then he truly, absolutely does not belong on this team.

Outside of that, I’m hoping we see Pompey out there. I don’t know at the expense of who (because Morales is probably going to be out there today), but I want to see him play.

I wonder if the Jays give Luke Maile a chance to catch Garcia today. It seems like Martin has caught Garcia every other chance, so Gibby will maybe consider shaking things up.

Mariners’ Lineup

They worked over Stroman yesterday, and it felt like they should have had a few more runs than the 5 they put up, but they did show how good of an offense they are when they get going.

Look for Guillermo Heredia to be in there against the lefty today, in place of Ben Gamel in LF. David Freitas might also get the start over Mike Zunino, but I would guess that’s tomorrow.

Yesterday’s Heroes

Giancarlo Stanton was the monster hitter yesterday. In the Yankees 3-2 win over the Red Sox at home, Stanton went 2-3 with 2 home runs and a walk, likely putting an end to the thought of the Yankee Faithful booing him, for at least a month anyway.

Enrique Hernandez (Kike Hernandez) of the Dodgers is our WPA King from last night. Kike hit a pinch hit, one out, 9th inning game tying home run, but the Dodgers still lost the game in 8-5 in 12 innings, despite Hernandez’ .544 WPA.

The obvious answer for Pitcher of the Day is James Paxton, with his no-hitter against the Jays last night.

Milestone Watch

Josh Donaldson needs 2 more walks to catch Ed Sprague for 20th all time as a Blue Jay.

With 3 home runs, Donaldson would catch Shawn Green for 13th all time as a Blue Jay.

Find the Link

Find the link between LeBlanc and a Baker from Berkeley.