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Game #67 Preview: Garcia vs Stanek

Blue Jays (30-36) vs Rays (30-35)

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at Tampa Bay Rays Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The show continues tonight in the Tampa Bay House of Horrors, as the Blue Jays look to start a new streak. Tonight’s game gets underway at 7:10 ET.

Blue Jays’ Starter

Lefty Jaime Garcia gets the ball for the Jays. He’s probably still fighting for a chair once the Marcus Stroman rehab music stops. On the whole, Garcia is 2-4 with a 5.57 ERA, not really numbers that are screaming to keep him in the rotation. But he has had a couple good starts recently, although maybe “wildly inconsistent” isn’t a good trait for a starter.

In his last start, Garcia allowed 1 run on 4 hits over 6 innings, striking out 6 and walking 3. He still isn’t getting groundballs like he used to and needs to, and his fastball was still a couple mph slower than in previous years. Some starts, the movement on his pitches is enough to get bad swings and weak contact, while other times he looks like he’s throwing batting practice. If he can’t find at least some consistent success, he isn’t likely to last the entire year in the rotation.

Rays’ Starter

Ryne Stanek is making the “start” for the Rays. He’ll pitch one inning, maybe 2, before I’m guessing Austin Pruitt takes over, although it could be Matt Andriese or Vidal Nuno. But I’m going to go with Pruitt. This setup that the Rays have isn’t really great for writing an preview.

Stanek is a righty, and we’ll probably see Granderson start the game and get to face him. Vidal Nuno is a lefty, and the Rays could go to him to get Granderson out of the game early if the Jays do go that route. But Pruitt and Andriese are righties, and I would imagine that one of them is more likely to come in in the second or third.

Blue Jays’ Lineup

As mentioned above, Granderson is probably in there leading off, although what position he will play I’m not sure. He seems to have been kicked out of the outfield now, which means the other 3 are doing good enough out there. I would imagine he’ll be on the trade block fairly soon, as much as I will hate seeing him go.

Russell Martin has caught the last 2 games, and they’re supposedly doing the 2 on, 1 off thing again, so look for Luke Maile (#DeliverTheMaile) to get the start this evening.

Devon Travis made it all the way through last night’s game, and I’m guessing he’ll be back out there again, giving us an infield of Solarte-Diaz-Travis-Smoak again.

Rays’ Lineup

Christian Arroyo is likely to be in at second base in place of Joey Wendle today.

Roster Resource says that Jake Bauers is in a platoon, but I don’t believe that. He’ll probably get today or tomorrow off because of the lefties and the day game tomorrow, but I don’t think he’s in a strict platoon.

Rob Refsnyder has played LF for the Rays the last 3 games. I would imagine that we’ll see Johnny Field in left in this one, with Mallex Smith in CF and Carlos Gomez in right.

Yesterday’s Heroes

There were co-winners of the Monster Bat award, as Mike Trout and Nelson Cruz both went 2-3 with a pair of home runs, a walk and a strikeout. But it was Cruz’s Mariners who came out with the 5-3 win over the Angels.

Dylan Bundy gets the Pitcher of the Day and WPA King awards. He went 8 shutout innings against the Red Sox, allowing 3 hits and a pair of walks. The game remained scoreless into extra innings, so he accumulated .567 WPA over his 8 innings. Unfortunately the Red Sox scored a pair in the top of 12th for the 2-0 win.

Milestone Watch

Aaron Loup is still 4 appearances back of Jim Clancy for 7th on the franchise list.

Jaime Garcia is looking for his 70th career win tonight.

Find the Link

Find the link between Stanek and Jon Gray.