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Game #71 Preview: Roark vs Gaviglio

Nationals (37-30) vs Blue Jays (32-38)

MLB: Washington Nationals at Toronto Blue Jays Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Father’s Day everyone!

The Blue Jays look to send all of their fans home happy today by completing a sweep of the visiting Nationals. Today’s game gets underway at 1:07 ET.

Blue Jays’ Starter

Sam Gaviglio goes for the Jays, and he is coming off the first rough start of his short Blue Jays’ career. Against the Rays last Monday, Sammy G went just 3.1 innings, allowing 5 runs on 7 hits, plus a pair of walks. He pitched a clean 2nd inning, but he was in trouble early in the other 3 innings he pitched, allowing runs to score in each.

On the season Gaviglio is 2-2 with a 3.66 ERA, striking out 29 batters in his 32 innings.

Nationals’ Starter

The Nats counter with Tanner Roark this afternoon. Through 13 starts and a relief appearance, Roark is 3-7 with a 3.63 ERA. He’s not getting the run support that his teammates are, averaging at least 1 run fewer per game than Scherzer, Strasburg and Gonzalez. But he’s still a very valuable piece of their rotation, even if that record is ugly.

Roark has only made 1 start this season where he didn’t complete 6 innings, and 8 of his 13 starts he has gotten at least 1 out in the 7th inning. 10 of his 13 starts have been quality starts, and in 8 of them he allowed 2 runs or fewer. He is pitching great, but due to pitching in the shadows of his other rotation mates, and the offense not scoring while he’s pitching, he doesn’t get the recognition he probably deserves as a very solid mid-rotation starter.

Blue Jays’ Lineup

Justin Smoak gets the day off, currently struggling through a 2-35 rut. Hopefully a day off today and tomorrow will be a nice rest for him. Kendrys Morales is at 1B and Curtis Granderson is the DH, as you can so obviously see.

Nationals’ Lineup

Bryce Harper moves to DH today, not really a surprise. Daniel Murphy makes his second start at 1B.

Brian Goodwin draws the start in RF, giving Adam Eaton the entire day off today.

And Spencer Kieboom gets the start behind the plate after Pedro Severino got the start in the first 2 games.

Yesterday’s Heroes

JT Realmuto went 3-4 with a pair of home runs, driving in 4 as his Marlins beat the Orioles 5-4, taking home our Monster Bat award.

Wade LeBlanc was the true hero of baseball yesterday though. After giving up a leadoff single to Mookie Betts, he promptly got a double play ball and proceeded to get the next 21 batters after that out. A 2 out single by Eduardo Nunez in the 8th inning was the next Red Sox player to reach base, and that was the end of the night for LeBlanc. In total, he went 7.2 shutout innings, surrendering just the 2 singles as the bookends of an otherwise perfect performance, and his Mariners won their 23rd 1 run game by a score 1-0 over the Red Sox. LeBlanc’s performance gets him Pitcher of the Day, and it also got him an impressive .517 WPA, making him the WPA King as well.

Milestone Watch

Aaron Loup got into last night’s game as well, getting Adam Eaton to ground out, walking Trea Turner and then striking out Bryce Harper. It was the 352nd appearance of his Blue Jays’ career, tying him for 7th all time with Jim Clancy. Next on the list is Paul Quantrill at 386, 34 away. If Loup remains on the team through the trade deadline and is able to stay healthy, he has a good chance of passing Quantrill, and probably even Casey Janssen at 389, which would allow him to end the season in the top 5 all time. Loup is headed to Free Agency this winter, and there’s a pretty decent chance he’s not back next year, so that could be as high as he gets. Or he might not reach those other 2 and be in 7th for eternity (or until Danny Barnes passes him in 4 years).

Find the Link

Find the link between Roark and Jeff Bianchi.