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Game #75 Preview: Estrada vs Heaney

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Blue Jays (34-40) vs Angels (40-35)

Toronto Blue Jays v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

After a loss last night, the Blue Jays look to even the series against the Angels in game 2 of their 4 game Los Angeles set. Tonight’s game is scheduled for 10:07 ET.

Blue Jays’ Starter

Marco Estrada has looked a lot more like vintage Estrada of late. He has pitched well enough to improve his numbers on the season to 4-6 with a 4.66 ERA, impressive considering he was 2-6 with a 5.68 ERA at the end of May.

But that’s what 3 straight excellent starts can do at this point in the season. So far in June, Estrada has thrown 18.2 innings, allowing 3 runs on 13 hits and 3 walks, while striking out 19. Of the 13 hits, 2 of them were solo home runs surrendered to the Orioles on June 10.

Angels’ Starter

Left hander Andrew Heaney gets the start. He is off to a pretty good start to his season, looking to put the thought of his July 2016 Tommy John surgery behind him. In 12 starts this season, Heaney is averaging just short of 6 innings per start, striking out 8.64 batters per 9 innings, while walking just 2.64. He’s a fly ball pitcher, but has done an alright job limiting the home runs (1 per 9), which allows his ERA to sit at 3.64, right in line with his 3.69 FIP.

Blue Jays’ Lineup

There will be roster moves today. Steve Pearce will be activated from the DL and Sam Gaviglio is back from his Paternity Leave.

Lourdes Gurriel hopefully showed enough last night for the Front Office to realize he’s a useful player. I wouldn’t object to him taking starts away from Diaz at SS. But realistically he’s probably one of the ones sent down.

I’m hoping that Aaron Sanchez’s injury isn’t anything serious and he doesn’t need a DL stint, but it is entirely possible that that’s how they get Gaviglio back on the roster.

Anyway, I would imagine that with a lefty on the mound, Steve Pearce will be in the lineup. I would be upset if it was in the outfield, but I can’t see him being out there. He’ll probably be in at DH, taking more at bats away from a heated up Kendrys Morales. Something has to give, and it’s too bad that Justin Smoak has plummeted his trade value this year, because moving him might be the easiest way to clear space.

Angels’ Lineup

I like Mike Trout. He’s an amazing player who could be talked about all day, and probably still be underappreciated. Over the last few weeks, his stats have been blowing up Twitter, and rightly so. He played his 1000th career game last night, and his place in history up to this point is pretty amazing. 15 more healthy seasons from him and he’s the greatest player ever (which is insane to think about).

The rest of the lineup will at least somewhat depend on Trout’s health. He has been the DH the last couple games, apparently due to a sore finger. This has forced Albert Pujols out to 1B, and relegated Jose Miguel Fernandez to the bench.

Michael Hermosillo was recalled from AAA for yesterday’s game because of Trout’s injury, and would likely be in CF if Trout can’t go. If he can, then Hermosillo could be headed back to AAA.

The rest of their lineup - Kinsler, Upton, Simmons, Valbuena and Calhoun - are likely to be in there. Having Simmons (.379 OBP, .331 last year) leading off instead of Kinsler (.288 OBP, .313 last year) every single game would drive me absolutely nuts as an Angels fan.

Yesterday’s Heroes

Luis Valbuena was the Monster Bat last night. While he did strike out twice, he also launched 2 home runs, the only player to do so yesterday.

Finally getting back into the groove on the mound after missing the first 2 months recovering from a fractured pinkie finger, Madison Bumgarner turned in a great start. He threw 8 shutout innings, giving up 3 hits and a pair of walks while striking out 8. And he drove in the game’s first run with a sac fly. He gets Pitcher of the Day, and he also gets WPA King for the .563 mark he had on the mound, although it is brought down a little due to the -.027 at the plate. But still good enough for the awards, and good enough for a 3-0 win over the Padres.

Milestone Watch

Marco Estrada is looking to pull into a 5 way tie for 21st on the franchise win list. He’s at 36 right now, 1 behind Marcus Stroman (who will look to pull away tomorrow), Ted Lilly, Shaun Marcum and Josh Towers.

Find the Link

Find the link between Heaney and the winning pitcher in the only loss the Blue Jays would give Curt Schilling in 1993.