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Game #100 Preview: Berríos vs Borucki

Twins (45-53) vs Blue Jays (46-53)

Minnesota Twins v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

After a brutal game yesterday, the Jays look to get back on track tonight in game 2 against the Twins. First pitch is scheduled for 7:07 ET.

Blue Jays’ Starter

Ryan Borucki makes his return from the Minor Leagues to make the start in this one (he didn’t actually pitch in the Minors). He returns to the Majors looking to build on the great start to his career that he has going, but also looking to rebound from his first rough outing at the top level.

Borucki struggled while facing the best offense in baseball in the Red Sox. He allowed 7 runs (although just 4 earned) on 8 hits and 4 walks over just 3 innings. He managed to strike out 5, but the combination of bad defense and imperfectly executed pitches was not going to get it done against the Red Sox.

But even with that bad start, Borucki’s numbers through his first 4 starts are pretty good. Through 23 innings, he has allowed just 12 runs (9 earned), striking out 21 in 23 innings. He has allowed a lot of baserunners, surrendering 27 hits plus another 10 walks. But he has yet to allow a home run, and that is helping to keep his ERA at 3.52, and his FIP is a shiny 2.64.

Twins’ Starter

The Twins run their Ace José Berríos out there in this one. The 5 time Pitcher of the Day winner has had a good season overall, although there have been a few ups and downs along the way. In total, he’s 9-7 with a 3.68 ERA, numbers that earned him his first All Star Game honours. And when he’s on, he’s as good as anyone in the game. Berríos is one of just 3 pitchers in baseball this year with more than 1 complete game, and also has 4 starts of at least 7 innings and 0 runs allowed. But he also has 6 starts this season where he has given up a run an inning, including his last time out against the Rays, where he surrendered 6 runs on 6 hits and 3 walks over 6 innings.

Berríos is striking out pretty much a batter an inning, and has been doing so with a devastating sinking fastball that sits about 92-94. He complements that with a knee buckling curve that has impressive movement.

Blue Jays’ Lineup

Russell Martin got the day off yesterday, perhaps dealing with a bit of a beat up body from the game on Sunday. So long as he’s healthy, he’ll be starting this one.

Lourdes Gurriel played 2B then SS the last 2 days. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him get his second straight start at SS today, except this time Aledmys Diaz slides over to 3B and Yangervis Solarte gets the day off.

I would imagine Curtis Granderson will be back in RF with the righty on the mound.

Twins’ Lineup

Robbie Grossman got the start in RF yesterday, and probably will again today against the lefty. That likely means that the left handed bat of Jake Cave remains on the bench.

Look for Bobby Wilson to be behind the plate in this one, as Mitch Garver has caught 2 games in a row and could very well be headed for a rest day. He might draw the start at DH in lieu of Logan Morrison though, who likely isn’t in there against the lefty.

Yesterday’s Heroes

Maikel Franco was the Monster Bat yesterday. He went 3-4 with a pair of home runs, but they were just solo shots, which didn’t help the team enough as the Phillies fell just short of the Dodgers 7-6.

Daniel Poncedeleon had a Major League debut for the ages last night. He only went 7 innings, allowing 3 walks with 0 runs and 0 hits. But it took him 116 pitches, so he was pulled after 7. But those 7 magical innings were enough to earn him Pitcher of the Day honours, and gave him .486 WPA, which also gets him the WPA King title too. However, Bud Norris had a bad 9th inning, and the Reds beat the Cardinals 2-1 on a walkoff single by Dilson Herrera.

Milestone Watch

Aaron Loup “pitched” in yesterday’s game, and is now just 1 appearance back of Paul Quantrill for 5th all time as a Blue Jays’ reliever.

Find the Link

Find the link between Berríos and Willson Contreras.