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Game #103 Preview: Bullpen vs Giolito

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Blue Jays (47-55) vs White Sox (36-67)

Toronto Blue Jays v Chicago White Sox Photo by David Banks/Getty Images

After a fun offensive onslaught last night, the Blue Jays go for round 2 against the White Sox later today. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 ET.

Blue Jays’ “Starter”

The Blue Jays are going with the dreaded “bullpen day” today. The last time they did this, on Monday, it was a disaster. Today, I am hoping what we’re actually seeing is that Opener John Axford throws a clean inning, before logical (on the active roster) starter Jaime Garcia takes over and goes however long he can effectively. I doubt that’s what we see, but that’s my hope.

But congratulations to Axford for making his first career start at least. He seems to be really looking forward to this.

White Sox’ Starter

Lucas Giolito gets the traditional start on the Chicago side (“traditional” because they’re not the Rays). Giolito is still clinging on to the top prospect promise, but he certainly hasn’t delivered on that promise. Through 20 starts this year, he is 7-8 with a 6.09 ERA. That is the second worst ERA of qualified pitchers in baseball. And his 6.12 FIP is the very worst, by .7 of a run!

However, Giolito is coming off 3 consecutive quality starts, including 6.1 shutout innings where he allowed just 2 hits, although it was against the Royals. But nonetheless, in his last 3 starts that also include the Astros and Angels, he has a 2.29 ERA over 19.2 innings, although he has walked 10.

And that’s where Giolito has struggled so exceptionally this year. Sure, the 1.48 home runs per 9 is bad (13th most among 78 qualified pitchers), but his 5.27 BB/9 is second highest only to Lance Lynn. Just a small sample of the ridiculousness that you can find when looking at his per game data, Giolito has more games this season where he has surrendered 7 or more walks than he does where he has surrendered 1 or fewer.

So this all probably means a bad day for the Jays’ batters.

Blue Jays’ Lineup

I would expect that newcomer Brandon Drury will be in the lineup in this one, although I said that yesterday too.

And there’s no way that Lourdes Gurriel is sitting today, as he enters the day with his impressive 9 multi-hit game streak going.

So my guess is that it’ll be Drury-Diaz-Gurriel-Smoak around the infield.

Speaking of infield, Kate found us this gem today:

:(

Across the outfield with the righty Giolito on the mound, Curtis Granderson will likely continue his showcase to potential suitors. Randal Grichuk will continue to patrol CF, and Teoscar Hernandez will continue to... amaze us?.. in left field.

White Sox’ Lineup

They’re all still together at the moment, so good for them I guess.

I really want to be excited by Yoan Moncada’s potential, but I am still having a hard time. When he does make contact, he hits it hard, as his 91.9 mph average exit velocity can attest to. But he just doesn’t evoke a lot of confidence up there yet.

They have 5 guys with 10+ stolen bases this year. That seems impressive, at least to a guy who cheers for a team whose second highest has 3.

Yesterday’s Heroes

Lourdes Gurriel earns our Monster Bat award with his work last night. He was one of 2 guys who hit a pair of homers last night, but he did one better by also ripping a double in the Jays’ win.

David Freese of the Pirates had a big game, including a walk off single to help the Pirates beat the Mets 5-4. But his biggest play according to WPA was a 2-run single in the 5th inning that gave the Pirates a temporary 4-3 lead. His WPA King total on the day was .543.

Max Scherzer threw 8 innings of 1 unearned run baseball, helping his Nats to the 9-1 win over the Marlins and preventing his team from being a deadline seller for at least another day, while also taking home the Pitcher of the Day honours. He also struck out 11 on the day, reaching the 200 strikeout mark for the 7th straight season, while also becoming the first NL pitcher to reach that milestone (Chris Sale was the first in the Majors just moments earlier).

Milestone Watch

Lourdes Gurriel looks to continue his very impressive multi-hit streak. One more game and he’s in double digits and all alone with the longest one in club history. Some guy named Tony Fernandez also did it in 9 straight.

No one cares, but Aaron Loup is still looking to move ahead of Paul Quantrill and take sole possession 4th place all time in Blue Jays’ career relief appearances.

Find the Link

Find the link between Lucas Giolito and Max Fried.