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Game #119 Preview: Borucki vs Fillmyer

Blue Jays (53-65) vs Royals (36-82)

Toronto Blue Jays v Kansas City Royals Photo by Brian Davidson/Getty Images

The Blue Jays go for round two of four against the Royals in Kansas City tonight. The game gets underway at 8:15 ET (EDIT: this previously said 6:15 ET, which actually meant 6:15 Erik’s time, not Eastern Time. It has now been correct to reflect the Eastern Time Zone, which is currently in Daylight’s Savings Time, because that’s apparently still a thing).

Blue Jays’ Starter

Lefty Ryan Borucki, having recently figured out what a win feels like, looks to make it 3 straight starts earning one. His last 2 starts, while not the most impressive on the strikeout side, was still enough to get the job done. On August 3 in Seattle, Borucki went 8 innings, allowing an unearned run on 4 hits while only striking out 2, but he didn’t allow a walk and did a great job managing contact. In his last go against the Red Sox, he went just 5 innings allowing 4 runs on 9 hits over 5 innings, striking out just 2 while allowing 3 walks and his first big league home run. Really goes to show how little a win actually says about a pitcher’s game, but I’m sure he was happy to get them.

In total over 8 starts, Borucki is 2-2 with a 2.81 ERA, averaging exactly 6 innings per start. He has been doing a good job avoiding walks, even if he hasn’t been getting many strikeouts, and his FIP is an equally impressive 2.97. And even more news for the good pile - the Jays only play Boston once more this year, and his non-Boston numbers this season are amazing. In each of his other 6 starts, he has allowed 2 runs or fewer over 6+ innings, walking 7 total batters in 40 innings.

Royals’ Starter

The Royals counter with their own rookie, as righty Heath Fillmyer gets the ball. Through 5 starts and 4 relief appearances, FIllmyer is 1-1 with a 3.13 ERA. In his last start, he threw 7 shutout innings against the Cubs, allowing just 3 hits - a start that earned him WPA King title and was Pitcher of the Day runner up. He also had an impressive start on July 23 against the Tigers when he allowed 2 runs (1 unearned) on 3 hits over 6.2 innings. His other 3 starts consisted of 3 earned runs in each over 3, 5 and 4.2 innings.

Fillmyer throws predominantly a low 90s fastball that he will pair with a slider and changeup, occasionally mixing in the odd curveball. Nothing is a plus pitch, nor does anything play up due to plus command. I can’t find anything about him having good deception either, and he appears to be the type of pitcher who may not have much of a career in a Major League rotation. But he’s here now, and has done alright so far.

Blue Jays’ Lineup

Danny Jansen is expected to make his second straight start tonight, catching his best friend and reunited teammate.

Russell Martin seems pretty comfortable over at 3B, and I’m actually alright with him there. As they mentioned on the broadcast, he has reached base 11 straight games and is hitting an impressive .295/.415/.636 in 14 games since the All Star break.

I didn’t realize it was Randal Grichuk’s birthday yesterday when I suggested he might get the day off in lieu of Curtis Granderson, so I’ll make that prediction again today. It still might not happen, but he’s gone the longest without sitting.

Royals’ Lineup

Roster Resource says that Alcides Escobar and Hunter Dozier get the starts against lefties in place of Lucas Duda and Ryan O’Hearn. Escobar got the start yesterday over Jorge Bonifacio as well, but I would imagine Bonifacio will be in the game today.

Salvador Perez, who is the “greatest catcher to ever breathe” (BOTSO, 2011-2018), will likely be catching in this one too, because he catches nearly every day.

Yesterday’s Heroes

Nicholas Castellanos went 5-5 with a home run and pair of doubles, driving in 5 in an impressive game to earn our Monster Bat award. His heroics led to the 9-5 Tigers’ victory over the White Sox.

Nick Hundley had a big pinch hit, 2 run single in the top of the 9th to earn our WPA King award with a .617 mark. His hit helped the Giants to the 5-2 win over the Dodgers, as the Dodgers’ bullpen clearly misses the presence of Kenley Jansen, who is out for a while with an irregular heartbeat.

Lost in that Dodgers’ bullpen meltdown was the fact that Clayton Kershaw was vintage Kershaw, allowing 1 run on 4 hits and no walks, striking out 9 over 8 innings to win the Pitcher of the Day honours, but nothing else.

Find the Link

Find the link between Fillmyer and Alex Torres.