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Game #109 Preview: Borucki vs Gonzales

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Blue Jays (49-59) vs Mariners (63-46)

Tornoto Blue Jays v Seattle Mariners Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images

After an unlikely win last night, the Jays continue their invasion of Safeco Field for game 2 of 4 tonight. First pitch is at 10:10 ET.

Blue Jays’ Starter

Ryan “Tough Luck” Borucki goes for the Jays, still looking for his first career win in now his 7th game. He is 0-2 with a 2.83 ERA, pitching to a 2.51 FIP. He remarkably has not allowed a home run in his first 35 innings, but they will come. And when they do, that sparkling ERA and FIP will begin to rise. But considering the good hitting teams that he has played, he has done a great job limiting the hard contact of a home run, and that cannot be discounted.

Mariners’ Starter

Marco Gonzales goes for the Mariners, looking to build on a very impressive season. He is 12-5 with a 3.37 ERA, and his 3.36 FIP suggests he’s actually pitching that well too. 2018 has been a breakout for him, remaining healthy and further improving his control. He is down to 1.79 walks per 9 innings, after the entirety of his 2017 season in AAA and the MLB (plus 1 rehab start in A ball) he put up a still good 2.36 after missing all of 2016 with Tommy John surgery.

Gonzales predominantly features a fastball, curveball and changeup from the left side. His fastball averages over 91 mph, while his changeup is about 7 mph down from there, and his slow loopy curveball comes in in the upper 70s.

Lookout Landing

Blue Jays’ Lineup

Teoscar Hernandez had an awesome game yesterday, going 4-4 with 3 doubles. I hope this is a sign that he is breaking out of his funk.

Curtis Granderson isn’t likely to play with the lefty on the mound. However, the Jays only had 2 bench pieces last night, so unless they add someone since Dwight Smith Jr was optioned yesterday, we might see Brandon Drury in the outfield. Although there was a tweet yesterday that Pillar might be activated this weekend? I can’t see it happening for today though.

Russell Martin was on the bench last night, but I would imagine he gets the start behind the plate in this one.

Mariners’ Lineup

Nelson Cruz, who hit 2 home runs last night, is likely looking to end Borucki’s homerless streak. Cruz is now up to 28 home runs on the year, on pace yet again to hit 40 home runs for the 4th time in his career, after falling just short at 39 last year.

The Mariners don’t have any ongoing platoons or anything like that, so with Borucki on the mound, it’s quite possible they go with the same lineup they put out there last night.

Yesterday’s Heroes

Steve Pearce had a big night as the Red Sox welcomed the Yankees to Fenway to kick off a 4 game weekend set. Pearce earned the Monster Bat award by going 3-5 with 3 home runs and a walk, driving in 6 as the Red Sox whopped the Yankees 15-7. That was Pearce’s first career 3 homer game, and just his 6th multi-homer game, and first since doing it against the Yankees last May.

Whit Merrifield hit a pinch hit 2-out, 3-run home run in the top of the 8th that gave the Royals a 3-2 lead over the White Sox. That play alone was worth .539 WPA, which was enough for him to win the WPA King title. It wasn’t enough for the Royals though, as they gave 4 runs back in the bottom of the 8th and lost 6-3.

Mike Hauschild was the real hero last night though. As was indicated in the writeup from last night’s win, Hauschild signed with the Jays shortly before first pitch, and then went on to throw 6 shutout innings in relief for the Jays, earning the win and Pitcher of the Day. I hope that he has also earned a place in the rotation, because I don’t know if I could handle another bullpen day, even though Hauschild saved that last night.

Find the Link

Find the link between Gonzales and Yohan Flande.