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Game #159 Preview: Devenski vs Reid-Foley

Astros (100-57) vs Blue Jays (71-87)

MLB: Houston Astros at Toronto Blue Jays John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Blue Jays have reached the end of the home slate, playing the final game of the season in Canada this afternoon. The game gets underway a bit earlier than a weekday normal, with a 4:07 ET kickoff.

Blue Jays’ Starter

He was originally supposed to be shut down after his last start, but with the injury to Aaron Sanchez, Sean Reid-Foley gets to make one more start for the Jays in 2018. The Blue Jays had a bit of concern with Sean’s innings total, as he has already thrown a regular season high 159.2 innings, up from his 132.2 from last season. One more start isn’t likely to hurt anything, and I would be surprised to see him get beyond 65 or so pitches anyway.

In the Majors this year, Reid-Foley has thrown 30 innings and has a 2-4 record with a 5.40 ERA. He has earned a decision in all 6 starts of his, and this is one of those rare instances where a pitcher’s record tells you a lot about his season. He has had 2 amazing starts this year, where he has combined to allow 1 run on 6 hits over 12 innings, striking out 20. The other 4 starts, not so pretty (I’ll spare you the numbers).

Astros’ Starter

Former swingman turned multi-inning reliever turned turned setup man Chris Devenski makes the start for the Astros. It’s his first start since August 11, 2016 when he allowed just 2 hits over 5 innings. Don’t expect more than a couple innings out of him today.

Devenski used to throw a lot of innings out of the Astros’ bullpen, but this year has been limited to just 6 of his 47 appearances being more than 3 outs, and none more than 6. As a result, he has fewer innings than appearances this season, a ratio that was as extreme as 108.1 innings in 48 appearances (5 starts) in 2016.

On the season, the right handed Devenski is 2-2 with a 4.12 ERA. He is doing his normal good job of getting just a bit more than a strikeout per inning while limiting his walks, but the home runs have become a problem for Devenski this year. After allowed all of 15 in his first 181 career innings, he has allowed 8 in his 43.2 innings this year.

Blue Jays’ Lineup

This is likely to be John Gibbons’ last home game. I’m sure there will be mixed reactions to his time here, but I for one will miss him. Sure, he made some questionable decisions and didn’t play small ball, but he was also great with the media and for the most part great with the players.

Anyway, for the lineup. We all know by now that Lourdes Gurriel Jr. is out for the season. The last couple days that has meant that Aledmys Diaz is back at SS, while Yangervis Solarte plays 3B and Richard Ureña is at 2B. Devon Travis hasn’t played since last Friday, and appears to be shut down for the season and holding down the bench right next to Russell Martin.

The outfield remains an interesting collection of starters. After making a great catch in the later innings last night, I’m hoping Anthony Alford has earned his first start of the month for today’s game.

Otherwise I don’t really have any hopes for the last game of the season, other than I know that some fans have traveled a long distance for this series, and they should probably see Kevin Pillar play perhaps his final game at Rogers Centre. Maybe Justin Smoak too. I would start both of them.

Astros’ Lineup

With their win followed by an Oakland A’s loss later in the night, the Houston Astros have officially clinched the American League West. Look for them to run out a lineup consisting of as many backups as possible today, not only because of the clinch, but also because of the day game after the night game and playing on turf. But mostly because this is the “hangover game” where the blurry eyed vets don’t have to get up so early and prepare.

So don’t be surprised to see guys like Miles Straw and Kyle Tucker, players that haven’t graced the starting lineup in quite some time.

Yesterday’s Heroes

Ryan Braun went 2-5 yesterday, but his 2 hits were home runs and have earned him the Monster Bat award. His bat helped carry the Brewers to the 12-4 win over the Cardinals, pulling his club to within half a game of the division leading Cubs, while increasing their first place Wild Card slot to near clinching levels (magic number is 2 for home field in the WC game - but they would much rather win the division).

Kyle Seager had a huge pinch hit single in the bottom of the 9th, a hit that tied the game between the Mariners and the Athletics. That hit alone provided Seager with .442 WPA, enough to be crowned WPA King. His Mariners eventually took down the A’s in 11, helping the Astros to their Division Title.

Chris Archer threw 6 shutout innings against the Cubs, striking out 9. This was enough to win the Pitcher of the Day award in a crowded field. The win over the Cubs was huge for the rival Brewers, who were quite happy to see Archer dominate.

Find the Link

Find the link between Devenski and Kevin Comer.