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Game #7 Preview: Karns vs Shoemaker

Orioles (4-1) vs Blue Jays (2-4)

Baltimore Orioles v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

The Blue Jays look to get some offense and avoid the 3 game sweep at the hands of the Orioles in their last game of their opening homestand. Today’s game gets underway at 4:07 ET, a peculiar time to start a weekday afternoon game.

Blue Jays’ Starter

Matt Shoemaker heads back to the mound for the Jays, looking to build off the success that he had against Detroit last Friday. Shoemaker made it through 7 shutout innings, striking out 7 and walking just 2. He even earned the win in that game, one of the 2 pitchers on the staff with a 1 in the win column. Obviously it helps that the offense put up a 6 spot.

Shoemaker hasn’t pitched against the Orioles since 2016, back when the Orioles were a completely different team. He had one great game (7.1 shutout innings with 12 strikeouts) and one mediocre game (3 runs over 5 innings).

Orioles’ Starter

The Orioles apparently have Nathan Karns, and he is making the start today. Karns is now with his 5th organization in 7 Major League seasons, signing with the Orioles at the beginning of February. Karns missed the latter half of 2017 and all of 2018 due to Thoracic Outlet Syndrome and undergoing the accompanying surgery. But he’s back now, and made the start last Friday against the Orioles. He was limited to just 33 pitches over 2 innings, in which he allowed a hit and 3 walks, but didn’t surrender a run. It was essentially an Opener’s role, and he may do that for a while for the Orioles as he works his way back up to a full load post-surgery.

The last time we saw Karns was way back in June of 2015, and I think it’s safe to say that this team is different.

The pitcher that followed Karns in the Yankee game was Jimmy Yacabonis, who threw 59 pitches over 3 innings. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Yacabonis in the game following Karns again, as he hasn’t pitched since then. Yacabonis had a brief start against the Jays last September, going 4 shutout innings against a lineup that featured a good chunk of the lineup he would face today.

Blue Jays’ Lineup

Billy McKinney, Rowdy Tellez, Luke Maile, Teoscar Hernandez and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. all had at bats against Yacabonis in that game last Septemer, and I would expect 4 of them to be in the lineup this afternoon. One of McKinney/Hernandez/Tellez is likely to be on the bench, as that just seems to be the way it works. Grichuk had the game off last night, and Smoak doesn’t seem to be part of the rotation, although maybe today makes sense for a game off for him.

Orioles’ Lineup

Did we really intentionally walk Chris Davis last night? I was out delivering my tax information, so I didn’t catch the end of the game, but Twitter seemed to be disturbed by the fact that Javy Guerra walked a guy who is 0-12 with 7 strikeouts. Whatever the play was, it worked, as Guerra held the O’s scoreless in the 9th and allowed the Jays a shot at the comeback.

Jesus Sucre has caught the last 2 games, so with today being a travel day and a little bit of an earlier start time, I would imagine the O’s go with Pedro Severino behind the plate.

Look for Richie Martin to be back at SS in this one, and maybe we get to see fellow Rule 5 pick Drew Jackson in this one at some point.

Yesterday’s Heroes

If I was to tell you Zack Greinke won one of the three awards, you would naturally assume Monster Bat, right? And you’d be correct, as Greinke went 2-4 with a pair of home runs and 4 RBI, helping his Diamondbacks to the 8-5 win over the Padres.

The Pitcher of the Day award goes to reigning AL Cy Young Award winner Blake Snell. Snell threw 7 shutout innings, striking out 13 while allowing just a pair of hits and one walk. He led his Rays to the 4-0 win over the visiting Rockies.

Nelson Cruz had a pair of go ahead hits for the Twins, the second occurring in the top of the 9th, as he helped his Twins top the Royals 5-4. His .605 WPA was easily the best last night, and Cruz takes home the WPA King trophy.

Find the Link

Find the link between Karns and Clayton Richard

Stats are courtesy of Fangraphs