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Game #73 Preview: Skaggs vs Stroman

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Angels (36-37) vs Blue Jays (26-46)

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

After a solid beating last night, the Blue Jays will get right back up and face off against the Angels in game 2 of 4 tonight. The game is set to get underway at 7:07 ET.

Blue Jays’ Starter

Marcus Stroman will make his 16th start of the season. Through his first 87.2 innings, he is 4-8 with a 3.18 ERA, with his win-loss record a strong reflection of the problems the Blue Jays are having this year. Stroman himself has been fantastic, making a strong case for the first All Star Game selection of his career.

Stroman faced the Angels back on May 1, and came away with his shortest outing of the season. He made it through just 3.1 innings, allowing 5 runs (4 earned) on 6 hits and a pair of walks, striking out just 3. Mike Trout was the only one to get an extra base hit against him (a double), as the Angels chipped away with well sequenced singles to saddle Stroman with the loss.

Angels’ Starter

Left hander Tyler Skaggs will make his 13th start of the season for the Angels. The 27 year old is 5-6 with a 5.00 ERA, although his FIP is almost a full run lower at 4.03. Skaggs is striking out more than a batter per inning, while doing a decent job limiting home runs. His biggest struggle this year has been with walking people, currently sitting at 3.43 per 9 innings, the highest he has ever been in a season he has pitched more than 50 innings.

Skaggs earned the win when he faced off against the Jays back at the beginning of May. He threw 6 strong innings, allowing 2 runs on 4 hits, striking out 5 and walking a troublesome 3. He kept the ball in the ballpark though, and has actually allowed 0 home runs in 8 of his 12 starts. In the other 4, he has allowed a combined 8.

Blue Jays’ Lineup

Teoscar Hernandez was removed in the later innings after running pretty hard into the wall in the early going. Despite the early signs of soreness, he stayed in the game, eventually coming out in the 7th inning. Since the score was 10-1 at the time, it may have just been a “the game is out of hand, let’s give the starters a rest”, or he may have actually come out because of the injury. I hope it’s the former and he’s ready to go, but I fear he may have hurt something.

Cavan Biggio was everything we dreamed of in yesterday’s game. He worked a couple walks while also punishing a couple baseballs for a pair of home runs. A very Jose Bautista kind of day, and I can definitely get used to watching that kind of ability at the plate again.

Randal Grichuk had his first multi-hit game in over a week and a half last night, and it was nice to see him get some good swings on the ball. He still struck out twice though, which he has now done in 11 of his last 22 plate appearances. I hope he can start coming back around soon.

Angels’ Lineup

Even though he went 4-5 last night, the Jays were able to get Mike Trout to do something negative that he very rarely ever does - get caught stealing. Luke Maile gunned down Trout, who was caught for the just the second time in nine chances this year. That caught stealing knocked him out of first place among all active players in career stolen base percentage (minimum 80 attempts). Now Jarrod Dyson and Adalberto Mondesi are better than him. (This is perhaps my favourite Mike Trout stat - if only because he shows up at the top of seemingly all good stats, even something like this that you would never think of.)

Justin Upton returned to the lineup with a bang, welcoming Edwin Jackson into the game with a first pitch home run, the first pitch Upton saw this season. Upton missed the first 72 games of the season with a sprained toe he suffered towards the end of Spring Training, but the Angels are no doubt happy to have him back.

Andrelton Simmons could be the next one activated from the Injured List, as he is currently down with a sprained ankle. The report on Sunday was that he could be activated on this road trip, although I would be surprised to see that happen in Toronto. He hasn’t been on a rehab assignment, and hasn’t played since May 20. I would personally expect a rehab assignment to start in the next couple days and they would just have him ready to start next week back in Anaheim, but he could be back sooner than that.

Yesterday’s Heroes

Cavan Biggio, with his 2 homers and 2 walks, was the Monster Bat award winner yesterday. Too bad his 3 RBI wasn’t anywhere near enough to cancel out 0.2 innings of Edwin Jackson.

Rick Porcello threw 7 shutout innings, out-dueling Jose Berrios who made it through 8 innings while allowing just 1 run in the first inning. But because the Red Sox were up 1-0 the entire time Porcello was pitching, he accumulated .512 WPA. That was enough for the WPA King title, narrowly edging out Jorge Soler of the Royals, who had .511 WPA. The Red Sox held on to the 2-0 win over the Twins.

But neither Porcello nor Berrios get the Pitcher of the Day award. That goes to Masahiro Tanaka, who threw a complete game shutout. Tanaka held the Rays to just a pair of singles and a walk, striking out 10. The Yankees walked away with the 3-0 win.

Find the Link

Find the link between Skaggs (and Trout) and Casey Kotchman.

Stats are courtesy of Fangraphs