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Game #77 Preview: Law(O) vs Johnson

Blue Jays (27-49) vs Red Sox (42-35)

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at Boston Red Sox Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

After a rough loss yesterday, the Blue Jays will look to bounce back against the Red Sox this afternoon. The game gets underway at 4:05 ET.

Blue Jays’ Starter

The Jays are going with an opener in this one, with Derek Law making his third “start” of the season. Through 22.2 innings, Law is 0-1 with a 5.16 ERA. He has been successful in the opener role so far, throwing a pair of shutout innings, one without a baserunner and the other stranding a pair of runners. In fact, when he acted as the opener on Monday against the Angels, he notched his only perfect outing of the season, striking out a pair.

Following Law will likely be a plethora of relievers, perhaps with Sam Gaviglio being the bulk guy. Nick Kingham has thrown just 15 in game pitches in one appearance over the last 5 days, so he is likely able to go multiple innings as well. Jordan Romano (40 pitches yesterday), David Phelps (20 pitches yesterday) and Joe Biagini (11 yesterday and 8 the day before) likely will be last resorts today.

Red Sox’ Starter

The Sox will go with left hander Brian Johnson, making his 2nd start of the season and 7th appearance overall. Working out of the bullpen, he has gone more than 1 inning twice, while his start made it 3 innings. He had a relief appearance on April 5 in which he allowed 7 runs in his second inning of work, which is really what’s making his season look bad. Through 9 innings, he has allowed 10 runs on 18 hits and 6 walks, striking out 9 and allowing 3 home runs. Take out that second inning of work he did against Arizona, and it becomes 8 innings of 3 runs on 12 hits with 1 home run, 8 strikeouts and a still bad 5 walks. Much better, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see his numbers improve again today.

Blue Jays’ Lineup

Rowdy Tellez in back in the lineup today at 1B, sending Billy McKinney back to the bench. Eric Sogard slides over to DH, his 5th start there this season. Brandon Drury is on the bench as Cavan Biggio returns to 2B as well.

Red Sox’ Lineup

Rafael Devers remains out of the lineup as he nurses a sore hamstring. Yesterday’s hero Christian Vazquez gets the start behind the plate after beginning the game yesterday on the bench. Michael Chavis continues to get the starts at 1B as both Mitch Moreland and reigning World Series MVP Steve Pearce are on the Injured List.

Yesterday’s Heroes

Cheslor Cuthbert went 3-4 yesterday, falling a triple short of a cycle while scoring twice and driving in four en route to the Monster Bat award. His 3-run home run gave the Royals the 6-3 lead in the 5th inning. After that evaporated, he made it to 1B with none out representing the tying run in the 8th inning, but ultimately did not score. Both of those plays contributed greatly to his WPA King total of .507. But unfortunately for Cuthbert and his Royals teammates, his double award win was not good enough as the Twins took the game 8-7.

Walker Buehler pitched a complete game yesterday, earning the Pitcher of the Day award. He held the visiting Rockies to 2 runs on solo home runs to Nolan Arenado and Charlie Blackmon. He walked none and struck out a very impressive 16. He stuck around long enough to earn the win as well, as the Dodgers walked it off 4-2 on a Matt Beatty home run.

Find the Link

Find the link between Johnson and Marco Gonzales.

Stats are courtesy of Fangraphs