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Game #98 Preview: Pannone vs Sale

Blue Jays (36-61) vs Red Sox (52-44)

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

The Blue Jays will look to earn the split of this 4 game series against the Red Sox, hoping to leave Boston on a high note. The game is set for 1:05 ET, so take the afternoon off whatever it was you were planning on doing and sit back and enjoy the game.

Blue Jays’ Starter

The Blue Jays are expected to recall lefty Thomas Pannone for this game, but there is a bit of a catch. He was in Buffalo last night, hoping to catch a flight into Boston. However, his flight was canceled, and as of 9 hours ago, there was some uncertainty as to whether he could make it to Boston on time now. Seems rather strange that today’s starter wouldn’t have been here more than 12 hours beforehand, but hey, I’m not their traveling secretary.

If Pannone does make the start, it would be his 3rd start of the season and 25th appearance. Through his first 39.1 innings, he is 2-3 with a 6.18 ERA, and it’s a few of his longer appearances that has caused such a high ERA. In his two actual starts, he allowed 11 runs on 10 hits, with 5 walks and 7 strikeouts over 5 innings. His last appearance in the Majors came as a bulk guy against the Red Sox, where he allowed 4 runs on 4 hits in 4.1 innings.

He was doing much better in the Minors at least. In 4 starts down there since a mid-June demotion, he has thrown 19 innings, allowing 2 runs on 12 hits and 5 walks, striking out a very impressive 27. If this is even close to the Pannone we can get today, the day may not be so bad. Assuming he even makes it to Boston on time.

Red Sox Starter

The Red Sox will send Ace Chris Sale to the mound. Sale’s numbers on the season are looking exceptionally un-Sale like, as he is currently 3-9 with a 4.27 ERA. He was briefly starting to come back around to his normal self, but has now gone 4 consecutive starts with out a quality start, and has gotten lit up pretty bad in that time frame. Over his last 21.1 innings, he has allowed 19 runs (18 earned) on 29 hits with 6 walks, and probably the scariest number being 6 home runs allowed.

Two of those games coincidentally have come against the Blue Jays, who have had a great season against Sale overall. Over 3 starts, the Jays have scored at least 4 runs against Sale in all of them. Overall, the Jays have scored 14 runs (13 earned) over 14.2 innings, collecting 23 hits with 4 walks (plus 2 HBP) and 4 home runs. They have also only struck out 16 times, which is impressive against a guy who has 160 strikeouts over 111.2 innings overall. Lourdes Gurriel Jr., Danny Jansen, Brandon Drury and Randal Grichuk have all touched him up for a home run this year, and look for all four of them to be in the lineup today.

Blue Jays’ Lineup

Gurriel is apparently “sore everywhere” which is why he has spent a lot of time at DH recently. Which is probably because he has spent too much time running the bases. Look for him to be back there again today, and there’s a good chance we’ll see Drury getting the start in LF.

Teoscar Hernandez seems to be taking the threat of Dalton Pompey coming back seriously, as he has now hit 3 home runs in the last couple games in Fenway. Pompey, whose rehab assignment runs through next Wednesday, has made it to AAA on his rehab assignment and is out of options. So the Jays will have a decision to make next week.

Red Sox Lineup

Sandy Leon will catch Sale today, partly because Leon gets most of the catching assignments for Sale, but also because it is a day game after a night game.

Sam Travis will likely also be in the game, especially if Thomas Pannone is making the start. That likely means Brock Holt is on the bench, but not necessarily. They could shift Holt elsewhere and maybe they’ll give Xander Bogaerts or Rafael Devers the day off. One can hope anyway.

Yesterday’s Heroes

Amed Rosario went 4-4 yesterday, hitting a home run, triple, 2 singles and also drew a walk, enough to earn him the Monster Bat award. He scored 4 times and drove in 3 of the Mets 14 runs in their 14-4 win over the Twins.

Paul Goldschmidt hit a huge go ahead 3-run home run in the bottom of the 7th last night. That home run alone was worth .459 WPA, which was higher than his WPA King winning overall mark of .422.

Chris Paddack carried a no hitter into the 8th inning, holding the Marlins to just a walk before Starlin Castro led off the 8th with a home run. That would be the only hit he allowed over 7.2 masterful innings, as he struck out 8 with just 1 hit and 1 walk to earn the Pitcher of the Day award. His Padres held on for the 3-2 win.

Find the Link

Find the link between Sale and Ian Kinsler.

Stats are courtesy of Fangraphs