Today marks the scheduled midpoint of the season, with the Blue Jays scheduled to play the Red Sox in the finale of their 3-game set in Sahlen Field in Buffalo. That’s assuming there is a game today, as three games across the Majors were postponed last night due to players refusing to play in light of the police shooting Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and the continued support of the Black Lives Matter movement. But if the Blue Jays and Red Sox do play this evening, first pitch is set for 6:37 EDT.
Blue Jays’ Starter
Hyun-Jin Ryu will be making his 7th start as a Blue Jay, and after a couple rough ones to open his tenure, he has been fantastic. Over 31 innings, Ryu has allowed 11 runs on 23 hits and 9 walks, striking out 33. Overall, he is 2-1 with a 3.19 ERA and a very similar 3.26 ERA. If you break down his numbers to just August, he is 2-0 with a 1.23 ERA, pitching 22 innings over 4 starts, allowing 3 runs on 10 hits and 5 walks, striking out 24.
Red Sox’ Starter
The Red Sox will counter with 30 year old rookie Chris Mazza, who they plan to recall prior to the game today. The righty will be making just his 2nd start and 3rd appearance overall this year for the Red Sox, although he does have a 16.1 inning stint out of the Mets’ bullpen last year as well. Over 22 big league innings, with all but 3 coming as a reliever, Mazza has allowed 14 runs on 30 hits and 8 walks, striking out 18.
Mazza throws a low 90s fastball that he’ll also cut and sink, while mixing in a slider and the very occasional changeup. That type of profile suggests that he’d struggle a bit more with lefties, and in the small sample of his career thus far, lefties have a wOBA of .449 compared to a .349 against righties, so while both have hit him hard, lefties have had their way with him more.
Blue Jays’ Lineup
Eventually we’ll see Daniel Vogelbach show up. I am curious what the holdup is, but today would seem like a good day to have him in the lineup. Don’t be surprised to Joe Panik in the lineup today though, along with Travis Shaw and Rowdy Tellez.
I would also consider giving Reese McGuire back to back days, not just because of who is starting, but to give him a chance to play in back to back days and try to gain some consistency and see if that’ll help his bat at all.
Red Sox’ Lineup
With Ryu starting for the Jays, there’s a good chance that their best hitter in Mitch Moreland won’t be starting today. I’m quite alright with that, as Moreland is 3-7 with a home run and double plus a pair of walks through the first two games of this series. If you include the series from earlier in the year, you can add another 4-10 with 3 more home runs, so yeah, Moreland is Blue Jay killer this year.
With Alex Verdugo and Jackie Bradley Jr. both being lefties, I think there’s a chance that J.D. Martinez gets a start in the outfield. He has made 3 starts in RF this year, and in the very limited stats of just 22 innings, he has -2 DRS, -1.0 UZR, and -1 OAA.
Rowdy takes home the Monster Bat award with his 2 home runs and single while driving in 4 runs last night. As we all know, the Blue Jays beat the Red Sox 9-1.
The Braves swept a doubleheader over the Yankees yesterday, with scores of 5-1 and 2-1. Freddie Freeman was pretty much non-influential in the 5-1 game, but he drove in both runs on a 2-out, 2-run home run in the bottom of the 6th (remember that these are 7 inning games). His WPA for that hit was .597, and WPA King total for the day was .540.
Jacob DeGrom did typical Jacob DeGrom things, picking up the Pitcher of the Day award with 7 masterful innings. He allowed 1 run on 2 hits and 2 walks, striking out 14 batters. And in true DeGrom fashion, he earned himself a no-decision in the Mets’ eventual 5-4 win over the Marlins.
Find the Link
Find the link between J.D. Martinez and absolutely nobody else (ie. he’s done something that no one else has).