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Game #31 Preview: Cobb vs Walker

Orioles (14-17) vs Blue Jays (16-14)

Baltimore Orioles v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images

The Blue Jays and Orioles continue their 4 game wrap-around series in Buffalo this evening, with first pitch set for 6:37 EDT.

Blue Jays’ Starter

Newly minted Blue Jay Taijuan Walker will make his debut in his new threads after coming over a few days ago from the Mariners for a Player to be Named Later. Walker is off to fine start to his season, as after 5 starts he is 2-2 with a 4.00 ERA. FIP doesn’t like him as much, giving him a 4.93 mark over 27 innings, mostly hurt by the 5 home runs he has already allowed.

Walker features a 5 pitch mix, including a 4-seamer, cutter, splitter, sinker and curveball. He’ll work all 5 into the game fairly regularly, with his 4-seamer and splitter being his most effective.

Walker has the distinction of being the only pitcher on the Blue Jays’ staff that has pitched into the 7th inning in a start this year, accomplishing that feat twice. That’s fairly significant, because the Jays are now at a Major League record 62 consecutive games without a starter doing so.

Orioles’ Starter

Alex Cobb will be making his 7th start of the season, looking to improve on his 1-2 record and 3.73 ERA. Over 31.1 innings, the veteran righty has done a good job limiting walks, surrendering just 10, but has struggled a little bit with preventing the long ball (5) and generating strikeouts (22).

Cobb faced the Blue Jays once so far this year, taking the loss in his longest outing of the year back on August 17. In that start, he went 6.2 innings, allowing 5 runs on 8 hits and a walk, striking out 4. Randal Grichuk touched him up for a 3-run home run in the 3rd inning of that one.

Blue Jays’ Lineup

Speaking of Grichuk, he bumped his season line up to .311/.348/.613 (156 wRC+) thanks to the walk-off home run last night. On the season against Orioles’ pitchers, he is 8-19 (.421) with 5 home runs and a double, driving in 13. Against everyone else, he’s 25-87 (.287) with 4 home runs and 4 doubles, driving in 12. So I can understand why Orioles’ fans aren’t too happy with him this year.

Derek Fisher hasn’t made it into a game since being reinstated from the Injured List prior to Wednesday’s game. With a righty on the mound today, and tomorrow’s starter still being undetermined before a lefty on Monday, I would imagine he’ll find himself in the starting lineup at some point this weekend.

Daniel Vogelbach, who got the opportunity to pinch hit yesterday, will likely see a start at some point this weekend, although I would imagine for the foreseeable future his role will pretty much just be as a pinch hitter.

Orioles’ Lineup

Since we last saw the Orioles, Chris Davis has been placed on the Injured List with left patella tightness. Davis was having yet another terrible season at the time, collecting just 6 hits in 52 PA, striking out 16 times, including 3 in his last game against the Jays.

When Davis went on the IL, the Orioles recalled one of their top prospects Ryan Mountcastle. In 6 games since his Major League debut, he is 8-20 with 4 walks and a pair of doubles, driving in 3.

Coming back from the IL since the Jays last played the Orioles is Jose Iglesias, who has made a pair of starts at DH as he deals with a strained quadriceps. The typically fantastic defender is having a great season with the bat (160 wRC+ over 63 PA), and will probably be on the move in the coming days.

Yesterday’s Heroes

Franmil Reyes went 3-4, falling a triple short of the cycle, but drove in 5 runs to pick up the Monster Bat award. He helped his Cleveland teammates to the 14-2 blowout of the Cardinals.

Yesterday saw a few walk-off home runs, including Amed Rosario for the Mets in Yankee Stadium, but Randal Grichuk’s 2-out, 2-run come from behind walk-off home run gets him the WPA King title. That hit alone was worth .849, which was 0.010 higher than his total for the day in the Jays’ 5-4 win over the Orioles.

Sixto Sanchez threw 7 shutout innings yesterday, giving up 6 hits and a walk while striking out 10 to pick up the Pitcher of the Day award. He did not factor into the decision though, as Ryan Yarbrough and the Rays were just as good through 7, and the Rays put some runs on the board against the Marlins’ bullpen to win 2-0.

Find the Link

Find the link between Ryan Mountcastle and his Minor League teammate Luis Ortiz.