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Game #57 Preview: Montgomery vs Ryu

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Yankees (32-24) vs Blue Jays (29-27)

MLB: New York Yankees at Toronto Blue Jays Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

The Blue Jays wrap up their season series with the Yankees this evening, with the possibility of earning a 10 game split. The game is scheduled to get underway at Sahlen Field in Buffalo at 6:37 EDT.

Blue Jays’ Starter

Hyun-Jin Ryu will make his final start of the regular season as he gets set to open the 2020 playoffs for the Jays. This will be Ryu’s 12th start of the season, and he has been quite good through his first 11. Over 60 innings, he is 4-2 with a 3.00 ERA, striking out 68 batters to just 15 walks. As a heavy ground ball pitcher (53.1%), it’s a rare combination that he is able to generate that many ground balls while striking out more than 10 batters per 9 innings.

This will be Ryu’s second start against the Yankees, and his first start represented his worst outing of the year. In that one, he allowed 5 runs on 6 hits over 5 innings, striking out 5 but walking 2 and allowing 3 home runs. The home runs were hit by Luke Voit, Aaron Hicks and Miguel Andujar.

Yankees’ Starter

Left hander Jordan Montgomery gets the ball for the Yankees, making his 10th start of the year. Montgomery is having a rough season, currently sitting with a 2-2 record and a 5.12 ERA. When you look at his underlying numbers, he appears to have been a fair bit unlucky to be at the ERA he is at. Over 38.2 innings, he has 39 strikeouts to just 9 walks, has only allowed 7 home runs, and has one of the lowest average exit velocities allowed in the league. He should be seeing better results than that 5.12 ERA, but since he’s a Yankee, I’m happy to see that he’s not.

Montgomery has just 1 start against the Jays this year, facing off against Ryu back on September 7. He went just 3.1 innings in that one, allowing 2 runs on 6 hits and 2 walks, striking out just 1.

Blue Jays’ Lineup

After a couple days off, Danny Jansen came back with a vengeance last night, bringing his season line up to .191/.323/.382 (98 wRC+). He’ll be back in there tonight catching Ryu, just as he has all season long, and will be catching Ryu in game 1 of the playoffs.

Yesterday saw what is likely to be the regular lineup, unless Rowdy Tellez is able to return, which I don’t think will happen soon enough. If he does return, he’ll probably be limited, and will join the bench that will likely consist of Alejandro Kirk, Jonathan Villar and Jonathan Davis. That’s a pretty strong bench, even if Villar has been a huge disappointment since coming over.

Yankees’ Lineup

I was a little surprised to see both Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton in the lineup last night. I would expect Judge to have the night off tonight though, as he has now played 3 straight days.

The Yankees also fielded last night what should be their best option. That includes having Brett Gardner on the bench in deference to Clint Frazier in the outfield, even if Gardner has picked it up a bit lately. Frazier has been having a great season so far, and I can’t stand Gardner, so I’m happy to see him not playing.

Yesterday’s Heroes

Danny Jansen was 1 of 8 different players to hit 2 home runs, but I’m still giving him the Monster Bat award, because he did it with a double, single and a walk as well.

Ramon Laureano hit a big 2 run home run in the top of the 9th to earn the WPA King title. That hit was worth .449 WPA, a large portion of his .525 total in the Athletics’ 6-4 win over the Dodgers.

Trevor Bauer went 8 strong innings last night, allowing just 1 run on 4 hits and a walk, striking out 12 to pick up the Pitcher of the Day award. He led his Reds to the 6-1 win over the Brewers.

Standings Watch

Current seed: 8th (unchanged from yesterday)
Games back of the Yankees for 2nd in East: 3 (-1 from yesterday, elimination number is 1*)
Games back of Cleveland for 7th seed: 3 (unchanged from yesterday, elimination number is 2)
Games up on 9th: 3.5 (unchanged from yesterday)
Magic Number to clinch a playoff spot: 1 (-1 from yesterday)

* The Jays need to win out with the Yankees winning just once for this to be anything but a 1. A tie in that instance would go past the head to head record (5-5 at that point) and overall against division (both would be 23-17), and would then need to be based on the final 20 division games, which I think is in the Jays’ favour. In other words, the Jays aren’t likely at all to catch the Yankees.

Find the Link

Find the link between Gardner, Hank Bauer and Gil McDougald