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Games #37 and #38 Preview: Roark/Stripling vs Godley/Mazza

Blue Jays (20-16) vs Red Sox (12-26)

Toronto Blue Jays v Boston Red Sox Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

The Blue Jays and Red Sox will be playing 2 games today, with the second one being a makeup of last week’s game that was missed because the player’s strike against social injustice. The first game is the regularly scheduled game which begins at 4:10 EDT, the second game with the Jays as the home team will follow half an hour after the last out of the first one.

Blue Jays’ Starters

Tanner Roark will take the ball and game 1, and he may be fighting a bit to keep his rotation spot in this one. Roark’s results thus far have been fairly sub-par, currently sitting at a 2-1 record and a 5.33 ERA. Through 6 starts, he has thrown 27 innings, and has seen his share of struggles. He has allowed 17 runs (16 earned) on 33 hits, with 7 of those going for home runs, while striking out 22 against 15 walks. None of those are good ratios, and with at least 6 people fighting for a rotation spot right now, there’s a chance that Roark may lose some playing time.

Roark faced Boston back on August 7, the worst start of his season. Roark only threw 3.0 innings, allowing 4 runs on 3 hits, 2 of which were home runs, while walking 5 and striking out just 1. With the exception of the hits, each of those numbers represent his worst stat in a game this season.

Starting the second game for the Jays will be newcomer Ross Stripling. Stripling came over the Jays on Monday’s trade deadline from the Dodgers, probably looking to fill the swingman role and provide a bit more veteran depth for the Jays’ pitching staff, both this year and beyond.

In 7 starts for the Dodgers, Stripling was 3-1 with a 5.61 over 33.2 innings. He has 27 strikeouts against 11 walks, both fairly respectable numbers. But he has allowed 12 home runs, which ties him for the Major League lead with Gerrit Cole, but Cole has nearly 40% more innings.

Red Sox’ Starter

In the first game, the Sox will trot out former Blue Jay Zack Godley. Godley has pitched in 7 games for the Red Sox, starting 6 and acting as the bulk guy in another. Overall he has thrown 25.2 innings, pitching to an 0-3 record with a 7.71 ERA. He has allowed 37 hits, 13 walks and 7 home runs, striking out 24.

So naturally you’d think that this is the kind of pitcher the Jays had their troubles with him when they faced him earlier in the season, to which you would be correct. The Jays faced him on August 8, where he held the Jays off the board for 4 innings, surrendering just 3 hits and a pair of walks, striking out 3.

Game 2 will be started by 30 year old rookie Chris Mazza. Mazza has found his way into 3 games this year, starting 2 but only throwing a total of 8 innings. He has allowed 7 runs on 15 hits and 5 walks, striking out 10. He has allowed just 1 home run, perhaps his biggest saving grace on the season.

Blue Jays’ Lineup

I would imagine we’ll see pretty much everyone on the active roster getting a start in one of the games today, as Montoyo will probably try to keep everyone as fresh as possible.

On yesterday’s broadcast, they showed how well the big bats of Teoscar Hernandez, Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. have been doing over the last 15 days. But there are 2 other names that are also doing well that didn’t appear on that list - Rowdy Tellez (.973 OPS since August 19) and Joe Panik (.767). Panik has been even better over the last 3 series as he has started to see more playing time, hitting .381/.480/.524 with 3 doubles over his last 25 PA. So we’re definitely in a hot streak of his, and will likely ride it a bit harder until well past its expiration date.

Red Sox Lineup

J.D. Martinez may be starting to wake up from his season long slumber. Over his last 4 games, he is 7-18 with 4 doubles, bringing his season wRC+ up to just 90, a far cry from the greatness of which he is accustomed. It didn’t seem likely he would stay down for long, but if he’s back actually back, he’ll join Alex Verdugo, Rafael Devers and Xander Bogaerts as actual functioning members of the Red Sox lineup.

Both the Jays and Red Sox will get an additional player for the double header today, and I’m not sure who the player will be for either side.

Yesterday’s Heroes

Recycled Met Todd Frazier went 3-5 with a home run and a pair of doubles, good enough to pick up the Monster Bat award. His output helped propel the Mets to the 9-7 extra inning win over the Yankees.

Didi Gregorius had a couple big plays late in yesterday’s game, including a leadoff single to set up the tying run in the 9th, and a leadoff sac bunt to move the winning run to third base in the bottom of the 10th. His WPA King total for the game was .590, although I’m starting to wonder if the placement of the runner at second base is WPA that is wrongfully attributed to the leadoff hitter. That would probably explain why Cavan Biggio’s walk in the top of the 10th last night was worth .196. I’ll have to consider this a bit more in the future.

Andrew Heaney threw 7 shutout innings, allowing just 3 hits and 2 walks while striking out 6 to pick up the Pitcher of the Day award. He also picked up the win in the Angels 2-0 shutout of the Padres.

Find the Link

Find the link between J.D. Martinez and the great Cliff (Clive? Clay? Clout?) Pennington.