The Blue Jays will look to leave Texas with a series win, taking on the Rangers in the rubber match of their three game set in Arlington this afternoon. Gametime is set for 2:05 ET, so make sure you’ve made arrangements with your other commitments.
Blue Jays’ Starter
Ace Hyun Jin Ryu will make his second start of the season, looking to pick right back up where he left off against the Yankees on Opening Day. In that game, he threw 5.1 solid innings, allowing 2 runs on 4 hits. He struck out 5 while walking just 1 and allowing a 2-run home run. Outside of that home run, he was quite remarkable limiting hard contact, with the average exit velocity off him for the game sitting at just 79.4 mph.
Ryu spent most of his last start painting the corners, down and away with his changeup, and all along the inside edge with his fastball and cutter. The fastball was able to sit at 90 mph, right in line if not a smidge higher than last year. If that’s the Ryu we get all season, I think everyone will be exceptionally pleased.
The Rangers will counter with Kyle Gibson, and I think everyone in Rangers’ land would love to forget about his Opening Day start. He was absolutely atrocious, getting just a single out while allowing 5 runs on 4 hits and 3 walks.
He struggled finding the zone pretty much completely with his cutter and slider, as the 33 year old righty continued to miss outside to righties the whole time. The one pitch he was able to get over the plate, his sinker, ended up being sent back out for 3 of the 4 hits. He just flat out didn’t have command of his pitches, and the score very obviously showed that to be the case.
Blue Jays’ Lineup
Bo Bichette made sure that anyone who thought he may have been hampered by shots he took the ribs the night before was worried for no reason, as he launched two home runs yesterday. He was starting to show signs recently of better at bats, so we knew the solid contact was on its way.
Hopefully Danny Jansen is able to make it back into the lineup today after taking a foul ball off his knee on Monday. He was most likely going to be off yesterday regardless, so we can’t use that too much to determine his health. I do expect him in the lineup.
Today feels like a day we’ll see Joe Panik in the lineup again. Not sure where in the fold he’ll go, but I feel like that opportunity will come at 3B. I’d rather that if he plays, it’s to give someone else at least a half day off with the DH, but he inexplicably was the DH in his only start, so I guess we’ll see.
Nate Lowe reminded everyone yesterday that he used to play for the Rays, hitting a pair of devastating early home runs against the Jays. Those RBI helped pad his early season statistical lead, as he’s now the Major League leader with 14 RBI in the early going.
Brock Holt, who was pulled due to a hamstring problem yesterday, was unlikely to be in the lineup today anyway with Ryu on the mound. He’ll get today and their scheduled day off tomorrow to overcome that malady. Charlie Culberson will likely be taking the start at 3B again.
Jose Trevino will be back behind the plate in today’s game too, after the catcher’s scheduled day off.
Ryan McMahon had a lot of fun at the plate in last night’s crazy game against the Diamondbacks. McMahon went 4-6, launching 3 home runs and a double to pick up the Monster Bat award.
On the WPA King side of things, four of the top five results from yesterday came from that game, with Sam Hilliard taking home the trophy with his .704 mark. Unfortunately for both McMahon and Hilliard, the Rockies weren’t able to pull out the win as the Diamondbacks actually won the game 10-8 in 13 innings, including 4 frames of a free runner on second base.
Last night was the second time around for some aces, and Gerrit Cole rose above the rest. He threw 7 shutout innings (albeit against the Orioles), striking out 13 batters while walking none and allowing 4 hits to pick up the Pitcher of the Day award. He was his regular nasty self, and helped the Yankees to their 7-2 win over the Orioles.
Find the Link
Find the link between Nate Lowe and John Rocker (and it’d be cool if you found a story about it).