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Game #30 Preview: Ryu vs Fiers

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Blue Jays (15-14) vs Athletics (19-13)

Toronto Blue Jays v Oakland Athletics Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

The Blue Jays will wrap up their four game set in Oakland this afternoon, looking to earn the series split against the Athletics. It’s getaway day, so the game is an earlier one, set to get underway at 3:37 ET.

Blue Jays’ Starter

The Blue Jays welcome back to the rotation Hyun Jin Ryu after a short stay on the Injured List. Ryu last pitched on April 25, lasting 3.2 strong innings against the Rays before a glute strain forced him out of the game, and he spent 11 days on the 10-day IL. Hopefully that was enough time to get it healed up, and he’ll be ready to go once more here today.

On the season, Ryu is 1-2 with a 2.60 ERA over 5 starts. Over 27.2 innings, he has allowed 3 home runs and 3 walks, striking out 26. He has always been fantastic with regards to limiting walks, but this year he has taken it a bit further, and I’m personally quite enjoying it.

Athletics’ Starter

The A’s will turn to veteran righty Mike Fiers, who will be making his second start of the year. The start to Fiers’ season was delayed this year at first due to back problems, which then moved on to hip troubles, but he was able to work his way back by the end of April. Fiers’ made his debut on April 30 against the Orioles, where he threw a quality start, allowing 3 runs on 6 hits and 2 walks over 6 innings, striking out 3.

Fiers, who turns 36 in a little over a month, has continued to see the velocity of his fastball continue to drop, as one does as they advance in age. He was never a fireballer before, typically sitting somewhere around 90 mph, but after seeing his average velocity drop down to 88 mph last year, it was another half a mph slower in his start last week. He’ll couple that slow fastball with a similar velo sinker, while also mixing in a slider, curveball and changeup.

Blue Jays’ Lineup

Joe Panik, who continues to play a lot more than he should be, is scheduled to go for some imaging today on his ailing calf. Between him, Davis Phelps, and probably some other random guy, there’s a chance we see a roster move before the start of the game, something else alongside the addition of Ryu to the roster. I honestly have no idea who is even on the taxi squad as a position player if Panik is headed out. Rowdy Tellez was playing for the Bisons in Trenton last night, so I’m not sure he’s an option.

Judging by the rotation that we have seen through the DH spot this week, I’m going to guess that it is Teoscar Hernández’s turn to get a half day off. If Panik is indeed not able to play today, that would either mean Jonathan Davis would start in CF and push Randal Grichuk to RF, or Santiago Espinal would start at 3B and push Cavan Biggio to RF.

Danny Jansen will be the starting catcher with Ryu on the mound.

Athletics’ Lineup

I’m enjoying what the continual onslaught of lefties is doing to the Athletics. This will be Stephen Piscotty’s 5th start in RF, while Seth Brown continues to sit on the bench. Mitch Moreland, who did work his way into the starting lineup in game 2 and hit a home run, has otherwise been on the bench.

Matt Olson has struggled in the series, and in no small part thanks to the barrage of lefties the Jays have thrown at him, as 9 of his 12 PA have been against a lefty. He is now 0-10 with a pair of walks, and has seen his season batting average drop to below .300, going from .314 down to .281.

Yesterday’s Heroes

Giancarlo Stanton continued his hot streak, going 3-4 with a home run and a double, driving in 4 and earning a walk as well as he takes home the Monster Bat award. His hot streak helped the Yankees to the 6-3 win over the Astros.

Matt Duffy had a very fruitful game in extra innings last night. It culminated in him hitting a 2-out single in the 11th and driving in the fake runner to tie the game up, and then he promptly stealing second to get himself ready to score the winning run. He also got a WPA boost from being the fake runner in the 10th, and contributed a double, single and walk earlier in the game. All of this adds up to a WPA King total of .768 WPA in the Cubs 6-5 win over the Dodgers.

John Means was pretty much as perfect as you can be without throwing a Perfect Game yesterday. He still managed to get a 12 strikeout no-hitter, an incredible feat, but he missed out on the Perfect Game thanks to a batter reaching on a dropped third strike, a runner who was quickly eliminated on the bases anyway. But Means’ dominant outing gets him the Pitcher of the Day award in the Orioles 6-0 win over the Mariners.

Find the Link

Find the link between Stephen Piscotty and Mitch Haniger.

Stats retrieved from Fangraphs and Baseball Savant