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Game #67 Preview: King vs Zeuch

Yankees (35-32) vs Blue Jays (33-33)

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

The Blue Jays will attempt to avoid the sweep against the Yankees this evening, as they wrap up their 3 game series in Buffalo. The game is once again set to get underway at 7:07 ET.

Blue Jays’ Starter

The plan is for the Jays to call up T.J. Zeuch to make the start today, probably taking the 26 man roster spot of Rafael Dolis who seems likely to be headed to the Injured List. This will be Zeuch’s 5th appearance of the season, as he comes in with 2 regular starts and 2 follower appearances earlier this year. The Jays may opt to go the follower route again today, although I’m not sure who would do the opening. Maybe we’ll also see Thomas Hatch called up today too.

Through 12 innings this year in the Majors, Zeuch has allowed 13 runs (just 9 earned) on 16 hits and 7 walks, striking out 6. He has been hurt by bad defense, but unfortunately for him, bad defense is what you’re going to get with this team. He has also been hurt by a lot of walks, and the fact that he does not have the ability to get a whiff from a batter. He has a lot of room for improvement, but in order for him to be successful, he needs to get a lot of luck and a lot of help from his teammates.

Two of Zeuch’s four appearances this year came against the Yankees, with one fairly good and the other not so much. In his first start, he held the Yankees off the board, giving up just 3 hits and a walk over 4 shutout innings. His second outing was 4 runs over 4 innings, getting hurt by some bad defense and a pair of Aaron Judge home runs. He struck out just 2 in that game against 2 walks.

Yankees’ Starter

Michael King will go for the Yankees, finding his way back into the rotation after injuries to Deivi García and Corey Kluber. King has made 3 starts and 7 long relief appearances, adding up to 31.0 innings this year. He is 0-3 with a 3.77 ERA, putting together a fairly solid season considering what his role is.

The right handed King has faced the Jays twice this year, and has been fairly dominant in doing so. Through 9 combined innings, he has allowed just 1 run 7 hits and 2 walks, striking out 6. The Jays’ lone run off him came on a solo home run by Lourdes Gurriel Jr.

Blue Jays’ Lineup

Yesterday’s game was once again heartbreaking for the team, after they fought hard against Gerrit Cole and were on right on the verge of fighting back, doing so against two of the best pitchers of this generation. So while it’s heartbreaking and undoubtedly frustrating, yesterday wasn’t entirely bad. Just mostly.

As George Springer gets closer and closer to his return, Randal Grichuk is starting to show an opening where some of Springer’s games are going to come from. Springer is obviously going to play whenever he returns, but how the at bats (and roster spots) are distributed amongst Grichuk, Gurriel, Tellez and seemingly Panik will be determined by how well they’re doing. Grichuk for the last few weeks has not been doing well.

Cavan Biggio on the other hand has been doing well. In his 5 games since coming back from the IL, he is 7-17 with 2 doubles, 3 home runs, 3 walks and 3 strikeouts. If they moved him up into the 5th spot ahead of Grichuk, I probably wouldn’t complain at this point.

Yankees’ Lineup

In pretty much the same story from the first game, the Jays’ pitching did a great job keeping down the heart of the order. Aaron Judge, Gleyber Torres and Giancarlo Stanton went a combined 2-10 with 4 strikeouts and a walk. However, also like Tuesday’s game, the Yankees got just enough offence out of Gary Sánchez to render the aforementioned success moot.

Turning to a guy that I completely forgot plays for the Yankees, Rougned Odor had a bad game for the Yankees last night. He went 0-4 with 3 strikeouts. Look for him to be in the lineup again today with the right handed Zeuch on the mound.

Yesterday’s Heroes

Once again Fangraphs is letting me down, so I will have to take some shots and at least get close.

Chas McCormick went 2-4 with a pair of home runs, driving in 3 runs, so we’ll give him the Monster Bat award. He helped his Astros double up the visiting Rangers 8-4.

Christian Arroyo hit a pinch hit grand slam, turning the score from 7-6 to 10-7. The grand slam was his only plate appearance, and he gets the WPA King trophy with a .528 mark. The Red Sox held on for the 10-8 win over the Braves.

Sandy Alcantara gets the Pitcher of the Day award in the rare 8.1 inning complete game loss. He allowed the walk-off single after an error put the runner on first. His final line was 8.1 innings, 0 earned runs on 6 hits and a walk, striking out 7. The Marlins lost to the Cardinals 1-0.

Find the Link

Find the link between Rougned Odor, Dee Strange-Gordon, and Mallex Smith.

Stats retrieved from Fangraphs and Baseball Savant