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Game #6 Preview: Berríos vs Cole

Blue Jays (3-2) vs Yankees (3-2)

Toronto Blue Jays v New York Yankees Photo by Dustin Satloff/Getty Images

After trading shutouts the first two games, the Blue Jays will look to re-take the series advantage tonight as they pay game three of their four game series against the Yankees in New York. Tonight’s game is once again expected to get underway at 7:05 ET.

Blue Jays’ Starter

José Berríos will look to put all memories of his terrible opening day start to rest, and will need a good outing today to do that. On opening day, Berríos lasted just 7 batters, getting only 1 out while giving up a pair of walks, a beanball, a home run and a pair of singles while also uncorking a wild pitch. It was a very bad outing, one that probably can be at least somewhat attributable to getting too hyped up for the huge moment. While that’s perhaps not a good sign when looking forward to other big games, everyone also knows that he can be so much better than that outing. And he likely has a lot he can learn about himself from that game that will help him in the future.

For now, this is just another start today.

Yankees’ Starter

Getting the ball for the Yankees will be Gerrit Cole, also looking to put his own personal struggles from opening day behind him. After getting iced by an opening ceremony that lasted 4 minutes longer than he expected, Cole came out of the gate rough. He allowed a walk, home run, single and double to the first four batters he faced, before settling in and retiring 11 of the next 13 batters to complete a surprisingly short opening day outing. He’ll be looking for a better result today as well.

The Jays’ batters will be looking for a repeat performance of what they did to Cole in his last outing of 2021, one that likely helped make teammate Robbie Ray the nearly unanimous Cy Young winner. In that game, the Jays touched up Cole for 5 runs on 9 hits over 6 innings, including home runs from Marcus Semien and Bo Bichette. Something similar to that would be quite enjoyable.

Blue Jays’ Lineup

Gabriel Moreno made his 2022 Minor League debut yesterday after visa issues delayed his start to spring training by a couple weeks. However, with Danny Jansen expected to miss “several weeks”, there have already been calls for Moreno to be called up. The likely reasoning is that his season just finally got started, and he’ll need some reps before he can be ready to go, similar to a player going on a rehab assignment. However, while he’s in the Minors, we’re going to see Alejandro Kirk, who is likely to keep getting a lot of reps at DH, and some combination of Zack Collins and Tyler Heineman getting a bunch of starts behind the plate. Collins and Heineman have looked lost at the plate thus far, and don’t exactly carry a reputation suggesting it’ll get better. So while the calls for Moreno may be a bit premature, it’s pretty hard to argue that he wouldn’t be an upgrade to the team at this point. It would be a ride that’ll have it’s ups and downs, but I would very much be in favour of starting it.

Elsewhere around the lineup, expect to see Cavan Biggio back in the lineup after sitting out the first couple games of this series. My guess is that he spells someone else, who moves to the DH spot. Biggio has had a bit of luck against Cole so far in his career, with a pair of home runs and a double over 17 PA.

Yankees’ Lineup

Joey Gallo had the day off yesterday against Kikuchi, but expect to see him back in LF today.

While he doesn’t have an official position, DJ LeMahieu has started 4 of the team’s 5 games, getting the call at 1B, 2B and 3B so far. He’ll continue to cycle around the field, and as long as he’s one of the more productive bats, he’ll keep cycling around. Today might be a day he’s on the bench though, as it could be his turn to sit, which is something you face when your team has 10 players they want to start every day. Eventually someone will get injured and the playing time will sort itself out.

The 32 year old Kyle Higashioka has started 4 of 5 games so far, with his day off falling right in the middle. While he might be looking for a rest day again today, he’s also usually the one catching Gerrit Cole, so he likely catches again today. However, catching 5 games in 6 days isn’t something you see too often from catchers anymore, especially those on the wrong side of 30.

Yesterday’s Heroes

Brett Phillips.

José Ramírez gets the Monster Bat award, hitting a grand slam, triple and single while driving in 6 runs. His Guardians took down the Reds 10-5.

Cedric Mullins hit a big grand slam of his own in the bottom of the second, and then set himself up to be the tying run leading off the bottom of the 9th with a double. All of that adds up to a WPA King total of .511, but Mullins was left stranded, and the Orioles lost to the Brewers 5-4.

We once again find ourselves with a full slate of games and not a single pitcher even reaching 6 innings. Tylor Megill threw 5.1 shutout innings, so we’ll give him the Pitcher of the Day award. He allowed 3 hits and didn’t walk anyone, taking home his second win of the young season in the Mets’ 2-0 victory over the Phillies.

Find the Link

Find the link between DJ LeMahieu and Mickey Mantle.

Stats retrieved from Fangraphs and Baseball Savant