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Game #12 Preview: Berríos vs Pivetta

Blue Jays (6-5) vs Red Sox (6-5)

Toronto Blue Jays v Boston Red Sox Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images

After losing last night’s series opener, the Blue Jays will look to rebound in game two of their three game series at Fenway Park taking on the Red Sox. The game is scheduled to get underway at 7:10 ET or so.

Blue Jays’ Starter

José Berríos will try once again to get his season on the right track. After an abysmal opening day where he allowed 4 runs on 3 hits and 2 walks while getting just 1 out, he came out of the gate much better in his second game, but ultimately had a start he is much better than. In that one, he went 5 innings, allowing 3 runs on 6 hits, but he walked 3 and allowed a pair of home runs. He did at least manage 5 strikeouts in that one, and also looked like his previous dominant self in the first 4 innings, so there are certainly positives to take from that start.

Red Sox’ Starter

The Red Sox will counter with Canadian Nick Pivetta, who will be making his third start of the season. Like Berríos, Pivetta is having a rough opening to his season (looking at the list of starters with more runs allowed already this year, it’s a common thread among some fairly good pitchers). Through 7.2 innings, Pivetta has allowed 8 runs on 9 hits, walking 5 and allowing 3 home runs. And like Berríos, Pivetta’s long start included a very strong first trip through the lineup against the Yankees before they found a bit more success the more they faced him.

Blue Jays’ Lineup

Expect to see Cavan Biggio back in the lineup in this one today, I’d guess patrolling right field. Pivetta is a bit of softer thrower than your average pitcher, which is the type of profile that Biggio has had success against. Against Pivetta in particular, Biggio is 4-10 with a pair of home runs.

Zack Collins continued his solid run at the plate again yesterday with another home run and a single off a very tough lefty. He’ll undoubtedly be back in the lineup today, perhaps behind the plate.

Bo Bichette’s struggles continued yesterday, and perhaps also thanks to the cold, it showed up in his defense for the first time as well, as he committed his first two errors of the season. But his bat is the big concern early on, as he’s hitting just .204/.204/.306, swinging at bad pitches, always putting himself in unfavourable counts, and not making good swing decisions. It’s just a slump, and it’ll become a distant memory in a couple months, but it’s not a good start to the season for him. Don’t be surprised to see him get a day off at some point as Santiago Espinal slides over to cover SS.

Red Sox’ Lineup

They did just enough and capitalized on some Jays’ errors yesterday to pull out the win, but the bottom half of the lineup once again showed that they’re not much of a threat with the bat. Bobby Dalbec continues to tease with his power and success when he makes contact, but he just doesn’t hit the ball frequently enough. They’re still looking at a hole in RF, despite bringing Jackie Bradley Jr. back. Their catchers weren’t doing well before both ended up on the Covid IL.

So they need their top 6 to perform well if they want to find continued success. They got just 3 hits from them yesterday, but that was just enough on the cold night.

Jackie Bradley Jr. didn’t start yesterday facing a lefty, but expect him to be back in there tonight with Christian Arroyo headed to the bench. Aside from that change, the lineup will likely look the same.

Yesterday’s Heroes

Salvador Perez had his second 2-homer game of this young season, knocking out a pair of solo shots while also drawing a walk on his way to picking up the Monster Bat award. He did just enough to help his Royals to the 4-3 win over the Twins.

CJ Cron hit his Major League leading 6th home run in the top of the 7th, turning a 4-3 deficit into a 6-4 lead. That home run helped Cron earn the WPA King trophy with a .430 mark. The Rockies held on to the lead as well, winning 6-5 over the Phillies and pushing their record to the second best in all of baseball at 8-3.

Max Fried fired 7 shutout innings, allowing just 2 hits and nothing else while striking out 8 batters to pick up the Pitcher of the Day honours. He also earned the win as his Braves knocked off the hometown Dodgers 3-1.

Find the Link

Find the link between JBJ and Hirokazu Sawmura.

Stats retrieved from Fangraphs and Baseball Savant