After losing the opener, the Blue Jays will look to even things up against the Orioles in the second game of their three game set. The game this afternoon gets underway at 3:07 ET.
Blue Jays’ Starter
Alek Manoah heads to the mound for the Blue Jays, trying to overcome the many struggles that he has faced. There have been many words written about Manoah’s struggles, and at some point the team is either going to have to figure out how to fix him, or accept that he can’t be trying at the Major League level anymore. We’re not at that line at the moment, partly because there is really nobody ready to take his spot in the rotation, so we’ll see if the continual tweaks they’re trying will have any results today.
Coming into today’s start, Manoah is now 1-4 with a 5.40 ERA. His FIP is even worse, sitting at 6.45. He’s struggling with finishing batters off and not getting strikeouts. He’s struggling mightily with walks, as his 32 through 45 innings is the second highest total in all of baseball. He’s struggling with giving up hits against him with 49 in 45 innings, after giving up just 221 in his first 308 innings. And as a result of all of that, he’s struggling pitching deep into games, with an average of just 5 innings per start, and in only 2 of his starts has he managed to get an out in the 6th inning - he had just 2 starts all of last year where he didn’t get at least an out in the 6th inning
The Blue Jays aren’t the only ones sending out a struggling young right hander with high expectations though. Rookie Grayson Rodriguez gets the ball for the O’s, and through the first 8 games of his young career, he is 2-1 with a 6.57 ERA. His 5.46 ERA is a bit better, seeing boosts from an expectedly great K/9 rate which is sitting at 10.7 through his 37 innings. But the walk rate at 4.14 per 9 innings is worse than average, and the home run rate at 2.19 is one of the worst in all of baseball.
But he’s a young fireballer with a great changeup and slider, so the success will eventually come for him. Facing a reeling Jays’ offense who seem to always struggle against rookie pitchers is a good chance for him.
Blue Jays’ Lineup
They’ve shaken things up a bit to try and get over their lull. Brandon Belt has earned his way up to the 4 spot in the batting order, and will be at DH today. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is healthy enough to be back in the field. And the most interesting change for today is that Danny Jansen is catching Manoah, the first time since September 18 last year that Danny has caught him and fifth time overall.
Saturday afternoon baseball #NextLevel pic.twitter.com/WryS9RVoc5— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) May 20, 2023
Saturday in The 6 pic.twitter.com/H0rNSzikZQ— Baltimore Orioles (@Orioles) May 20, 2023
Rafael Devers went 2-4 with a pair of home runs and 4 RBI, earning himself the Monster Bat award along the way. He was pretty much the difference in the game as his Red Sox took down the home town Padres 6-1.
Michael Kopech was phenomenal last night, carrying a perfect game into the 6th before allowing his only hit over 8 scoreless innings. He gave up just the single and nothing else while striking out 10 to take home the Pitcher of the Day honours. He also got the win in the White Sox’ 2-0 victory over the Royals. And since the game was so close, his .471 WPA gets him the WPA King trophy as well.
Find the Link
Find the link between Adam Frazier, Rougned Odor and Roberto Alomar.