As the 2019 season winds down, Jays From the Couch gets you set for a series that will see the Toronto Blue Jays fly into Baltimore
The Blue Jays kick off their final road trip of 2019 with a three game set against the Orioles in a battle of bottom feeding birds.
In the rebuilding 2019 season, the Jays have the Orioles to thank for the fact that they aren’t dead last in the AL East division.
Both teams were eliminated from playoff contention some time ago. The fourth place Jays are 38.5 games behind the first place Yankees. The fifth place Orioles are 48 games out of first.
Needless to say that a lot has changed since 2016 when these two teams squared off in the AL wild card game.
The Jays are 4-6 in their last 10 games. After a 7 game losing streak, they went 4-2 at home against the Red Sox and Yankees, winning both series 2-1. The Orioles are 3-7 in their last 10 games.
NOTE: at the time of writing, all of the starting pitchers for the Orioles are listed as “TBD”. I will be making my best educated guess by looking back and seeing where they are in their rotation.
Tuesday September 17, 7:05 pm
RHP Thornton (TOR) vs TBD (RHP Bundy, probable) (BAL)
Record 5-9. 5.04 era. 4.75 FIP. 1.457 WHIP. 3.6 BB/9. 8.7 K/9.
Rookie Thornton has had an up and down season with the Blue Jays. At times he has pitched very well, at other times not so well.
His last time out was September 11 vs the Boston Red Sox who sit third in MLB in runs scored. Thornton came in after Wilmer Font opened with two innings pitched. Thornton had one of his best outings of his young career. He pitched 5 innings of no run, no hit relief, the only blemish on his night being one walk to go with 7 strikeouts. Afterwards, Thornton gave credit to veteran Clay Buchholz for teaching him alternate pitching grips.
Thornton’s last start against the Orioles came on August 1. He pitched 6 innings, giving up 1 run on 5 hits with no walks and 2 strikeouts. It will be interesting to see how long he can continue the success he found in his last outing.
Record: 6-14. 4.99 era. 4.81 FIP. 1.363 WHIP. 3.1 BB/9. 8.9 K/9.
26 year old Bundy has followed up two pretty good seasons in 2016 and 2017 with a record of 14-30 to date in 2018 and 2019. In his last outing, September 12 vs the LA Dodgers, he lasted 5.2 innings, gave up 4 runs but only 2 earned on 6 hits with 2 walks and 6 strikeouts.
He pitched well back on August 3, the last time he faced Toronto. He pitched 5.1 innings, giving up 2 runs on 5 hits with 1 walk and 7 strikeouts. He will hope for a similar result on Tuesday.
Wednesday September 18, 7:05 pm
RHP Buchholz (TOR) vs TBD (RHP Brooks, probable) (BAL)
Record 1-5. 5.63 era. 4.88 FIP. 1.381 WHIP. 2.3 BB/9. 4.9 K/9
Buchholz has made four starts for the Jays since being activated from the 60 IL. His last one, on September 12 was against his former team, the Boston Red Sox. It also marked the first time in his 11 year career he has ever faced them.
There are still a number of his former teammates playing for Boston. Perhaps familiarity is one reason they had success against him. He lasted only four innings, giving up 4 runs on 7 hits with 1 walk and 4 strikeouts.
The last time he faced the Orioles was September 21, 2016. He lasted 7 innings, giving up 1 run on 3 hits with 2 walks and 4 strikeouts. That was a very different Orioles team back then. Buchholz will hope for similar success against a struggling Orioles team in 2019.
Record 5-8. 6.06 era. 5.64 FIP. 1.475 WHIP. 2.9 BB/9. 6.9 K/9
29 year old Brooks has split his season between the Oakland Athletics and Baltimore Orioles. The above numbers are his full 2019 season numbers to date.
Unfortunately for him and the Os, he has not pitched well for them. In 12 starts, his era sits at 7.11. His last start came on September 13 vs the Detroit Tigers, another struggling team in 2019.He pitched 5.1 innings, giving up 2 runs on 7 hits, with 3 walks and 0 strikeouts.
Brooks last start vs the Jays was back on August 2. He pitched 5 innings, giving up 3 runs, with 3 walks and 4 strikeouts.
Thursday September 19, 7:05 pm
LHP Kay (TOR) vs TBD (RHP Ynoa, probable) (BAL)
Record 0-0. 6.30 era. 2.72 FIP. 1.500 WHIP. 3.6 BB/9. 9.0 K/9.
Years ago, journalists would point to Kay’s 6.30 era and say “he has pitched much better than his stats would indicate” without being able to quantify this point.
On Friday September the 13th, Kay faced the powerful, first place New York Yankees. He held them scoreless through the first four innings. In the fifth, there was one play that was actually scored an error on a Randal Grichuk throw. Additionally there were several plays not made and questionable decisions which resulted in five earned runs charged to Kay.
A better defensive effort might have yielded better results for Kay and the Jays. This also highlights one area the Jays need to improve on to get better in the future – team defence. Kay’s final line was 4.1 innings, 5 runs on 7 hits, with 1 walk and 2 strikeouts.
Kay will be making his third MLB appearance. He has never faced the Orioles.
Record 1-8. 5.74 era. 6.02 FIP. 1.395 WHIP. 2.2 BB/9. 5.5 K/9.
Ynoa has struggled for the Orioles, along with many of their other pitchers. His last start came on September 14 vs the Detroit Tigers. He pitched 4 innings, giving up 2 runs on 7 hits, with 1 walk and only 1 strikeout. His last outing vs the Jays was a two inning relief appearance back on August 2. He gave up 1 run on 1 hit with no walks and 1 strikeout.
Prediction: The Jays will continue their recent trend of winning series, taking this one 2 games to 1.
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