The Toronto Blue Jays finally return head home after a 10 game road trip with stops in Kansas City, Baltimore, and Tampa.
Well, that was an encouraging road trip. The Blue Jays started the 10-game road trip by welcoming another shiny new prospect in Bo Bichette. Bo hit the ground running has not stopped collecting hits in 10 straight games. But it wasn’t just Bichette (.409BA) who had an outstanding road trip. Randal Grichuk, who is known for performing better in the 2nd half, is looking to continue that trend with a .368BA, 3 doubles, a triple, 3HR, and 6RBI over his last 10 games. Freddy Galvis hit 3 HR and batted .324. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. batted .400 with 3HR and 11RBI while collecting player of the week honors.
All these hot hitters and some quality starting pitching resulted in a 7-3 road trip. What makes this even more impressive was a series win against Tampa Bay in Tampa Bay. The Trop has not been kind to the Blue Jays and had it not been for an ugly 4th inning in Game 2, the Blue Jays would’ve earned a sweep. Instead, Toronto won the series, 2-1, with a nail-biting 4-3 win in game 3.
Toronto outscored the Rays 12 to 10, hitting 6 homers including a Derek Fisher‘s first in a Blue Jays uniform.
The Blue Jays make their way home to face off against the New York Yankee. NY is 9-1 over their last 10 games with an American League East leading 75-39. They will face off against the divisional rival for 4 games. Yankees finished up a 3 game sweep of the lowly Baltimore Orioles with a 14 to 2 victory on Wednesday. NYY outscored the O’s 32 to 12.
The Yanks took 2 out of 3 from the Blue Jays before the All-Star game and hold the advantage with a 6-3 season series lead. In their previous series, these two clubs were treated to a couple of solid pitching performances as the 3-game series yielded just 10 runs.
Toronto owns a 47-70 record, 7.5 games ahead of the O’s and 29.5GB of the Yankees. The Blue Jays are 20-34 at homes while the Yankees are 32-21 on the road.
While the Blue Jays showed they might be the best of the worse beating up on the Kansas City Royals and the Baltimore Orioles, it was encouraging and surprising they more than held their own against the 66-50 Tampa Bay Rays. Toronto will look to play the role of spoiler over the next 2 months but a good series against the Yankees would aid in the development of the young club’s nucleus.
Thursday, August 8th, 7:07 pm start
Pannone: 2-4, 5.98ERA, 4.76FIP, 1.37WHIP, 3.88BB/9, 9.05K/9.
Pannone doesn’t have much history against the Yankees. He came out of the bullpen in New York early in June, throwing 4 innings and limiting the Yankees to just one hit. That hit belonged to none other than DJ LeMahieu. Pannone looked decent since joining the rotation with a pair of 6 inning start and he looked much better than his 6IP, 4H, 4R, 2HR, 1BB, 9K line against the O’s would suggest.
German: 14-2, 3.98ERA, 4.43FIP, 1.09WHIP, 2.08BB/9, and 9.87K/9.
The 27-yr-old just went over the 100IP mark in his last start and leads the club in W’s. He has not fared well on the road with a 5.60ERA and an opponent’s BA of .292. His ERA balloons to 8.46 with an Opp BA of .275 the 3rd time through the order but is just 2.38ERA and .196 Opp BA the 1st time through. The Blue Jays will want to remain patient, work some walks, turn the order over, and see as many pitches as possible. On July 12th, German picked up the win against the Blue Jays, holding Toronto off the board over 6 frames. Toronto managed just 3 hits while striking out 7 Jays against German.
Friday, August 9th, 7:07 pm start
Reid-Foley: 1-2, 2.49ERA, 4.83FIP, 1.52WHIP, 5.82BB/9, and 7.48K/9
The 23-yr-old continues to fight with his command walking 4 batters against the O’s and Royals the last two times out. In 21.2IP, SRF has 14 walks to go with 18K. This Yankees lineup will be very patient, knowing Reid-Foley struggles to command the strike zone. On June 26th, SRF walked 3 and struck out 2 Yankees in 2.0IP of relief.
Happ: 9-6, 5.24ERA, 5.44 FIP, 1.35WHIP, 2.27BB/9, and 7.12K/9.
The 36-yr-old will take the mound for the 307th time and 23rd time in 2019. Things have not gone great for the lefty despite going for win #10. Opponents have a higher ISO and he is striking out less batter. His 2.03 HR/9 is the highest of his career, as is his 39.7Hard%. Happ has pitched better on the road, posting a5.70ERA at home and 4.62ERA on the road. On the road, Happ has held opponents to a .238 while allowing just 9HR versus 17HR in NY. 3rd time through the order, Happ owns a 9.97ERA and Opp BA of .322.
Saturday, August 10th, 3:07 pm start
Waguespack: 3-1, 4.00ERA, 4.19FIP, 1.31WHIP, 2.50BB/9, 7.00K/9.
Wags is making a case for more starts in 2019 and maybe a spot in the rotation in 2020. The sample size is small but it’s growing. Waguespack joined the rotation on July 16th, facing Boston, Tampa 2x, Detroit, and Kansas City. A nice mix. He will face the Yankees for the 1st time in just his 2nd start at the Rogers Centre. He’s been outstanding 1st and 2nd time through the order with 2.53ERA and 1.50ERA but owns a 12.46ERA the 3rd time through.
Tanaka: 7-6, 4.93ERA, 4.56FIP, 1.32WHIP, 2.36BB/9, and 7.63K/9
Tanaka will face Toronto for the 3rd time in 2019. He picked up the win on July 14th, surrendering 2 runs on 4 hits, striking out 5 and not walking a Blue Jay. Toronto managed 2 HR though. He struggled the last time he pitched in Toronto as the Blue Jays tagged him for 2 more HR, scoring 4 runs on 6 hits in the loss. Tanaka was lite up for 12 runs by the Red Sox on July 25th and Baltimore scored 5 runs off him in his last start.
Sunday, August 11th, 1:07 pm start
RHP Trent Thornton (TOR) vs TDB (NYY)
Thornton: 4-7, 5.55ERA, 4.90FIP, 1.53WHIP, 3.81BB/9, and 8.61K/9
This one could be over quickly. Thornton has struggled with consistency all year. He looked good against Tampa until surrendering 6 runs, three 2-run bombs, in the 4th inning. Thornton can rack up the K’s but he uses a lot of pitches. If only he trusted his stuff more. This will be the 25-yr-old rookie’s 3rd start against the Yankees. The Yankees tuned Thornton up for 5 runs, 2HRA, over 3.1IP in NY on June 26th. Right now it is looking as though Thornton might have more success as a bullpen arm as his ERA jumps from 4.24 1st time through the order to 6.00+ the 2nd and 3rd time through.
More About the Yankees
NY has a team batting average of .272 (T2nd) with a .831OPS (3rd). New York has hit 203 HR (2nd), with 201 doubles (16th), 12 triples (25th), 645RBI (1st), and 677 runs scored (1st). They are getting on-base a .346 (2nd) clip with 424 (5th) walks and 999 strikeouts (16th). On the bases, the Yankees have just 43 stolen bases (21st).
On the mound, NYY a 4.32ERA (11), largely due to a strong relief core. They’ve surrendered 178HR (5th), 524 runs (10th). Opponents are batting .252 (15th) with a 1.31WHIP (13th).
The Yankees have battled the injury bug all season. They are hoping to get Dellin Betances, Edwin Encarnacion, Gary Sanchez, Luis Severino, Giancarlo Stanton, and Gleyber Torres (day-to-day) all healthy by the end of the month.
Over the last 30 days, Gio Urshela is mashing with a .365BA, 10 doubles, and 7HR. LeMahieu continues to hit everything in sight with .329BA, 3 doubles, and 6HR. Mike Tauchman also has 6HR while the injured EE has 5HR.
Prediction: The Blue Jays will be lucky to earn a split in this 4-game set. Pannone and Waguespack starts should be Toronto’s best bet at a W. Here is hoping Bo continues to swing a hot back and extend the ‘hits to start a career’ record.
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