Whereas the Toronto Blue Jays recorded a much-needed 2-1 win over the Oakland A’s on Wednesday, many questions hover over the staff heading into an essential weekend sequence in Seattle towards the Mariners.
With Western Canadians anticipated to flock to Seattle to see the Blue Jays for the primary time since 2019 (border restrictions prevented the annual invasion the previous two years), Toronto hopes to placed on an excellent present after what has been a difficult stretch.
The Blue Jays’ pitching employees is in a state of flux (extra on that later) and the surging Mariners are threatening to turn out to be an element within the wild-card race.
Right here’s a take a look at the four-game sequence.
Thursday, 10:10 p.m. ET / 7:10 p.m. PT (Sportsnet ONE): Toronto TBD vs. Seattle LHP Marco Gonzales (4-9, 3.29 ERA)
Friday, 10:10 p.m. ET / 7:10 p.m. PT (Apple TV): Pitchers TBD
Saturday, 10:10 p.m. ET / 7:10 p.m. PT (Sportsnet): Pitchers TBD
Sunday, 4:10 p.m. ET / 1:10 p.m. PT (Sportsnet): Pitchers TBD
Newest on the Blue Jays
The Blue Jays (45-38) snapped a five-game dropping streak with their win over the last-place A’s in Wednesday’s matinee.
Jose Berrios gave up one run in six innings, a vital efficiency for a Jays pitching employees that has had all kinds of issues not too long ago.
Adam Cimber pitched two innings of shutout aid, whereas Jordan Romano closed it down.
Offensively, former A’s third baseman Matt Chapman and Bo Bichette hit solo house runs for the Blue Jays within the victory.
Whereas pitching has been the larger concern, Toronto’s bats aren’t precisely thriving currently because the Blue Jays have scored simply 16 runs previously six video games.
Newest on the Mariners
The Mariners (41-42) have crept into the wild-card dialog after successful 12 of their previous 15 video games.
They enter this sequence 4 video games behind Toronto for the third and ultimate wild-card spot — Cleveland is closest to the Blue Jays, 3.5 video games again.
Seattle has gained 5 sequence in a row, together with this week’s two-game mini-sweep of the Padres in San Diego.
The excellent news for the Jays is Logan Gilbert, who’s tied for the MLB lead 10 wins, began in Tuesday’s season-ending 6-2 win — that means he’s unlikely to go this weekend.
The pitching state of affairs
Name-up Casey Lawrence is the possible bulk pitcher for Toronto on Thursday with Kevin Gausman nonetheless not 100 per cent after taking a comebacker off his ankle final Saturday. Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi reports the staff might use an opener forward of Lawrence.
Assuming the rotation stays the identical, Ross Stripling would go Friday with Alek Manoah on Saturday.
Sunday is the place it will get attention-grabbing. It’s Yusei Kukuchi’s spot, however he has struggled badly and should have had his worst begin of the season Tuesday in Oakland.
If Gausman improves, the Blue Jays might slide him in Sunday and skip Kikuchi’s begin. In that situation, it’s doable for Kikuchi to not should make one other begin earlier than the All-Star Recreation, although that’s assuming Lawrence or another person is an possibility for the following homestand.
What about Seattle’s pitchers?
The Mariners even have been quiet about their plans.
Nonetheless, former Blue Jays ace Robbie Ray, if their rotation holds, figures to go Saturday — which might create fairly the matchup with Manoah.
Keep in mind, the 2021 Cy Younger winner with the Blue Jays didn’t come to Toronto for a sequence in Mav — and the Mariners didn’t clarify his absence. It led followers to marvel about Ray’s vaccination standing.
After a gradual begin this 12 months, Ray (7-6, 3.62 ERA) has been sharp not too long ago. He’s allowed simply three whole runs in his previous 5 begins.
Mariners centre fielder Julio Rodriguez (.277/.336/.487, 15 HR, 43 RBI, 21 SB) is the favorite to win the AL rookie of the 12 months award.
The 21-year-old Dominican is the primary participant to have 15 or extra homers, 15 or extra doubles and 20 or extra stolen bases within the first 81 video games of his MLB profession.
Rodriguez definitely is within the combine to go to the All-Star Recreation.
The Blue Jays gained two of three towards the Mariners at Rogers Centre in Could.
Berrios pitched seven shutout innings in a 3-0 win, whereas Kikuchi was the starter for a series-opening 6-2 triumph.
Gausman took the loss in a 5-1 setback within the sequence finale. That night time, Gonzalez held the Blue Jays to at least one run over six innings.
The Mariners have three former Blue Jays on their pitching employees – Ray and relievers Ryan Borucki and Ken Giles.
And Seattle additionally has a Canadian in infielder Abraham Toro, who hails from Longueuil, Que.
Toro has been struggling this 12 months, slashing .185/.237/.333 with seven homers and 22 RBI.
In the meantime, newly signed Blue Jays reliever Sergio Romo might face his previous staff. He was launched by the Mariners final month.
After an off day on Monday, the Blue Jays begin a six-game homestand previous to the all-star break.
The Philadelphia Phillies, with new Canadian supervisor Rob Thomson, are at Rogers Centre for 2 video games earlier than the Kansas Metropolis Royals contact down for a four-game sequence.