Which pitcher do you see?
The Toronto Blue Jays recorded the long-awaited 2-1 victory over Auckland A on Wednesday, but many questions come to the team heading to the important weekend series against the Mariners in Seattle.
Western Canadians are expected to gather in Seattle for the first time since 2019 to see the Blue Jays (border restrictions have prevented annual invasion over the past two years), making Toronto a difficult situation. Hope to have a good show after.
The Blue Jays pitching staff are in a state of fluidity (more on that later), threatening the surge of Mariners to contribute to wildcard racing.
This is what the 4 game series looks like.
Thursday, 10:10 pm ET / 7:10 pm PT (Sportsnet ONE): Toronto TBD vs Seattle LHP Marco Gonzales (4-9, 3.29 ERA)
Friday, 10:10 pm ET / 7:10 pm PT (Apple TV): Pitcher undecided
Saturday, 10:10 pm ET / 7:10 pm PT (Sports Net): Pitcher undecided
Sunday, 4:10 pm ET / 1:10 pm PT (Sports Net): Pitcher undecided
The latest information on the Blue Jays
The Blue Jays (45-38) defeated A in the last place on Wednesday Matinee, losing five games in a row.
Jose Berríos gave up one run in six innings. This is an essential performance for J’s pitching staff who have had a lot of problems lately.
Adam Simver threw two innings of shutout relief, and Jordan Romano closed it.
Offensively, former A third baseman Matt Chapman and Bo Bichette struck the Blue Jays solo home run with a win.
Pitching was a bigger concern, but the Toronto Blue Jays haven’t thrived accurately lately as the Blue Jays have recorded only 16 runs in the last six games.
The latest information on the Mariners
The Mariners (41-42) sneaked into a wildcard conversation after winning 12 of the last 15 games.
They will be the third and last wildcard spot in the series by four games behind the Toronto — Cleveland is the closest to the Blue Jays, with a 3.5 game behind.
Seattle has won five consecutive series, including a two-game mini sweep of the Padres in San Diego this week.
The good news for Jaze is that MLB’s 10 lead wins and tie Logan Gilbert started with 6-2 wins at the end of the season on Tuesday. This means he’s unlikely to go this weekend.
Casey Lawrence could be a bulk pitcher in Toronto on Thursday after Kevin Gausman removed the cambacker from his ankle last Saturday, but it’s still not 100%. Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi Report Teams can use the opener before Lawrence.
Assuming the rotations remain the same, the Ross Stripling will go to Alexandra on Friday and Saturday.
Sunday is where it gets interesting. It’s a spot for Hiroo Kuji, but he may have had a tough time and made the worst start of the season in Auckland on Tuesday.
If Gausman improves, the Blue Jays could slide him on Sunday and skip Kikuchi’s start. In that scenario, Kikuchi may not have to start again before the All-Star game, but it assumes Lawrence or someone else is the option for the next homestand.
How about a Seattle pitcher?
The Mariners were also quiet about their plans.
However, former Blue Jays ace Robbie Ray will go on Saturday if rotation is maintained. This creates a lot of matches against Manoa.
Remember that the Blue Jays 2021 Cy Young Award winner didn’t come to Toronto for the series at Mabu — and the Mariners didn’t explain his absence. It made fans question the status of Ray’s vaccination.
After this year’s slow start, Ray (7-6, 3.62 ERA) has been sharpening recently. He has only been allowed a total of three runs in the last five starts.
The Mariners center fielder Julio Rodríguez (.277 / .336 / .487, 15 HR, 43 RBI, 21 SB) is popular for winning the AL Rookie of the Year.
The 21-year-old Dominican is the first player to have more than 15 home runs, more than 15 doubles, and more than 20 stolen bases in the first 81 games of his MLB career.
Rodriguez is certainly in the mix to go to the All-Star game.
The Blue Jays won two of the three against the Mariners at the Rogers Center in May.
Berríos threw a shutout 7 innings 3-0, and Kikuchi won the series opening 6-2.
Gausman was defeated in the Series Finale with a 5-1 retreat. That night, Gonzales reduced the Blue Jays to one run with six innings.
The Mariners pitching staff includes three former Blue Jays, Ray and Relief Ryan Borucki and Ken Giles.
There is also a Canadian infielder Abraham Toro in Seattle. He is from Longueuil, Kenya.
Toro is struggling this year with 7 home runs and 22 RBIs, significantly reducing .185 / .237 / .333.
Meanwhile, the newly signed Blue Jays rescuer Sergio Romo may face his old team. He was released from the Mariners last month.
After Monday’s holiday, the Blue Jays will start a six-game homestand before the All-Star Break.
Philadelphia Phillies, along with new Canadian manager Rob Thomson, will be at the Rogers Center for two games before the Kansas City Royals embark on a four-game series.
Which pitcher do you see?
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