May 28, 2013; Toronto, ON, Canada; Toronto Blue Jays first baseman Edwin Encarnacion (10) makes a diving stop before getting up and making a throwing error in the first inning against the Atlanta Braves at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Blue Jays Game Blast - Game 55 - Left Coast Out To Dry Edition

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I guess it is hard to find much fault (ahem, R.A. Dickey) in being able to split a home and away series with a first place team, especially when your team has struggled as much as the Toronto Blue Jays have in 2013.

Hmm..splits, that sounds vaguely familiar.

It should, the Blue Jays have split three separate series this month along and with a win tonight over San Diego, Toronto will have an ever .500 months as well. Not that .500 baseball is what we were aiming for when we set out on this journey. But given the hole we stepped in when we got started, we’ll take a few baby steps in order to get things back into perspective.

That’s why making our first trip to the left coast is good. A new location, a new frame of mind, and a new perspective could do this team some good. It also doesn’t hurt to start that trip off against a San Diego Padres squad that isn’t in much better shape than we are.

So let’s get to tonight’s match-up shall we.

As my cohort Jeff Morten points out in his series preview, game 1 will feature a match-up between Chad Jenkins and Jason Marquis.

Jenkins is making his third start of the season for Toronto and comes into the start with a 1-0 record and a 3.60 ERA. The right-hander holds a rather pedestrian K/9 ratio of 3.6 and a WHIP of 1.90 in those two starts, and has game scores of 46 and 42 to show for it. That said, the Blue Jays seem to bring the bats out with Jenkins on the mound, having scored 12 and 6 respectively in his two starts.

On the other side of the diamond we have journeyman Jason Marquis. The 34-year-old right-hander is the latest reclamation project to find pitching for San Diego to his liking. However, while most would be quick to point out that all pitchers like pitching at Petco, Marquis has actually been fairly effective in all venues. Yes, his OPS is nearly 300 points higher against him on the road, but he’s managed to muster up a lower ERA away from Petco.

That all said, I don’t expect either of the pitchers to really figure into this game.

Blue Jays Line-up:

Padres Line-up:

Marquis will have his hands full with a Blue Jays line-up that has no trouble putting runs on the board of late. And it appears that Lawrie’s injury will open the door for the team to put its best line-up out there by sliding Encarnacion over to third base and giving Adam Lind the start at first. Yes, the bottom half of the order is still worrisome, but having to cut Lind out against a right-hander doesn’t help anyone out right now.

The Padres will come into the game with an offense that, while not great, is actually a bit stronger than in years past. The return of Yasmani Grandal makes them a bit deeper in the middle of the order with the likes of Chase Headley, Carlos Quentin, Yonder Alonso, and Grandal providing solid bats 3-6. The key will be keeping the Evereth Cabrera and Chris Denorfia from setting the table in front of that foursome.

Elsewhere around the Blue Jays:

Our friend and staff writer Jay Blue recently posted his latest Podcast. In this episode, he sits down with Zack Mortimer from Baseball Prospectus and discusses Blue Jays prospects and Toronto’s strategy for the upcoming MLB Draft.

Elsewhere, Chris Toman over at Gamereax has a solid analysis on how Casey Janssen is dominating hitters this season; stellar command.

Alright folks, time to get ready for the game. Every good run starts somewhere right? How about underneath the warm San Diego sun?

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