Apr 24, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays manager John Gibbons takes the ball from relief pitcher Brett Cecil as catcher Dioner Navarro looks on during the Jays 11-4 loss to Baltimore Orioles at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Series Preview: Boston Red Sox (10-13) @ Toronto Blue Jays (11-11)


Now we can’t even rely on our bullpen? Our starting pitching was actually getting on ok, albeit in a 6 innings or less fashion from everyone. But wait!! We have a vaunted bullpen that can pitch us out of such shenanigans!!! Don’t we? Have a look for yourself…

Esmil Rogers: 6.23 ERA. Sergio Santos: 6.14 ERA. Steve Delabar: 4.91 ERA. Aaron Loup: 4.82 ERA. Brett Cecil: 4.15 ERA. J.A. Happ: 4.15 ERA. Neil Wagner: 3.68 ERA. Todd Redmond: 2.40 ERA. Just ingest that and let’s get on with the matchups. I think I am going to be sick…

Probable Starting Pitchers

Game 1: Jake Peavy (0-0, 3.33 ERA) vs Mark Buehrle (4-0, 0.64 ERA)

Peavy has started off pretty strong (save for the 5 run burpy in his last start against the power bats of the Baltimore Orioles). His overall career has been both brilliant and marred by injuries. Since 2002 he has made 30 starts in a season only 5 times. His K:BB has been a credible 3:1 but this year it has regressed to around 2:1. This has given him the worst seasonal WHIP of his career at 1.48. He gets out of jams with veterans guile but that is only going to go so far. He is slowly starting to regress as most pitchers do in their early to mid 30s. He may have a couple more years left in that arm but don’t count on it. He is one shoulder injury away from being done.

On the other side there is the incrfedible Mark Buehrle. Pit bull loving Buehrle. David Wells built Buehrle. They seem cut from the same pitching cloth. Both are rather…ummm…big framed pitchers who started to get by later in their careers with location and not overpowering stuff. He is the first Jay to go 4-0 at the beginning of the season since…wait for it….Gustavo “Cologne Boy” Chacin in 2006. That’s some…errr…that’s some company to keep right there. That is the only time you will see those two in the same sentence together. With 2 ER in 28 innings given up so far it’s time to ride the Buehrle train until it pops.

Game 2: Clay Buchholz (0-2, 7.71 ERA) vs Brandon Morrow (1-1, 5.03 ERA)

A couple years ago I would have taken Buchholz in my fantasy team as a number 2 starter easily. Oh how the mighty have stumbled. Talk about maddeningly inconsistent. 2 games with 2 runs given up and 2 games with 6 runs given up. His WHIP is almost at 2 and his strikeout totals are pathetic for a pitcher of his talent. He may never realize his potential in a Red Sox uniform. He is like the equivalent of the man taking the mound against him in Brandon Morrow.

The Enigma has lived up to the expectations of the Jays fandom. His K:BB of 3:1 is right on par with what we expect. His high pitch counts are what is expected as well. Getting into the 7th inning would hopefully be expected but it isn’t…and he hasn’t. This game has a chance to be a….wait for it…slobberknocker (loves me that word). Morrow may get it together and reel off a nice string of starts but until then it will be slobberknocker after slobberknocker.

Game 3: Jon Lester (2-3, 2.67 ERA) vs R.A. Dickey (1-3, 5.90 ERA)

Another pitcher sloooowly on the downswing is Jon Lester. He has decent numbers this year but 3 great starts have been marred by two horrid ones in which he gave up a half dozen runs in each of them. His WHIP is creeping up and his BAA against is a hair under .280. If not for an exceptional 5:1 K:BB ratio he might truly be washed up. He still has the stuff and veterans guile to help through the tough times but he is precariously perched on the fence between stellar and stunted. The ability is still there and I am rooting for the guy…just not this time around.

Speaking of maybe getting washed up we have the MAJOR LEAGUE walk leader in Mr. R.A. Dickey. Niceties about how good a teammate he can be and what a true gentleman he is, he has been close to atrocious this year. His ERA is hovering just under 6. His K:BB is 24:18!!! The one time he went seven innings he gave up five runs. There is talk from the dugout that he is thiiiiis close to turning it around. I don’t see it and unfortunately we are stuck with him…Oh woe is me Noah Syndergaard!!!!

Probable Starting Lineups

Boston Red Sox

1. 3B: Brock Holt
2. 2B: Dustin Pedroia
3. DH: David Ortiz
4. 1B: Mike Napoli
5. LF: Jonny Gomes
6. SS: Xander Bogaerts
7. RF: Daniel Nava
8. C: David Ross
9. CF: Jackie Bradley Jr.

Toronto Blue Jays

1. SS: Jose Reyes
2. LF: Melky Cabrera
3. RF: Jose Bautista
4. 1B: Edwin Encarnacion
5. C: Dioner Navarro
6. DH: Juan Francisco
7. 3B: Brett Lawrie
8. CF: Colby Rasmus
9. 2B: Ryan Goins

Worth the Price of Admission:: Melky Cabrera. The man knows how to hit that’s for sure. He is 4th in batting average in the American League and is first in hits. He can run again and field again and you can see the fire in his eyes that he wants to prove that last year was a fluke. He is doing a pretty good job of it.

Worth the Price of a Journey EP: The Blue Jays Bullpen: See opening paragraphs and try not to spit take your coffee…

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  • Jack Stevenson

    Spot on Jeff. Very accurate analysis of our staff and the 3 Bosox starters. We do have the ammunition to compete in the AL East this year but only if Gibby makes the right moves. I can’t be the one to say what each of these is but that’s what he’s paid to do and I can count at least 4 losses where he definitely went wrong. Too bad there can’t be more imaginative use of the staff such as Happ/McGowan together for a start or Dickey/Redmond/Rogers as soon as the knuckler looks weak. It’s obvious when Dickie’s knuckler is bad or he can’t get the calls and starts going fastball with disastrous results.