It was bound to happen eventually. Mark Buehrle had been outstanding throughout his first four starts of the 2014, but he ran into trouble early and often again a Boston Red Sox line-up looking to break-out on Friday night. The Jays’ lefty ended up with his shortest outing of the season, going just 5.1 innings on the night while allowing 12 hits, 7 runs (6 earned), walking 3, and not registering a single strike-out.
The Blue Jays will try to rebound from that loss and return to the land of .500 records with an afternoon tilt against Boston on Saturday. Brandon Morrow will toe the rubber for Toronto. It has been somewhat of an up and down season for Morrow thus far. In his last outing, he was solid against the Cleveland Indians allowing just 3 hits, 2 runs, and a pair of walks while striking out 6. However, a high pitch count ended his afternoon after 5 innings of work and Aaron Loup‘s meltdown in the 6th cost the Jays the game. Overall, Morrow is 1-1 on the season with a 5.03 ERA, but has a solid 10.5 K/9 ratio and a FIP of 3.29.
He’ll be opposed by Clay Buchholz, who has struggled immensely in 2014. In four starts, the Red Sox right-hander owns a 0-2 record, a 7.71 ERA, a 4.80 FIP, and a WHIP of 1.929. He is coming off of his shortest outing of his career, having last just 2.1 innings against Baltimore on April 21st. In that game, Buchholz allowed 7 hits and 6 earned runs to the 14 men he faced. That said, he has always pitched well against the Blue Jays (2.70 career ERA), particularly in Toronto, where Buchholz owns a 7-2 record and a 1.49 ERA against the Blue Jays in Rogers Centre.
Toronto Blue Jays Line-up:
— Brendan Kennedy (@BKennedyStar) April 26, 2014
Notes: Day off for Edwin Encarnacion. Juan Francisco will handle first base duties for this one, while Jose Bautista slides into the DH role. That means the adventure that it Moises Sierra is getting the starting nod in right field, so this should be an interesting defensive game to say the least.
Boston Red Sox Line-up:
#RedSox: Pedroia 2B, Victorino RF, Ortiz DH, Carp 1B, Sizemore LF, Pierzynski C, Middlebrooks 3B, Herrera SS, Bradley Jr. CF + Buchholz P
— Pete Abraham (@PeteAbe) April 26, 2014
Notes: Mike Napoli sitting for the Red Sox today, as he is just 2-16 against Brandon Morrow over the course of his career. His spot will be taken by Mike Carp, who is 3-10 with a home run against Morrow. Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz are also trouble-spots for Morrow. Pedroia is 12-23 with a pair of home runs and six RBI against the Jays’ righty, while Ortiz has touched Morrow for a .412 mark with 3 home runs and 5 RBI. Xander Bogaerts is also absent from the line-up with a flu bug.
So, sit back, enjoy the game, and let’s discuss some Blue Jays! Unfortunately, I am blacked-out by MLB.tv, so you’ll have to have fun with this on your own and keep me informed.