Aug 11, 2014; Seattle, WA, USA; Toronto Blue Jays catcher Dioner Navarro (30) and Toronto Blue Jays pitching coach Pete Walker (40) and Toronto Blue Jays relief pitcher Brad Mills (38) talk on the pitchers mound during the sixth inning against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

Series Preview: Blue Jays Look to Wash Away the White Sox

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Damn. Daaaaaaaaay-um. That was the worst showing against the Mariners since I was a wee lad. The Blue Jays’ expansion cousins just schooled us in the race for a Wild Card spot. Don’t sugar coat this. They needed to at least get a win if not two to make a serious run at the 2nd Wild Card. We have just seen what a playoff pitching rotation should look like.

With Baltimore still scorching and taking 2 from the indifferent Yankees their lead over us is now 7.5 games. Theoretically the Blue Jays are still in the hunt for first in the AL East but they will have to take all the remaining six games from the Orioles if they even want a chance at it.

Can Edwin Encarnacion and eventually Brett Lawrie truly save this team? They could. This series truly showed that if the team is going to make ANY noise they will have to out-slug the opposition every time anyone other than Marcus Stroman takes a turn on the rubber. I am not feeling too confident right now…shame too for those amazing west coast fans. They were awesome!

they will have to take all the remaining six games from the Orioles if they even want a chance at it.

As for the Blue Jays next opponents, the White Sox, they have been nothing but ordinary or worse. Their offense is league average but their pitching has been pretty dreadful save for a Chris Sale or Jose Quintana. This is the type of series the supposed playoff worthy Blue Jays should be taking hands down.

I can forgive losing to Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuwa but if we toss up against Hector Noesi or John Danks we are screwed and very undeserving of a shot at the playoffs. There isn’t much to say here. Wins are essential. If we can flip a 12-2 run then perhaps The Jays can get back into it. Let it start in the Windy City (seriously…been there twice…frikken windy dude).

Probable Starting Pitchers

Game 1: Marcus Stroman (7-3, 3.34 ERA) vs Hector Noesi (6-7, 4.15 ERA)

The only times I feel at ease with the Blue Jays pitching these days is when Atroman takes the hill. That is a lot to place on the shoulders of a rookie but his performances merit it. 8 of his last 10 starts he has given up 2 or less runs and with a K:BB of 72:21 (almost 4 to 1) he has the tools to keep putting up impressive numbers.

It starts to beg the question: when does the baseball community begin to give a bit more recognition to Stroman as a possible rookie of the year candidate? if he continues the way he has so far he should be in the running…for 2nd behind Jose Abreu most likely.

On the other side of things, if Hector Noesi is in your starting rotation then you suck. You suck rocks. Hands down you have no depth and are just keeping the spot in the rotation warm with him. He is equally as terrible on the road (4.68 ERA) as he is at the confines of his home turf (4.66 ERA).

He isn’t particularly strong in any respect but he has a live arm. The Yankees, Mariners all gave up on him after 1 season or less. Why? His lowest ERA for a season was in 2011 at 4.47. If the Blue Jays don’t knock him around I will be stunned. This game should be a gimme.

Game 2: Mark Buehrle (11-8, 3.31 ERA) vs John Danks (9-8, 4.96 ERA)

Maybe a return to his old haunts will bring back the Buehrle we grew to appreciate and worship at the beginning of the season. He hasn’t been very good for a while now and it is time to be concerned. Alex Anthopoulos might have been more inclined to trigger a deal for depth starting if Buehrle, He has given up 81 hits in 54.2 Innings and his WHIP is rising up to 1.41 so far. No Buehrle, no playoffs. That simple.

Luckily he is facing former teammate, best friend and all around lousy pitcher John Danks. He, like Noesi, has potential and he even has had flashes of greatness. From 2008-2010 he looked like a lock as a mid-rotation inning eater like Buehrle. After that though he has fallen on hard times.

With a 6.44 ERA in his last ten starts and a WHIP around 1.48 overall, he is definitely pitching like his buddy these days. Perhaps we are in for a slobberknocker. We could use an offensive explosion. Let’s do it for Buehrle!

Game 3: Drew Hutchison (8-10, 4.60 ERA) vs Scott Carroll (4-7, 4.81 ERA)

Has Hutchison hit the wall? It is an honest question that needs answering quick. If he truly is running out of gas how about piggy backing him with Aaron Sanchez? They do it with the guys in the minors. It may by unorthodox in the bigs but why not? His ERA over his last 10 games is over 6 and he is walking a few more guys than he was in the beginning of the year.

He is one of those “when he’s good he’s really good but when he’s bad he’s really bad”. He seems to be having trouble locating his fastball and his changeup has been inconsistent. It is all part of growing up and gives me hope for future seasons. If he can’t bounce back and continue to grow this season then it’s time to look towards a promising rotation next year.

Scott Carroll. Hmmmmmmm…not much to tell. Another pitcher with potential that is getting his feet wet at the major league level. His ERA is high. His WHIP is high and he walks too many. This game will all depend on Hutchison because the Blue Jays should feed on a guy like this. Though historically they seem to wilt slightly against unseen, unproven starters. I am going to go out and proclaim a sweep here folks. This team will start to show the heart that it has

Probable Starting Lineups

Toronto Blue Jays:

1. SS: Jose Reyes
2. LF: Melky Cabrera
3. RF: Jose Bautista
4. DH: Edwin Encarnacion
5. 1B: Adam Lind
6. C: Dioner Navarro
7. CF: Colby Rasmus
8. 2B: Munenori Kawasaki
9. 3B: Juan Francisco

Chicago White Sox:

1. LF: Alejandro De Aza
2. SS: Alexei Ramirez
3. DH: Jose Abreu
4. 1B: Adam Dunn
5. RF: Dayan Viciedo
6. 3B: Conor Gillaspie
7. C: Tyler Flowers
8. CF: Jordan Danks
9. 2B: Gordon Beckham

Worth the Price of Admission: Chris Sale. The Cole Hamels of the AL Central…a pitcher THAT much better than the others with an organization going sideways.

Worth the Price of a Tums After a Night of Chicago Style Pizza: Gordon Beckham. Wow. You just suck dude.

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