Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
Toronto Blue Jays (10-8) vs Cleveland Indians (7-10)
Happy Easter! The Blue Jays look to sweep the Cleveland Indians in their own ballpark. The Jays are currently tied for first place with the New York Yankees. This road trip can be called a success to this point with a 5-3 mark. A win today and the Jays can hop into an off day on Monday at 6-3 on the road trip. They’ll head home and take on the Orioles and Red Sox over their next 6 games. A win today would go a long way.
The Blue Jays will send Brandon Morrow (1-1, 5.52) to the mound. He’s coming off a start where he only went 3 2/3 innings against the Minnesota Twins. He only gave up 2 earned runs, but the Jays will need more from him today. They’ll need him to go as long as possible so the bullpen, who is just plain tired, can rest. They have an off day Monday, so it will allow them to be 100% for the upcoming games against divisional rivals. This might prove to be wishful thinking for Morrow as he’s only gone 6 innings once so far this season. Today would be a great time to change that. Watch for how the Indians’ lefty bats do today. Coming into this game, lefties are batting .333 against Morrow.
The Indians will counter with Carlos Carrasco (0-2, 7.84). On paper, this looks like an ideal matchup for the Jays to complete the sweep. Carrasco has not gone more than 5 2/3 innings this season, giving up a total of 13 hits in his starts. However, he has struck out 12. He will walk batters who are patient enough. That will be the key for the Blue Jays. Limit the strikeouts. Take the walks. Then let the hit parade begin. So far this season, lefties are hitting a very sexy .389 off Carrasco. From the left side, Melky Cabrera, Jose Reyes and Colby Rasmus should have big days…if they can stay patient…*cough* COLBY *cough* Hey, maybe even Ryan Goins could pick up a couple hits! Juan Francisco, another lefty, who is filling in for Adam Lind (DL) will get the start at 1B and have an opportunity to prove that he was the right call up over Dan Johnson (also a lefty). As well, with the number of innings played recently and an off day tomorrow, Josh Thole gets the start today. Another lefty!
Reasons for Jays Fans To Watch:
–Melky Cabrera is hitting everything! He is on fire lately. Period.
–Jose Bautista. He’s good for at least one walk today. He’s got more walks (20) than hits (14). And, 6 of hits hits are homeruns. He leads the league in dingers. So, chances are, we’re going to see a walk or a bomb.
-Will we finally get to see Edwin Encarnacion‘s chicken wing round the bases? Thus far, he’s yet to leave the yard. Batting .243, EE only has 5 RBI. This might be saying more about getting runners on than anything else. Look for that to change with Reyes back in the lineup.