Series Preview: Blue Jays Try to Win…This Time in Milwaukee


Ummm…hmmmmm…so this is what we have to look forward to pitching-wise. Lots of questions. No answers. Now I still agree with the sentiment that Alex Anthopoulos was right in not trading the pitching that’s on it’s way.

A future rotation with Marcus Stroman, Aaron Sanchez, Daniel Norris and Drew Hutchison seems ok to me…since all are 23 or younger.

AA saw the market and realized he had to go with what he had. The team that was poised to breakout in 2013 surely would do what they were supposed to do this year instead….right?

There is nothing the Blue Jays can hope to do now except go on some crazy run to get within spitting distance of a Wild Card. The way things are going we may see the Tampa Bay Rays jump over the Yankees and then us to trail Baltimore by a bunch (btw…when is that Oriole bullpen going to implode? It’s getting kinda late in the season…). The Blue Jays failed to take series in Chicago and Houston (combined 2–5) and generally blew their chances at the division in doing so.

There is nothing the Blue Jays can hope to do now except go on some crazy run to get within spitting distance of a Wild Card.

Milwaukee has been enjoying a pretty decent season led my MVP candidate Jonathan Lucroy…yes that’s right. Johnathan Lucroy. Their pitching has been quite effective with Kyle Lohse providing some veteran stability to go with Yovani Gallardo and. If there is one thing the Brewers can do it is hit and hit for power. The Canadian Kids (GM John Hart and Assistant GM Gord Ash) have put together perhaps the surprise team of the season.

Their pitching has been league average but enough to support the 5th ranked NL offense. This is a team built to contend for a few years…the Blue Jays kind of idea that will hatch in, most likely, at least two years. The Brewers and Ryan Braun seem to have what it takes this year to contend. Will they take this mini two game set? Let’s see…

Probable Starting Pitchers

Game 1: J.A. Happ (8-7, 4.20 ERA) vs Mike Fiers (2-1, 1.29 ERA)

It seems Mr. Reliability has been a different guy throughout the season in the Blue Jays rotation. Mark Buehrle came out strong, Marcus Stroman has been pretty good but a bit more shaky recently, Drew Hutchison had a fantastic start and seemed reliable. Dickey? Has never really seemed reliable.

This time around it is J.A. Happ that is pulling down the decent starts lately: He has a 1.71 ERA since the All-Star break. When he loses he seems to lose badly and thus the inflated ERA. When he is on he can be dominant and IF the Blue Jays are to have any chance this season Happ has to pitch like this for the rest of the season.

In 2012 Mike Fiers was a revelation in the Brewers starting rotation. He only went 9-10 but he had a three and a half ERA and a decent WHIP of around one and a quarter. 2013 saw injury and ineffectiveness and there were some who weren’t sure what they would get in 2014.

Fiers’ last start saw him strike out 14 Cubs in 6 innings. He is replacing the injured Matt Garza so he has a couple starts to prove this is where he belongs. If he does then a deep rotation just got that much deeper.

Game 2: R.A. Dickey (9-12, 3.95 ERA) vs Jimmy Nelson (2-3, 3.86 ERA)

Still Dickey-ing around with giving up ill-timed home runs, R.A. has been average. Very very average. More often than not he is keeping the team in the game but rarely is he the reason the Blue Jays have won the game. He has shown flashes but his pitch count climbs every game and he rarely will go 8, rarely even 7.

Dickey is a 6 inning pitcher who needs bullpen help pretty much 30 starts out of 34. He is coming off a decent outing in Seattle but the Brewers are a much different team offensively. Lots of power to be had.

Jimmy Nelson. Well his numbers seem different for a dude I am sure no one outside intense mixed league fantasy baseball has heard of. He hasn’t had overpowering starts but he has been effective, able to keep his ERA under 4. Not bad for a “who’s he?” kind of dude.

The rookie has had a pretty good since joining the rotation 7 starts ago. He has given up 3 or less runs in 6 of those 7 games with a 3:1 K:BB Ratio. He gives up about a hit per inning and is going to be like poisonous venom to the Blue Jays who do not fare well against rookie pitchers or pitchers they have not seen much of. The series is a toss up at this point.

More from Toronto Blue Jays News

Probable Starting Lineups

Toronto Blue Jays

1. SS: Jose Reyes
2. LF: Melky Cabrera
3. RF: Jose Bautista
4. 1B: Edwin Encarnacion
5. C: Dioner Navarro
6. 3B: Danny Valencia
7. CF: Colby Rasmus
8. 2B: Munenori Kawasaki

Milwaukee Brewers

1. CF: Chris Gomez
2. C: Jonathan Lucroy
3. RF: Ryan Braun
4. 3B: Aramis Ramirez
5. 2B: Scooter Gennett
6. 1B: Lyle Overbay
7. LF: Khris Davis
8. SS: Jean Segura

Worth the Price of Admission: Ryan Braun. Yeah sure he was a steroid jockey but he apparently is clean now and hitting like he always has. At one point could be considered a future hall of famer…now? Let the scribe judges decide…

Worth the Price of a Week Old Brat: Jean Segura. You looked so promising last year. Wha’ Happun?