Series Preview: Is a Blue Jays Miracle in the Making against Red Sox?

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No way. Dude…seriously? Brett Cecil nearly gave me a heart aattack. Is this going to be a heavenly action packed September? Are the Blue Jays really going against all odds and making a late rush to the playoffs? Their thunder bats are so loud that they literally are pitching and hitting their lights out (Get it? Power outage in Tampa? Yeah I know….overdone already).

Marcus Stroman picked up the slack and is pitching like his arm will never fall off and R.A. Dickey, much maligned in previous previews is certainly making a case that he is not going to give up the number one spot without a fight.

Anthony Gose may have just displaced Colby Rasmus in centre and as much as I love Colby’s potential it has generally been nothing but potential. The Blue Jays may lose some power but they gain more speed at the bottom of the line up with Gose and lose nothing in terms of defense.

Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista are picking it up and with Jose Reyes and Melky Cabrera hitting and hitting some more the top of the lineup is feared by the opponents. Throw in Brandon Morrow or even Aaron Sanchez as the new closer and perhaps there is something truly special happening here…’bout time too.

As an impartial Blue Jays observer I can honestly say it is nice to see the Red Sox bottoming out. Too often my good friend Andrew would revel in the fact his beloved Sox were always finding a way to win…even with what thought was a less than stellar team (last years winners included). Mookie Betts and Brock Holt have given some young life to the team and Rubby De La Rosa does seem like a keeper in the rotation. Other than that?well…

As an impartial Blue Jays observer I can honestly say it is nice to see the Red Sox bottoming out.

There is the man…David Ortiz. I love hating him. I do value defense but I also value a hitter who can rise to the occasion and bring his team around to victories they have no sense getting. Too bad he really doesn’t have much else around him at this point. Enjoy them falling from grace this year and expect them to return to competitiveness next season…I don’t see two bad years in a row for the Fenway faithful.

Please note: I am not skimping my joband I am not a lazy sod with all the TBDs below. Them Red Sox decimated their rotation so much during the trade deadline that they don’t even know who is going to toe the runner for the rest of the season….talk about patchwork rotation.

Probable Starting Pitchers

Game 1: Drew Hutchison (9-11, 4.47 ERA) vs Allen Webster (3-3, 6.69 ERA)

Hutchison has had his share of hiccups over the last few months but then you see him toss 7 strong against a pretty decent Yankees team with 9 strikeouts and you again see the potential oozing from his pores. Given his age you know that with the surrounding talent he is going to push harder to be all he can be. His walks per nine is 3.1 so he is still having command issues but which 24 year old doesn’t in the majors? Next year he should take that big step forward but for now just enjoy the ride and watch him grow.

Game 2: J.A. Happ (9-8, 4.37 ERA) vs Clay Buccholz (6-8, 5.40 ERA)

Even though he has always been penciled into the rotation Happ has never had a secure spot until now. Sure he has some pretty brutal games but the good ones are usually great. A good sign is his walks per nine are down to the lowest of his career which has, and most likely will still be, his achilles heel…well maybe not the only one. His K/9 is at 7.7 and for a guy with his stuff that is troubling. At age 31 this is probably what he is. Great for a number 4 or a number 5 on a playoff team.

Game 3: R.A. Dickey (11-12, 3.94 ERA) vs Rubby De La Rosa (4-5, 3.89 ERA)

Ok so maybe I have been a little too harsh on R.A.. He is talented and works hard and when he is on he can look unbeatable. Toss out his first 6 starts and his ERA is around 3.60. The big stat for me is giving up 1.1 HR/9 which is back around his career norm. If he keeps the ball in the park it is amazing how much it truly makes a difference. He gives up the hits so keeping the homers down is the key to a successful Dickey. Couple that with some great defense and he has definitely been better than I expected. Good on ya boy…

Probable Starting Lineups:

More from Toronto Blue Jays News

Toronto Blue Jays

1. Jose Reyes – SS
2. Melky Cabrera – LF
3. Jose Bautista – RF
4. Edwin Encarnacion – DH
5. Adam Lind – 1B
6. Dioner Navarro – C
7. Danny Valencia – 3B
8. Ryan Goins – 2B
9. Anthony Gose – CF

Boston Red Sox

1. Brock Holt – 2B
2. Mookie Betts – CF
3. David Ortiz – DH
4. Yoenis Cespedes – LF
5. Mike Napoli – 1B
6. Daniel Nava – RF
7. Will Middlebrooks – 3B
8. Xander Bogaerts – SS
9. David Ross – C

Worth the Price of Admission: David Ortiz. The clutch hitter of the last decade or so and you gotta love the million watt smile.

Worth the Price of A Southy Meltdown: Xander Bogaerts. Man did he throw away a great chance…hopefully he comes back next year. He is a great talent.

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