Series Preview: Blue Jays Season All But Decided as They Hit New York

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It’s another implosion of not so epic proportions. What has this season shown? That the Blue Jays need depth. Depth in the field and depth in the bullpen which became the one thing that seemed to be off throughout the entire season. There was never a time where anyone felt assured that the Blue Jays bullpen was lights out. They walked to many (3.1/9 inning) and never seemed to find the groove.
You could blame that on John Gibbons or Alex Anthopoulos but ultimately they used so many pitchers because no one really stepped up to take their spot, aside from Aaron Loup and Brett Cecil. Casey Janssen did ok but really looked over=matched at times. If the Blue Jays can look to one big thing that led to their season demise it is the arms out of the pen.

(The bullpen) walked to many (3.1/9 inning) and never seemed to find the groove.

The Yankees seem to have done pretty much the same as the Blue Jays. They had moments where they looked unbeatable, others where they looked out of sorts and ultimately injuries and under performance led to a mediocre finish to the year. Their pitching has been league average as they are 8 out of 15 teams in ERA. The Blue Jays would be there too if it weren’t for the afore mentioned bullpen.

The big reason for the Yankees fall has been the inept offense which is 12th out of 15 teams. Their core is getting older and there doesn’t appear to be manay free agents on the horizon so it will be up to the farm system to start replenishing the team. This will be a true test to see if Brian Cashman can do more than offer ridiculous money to keep the team competitive.

Probable Starting Pitchers

Game 1: R.A. Dickey (13-12, 3.84 ERA) vs Shane Greene (5-3, 3.56 ERA)

Since we play the Yanks so often it is hard to fathom that Dickey faced them just once so far this year waaaaaay back in April where he tossed 6.2 scoreless innings in Toronto. That was back when Dickey was all over the place and wasn’t the pitcher he has been since the All-Star break. His ERA in September is 2.57 and he will be looking to keep the very very faint playoff hopes alive so expect him to be on his best game.

Shane Greene is Shane Greene. A rookie who has generally held his own as he was given a chance to get himself in the discussion for a spot in the rotation. His ERA is decent but he has given up more than a hit an inning and his BAA Against is average at .264. Is this just a rookie trudging through the season and trying hard to get better or is this just a stop gap guy who may not even be in the discussion for a spot in the rotation next year?

Game 2: Mark Buehrle (12-9, 3.40 ERA) vs Hiroki Kuroda (10-9, 3.81 ERA)

Buehrle is trying his best to finish strong and get those 200 innings under his belt and if he doesn’t completely implde in his last few starts he should be able to push by with relative ease (he needs 12 innings to accomplish the feat for the 16th consecutive season). It may be one of the few bright spots to keep an eye on the Blue Jays as the season comes to an end.

Speaking of the end, ks this the end for Hiroki Kuroda? He will be 40 next year but he still seems to have it on the mound. It comes down to whether he wants to come back. He has a 3.12 ERA in September and always pitches the Blue Jays tough. His WHIP is 1.17 so he is definitely able to keep men off the bases. I would tend to lean towards him coming back next season and guiding a very young staff (aside from possibly C.C. Sabathia).

More from Toronto Blue Jays News

Game 3: Marcus Stroman (10-6, 3.80 ERA) vs Chris Capuano (1-2, 4.56 ERA)

Only because of his appeal of a 6 game suspension will we be seeing Marcus Stroman on the mound Saturday. He had a forgettable start in Baltimore giving up 5 runs. That seemed to be the case with their starters during the entire series. Stroman seemed to get rattled and whether he threw at Caleb Joseph‘s head on purpose is debatable.

Stroman let the Orioles get under his skin and it showed. Hopefully he learns from this and comes back next year a better pitcher for it. **Note that if Stroman’s suspension gets upheld before the start I would like to put Daniel Norris‘ name in there for the start…anyone?

Chris Capuano. Hey we was pretty good for the Brewers and the Dodgers and has been very bland at best so far for the Yankees…although he seems to do just fine against the Blue Jays. Last time out he gave up just 1 earned in 6 plus innings with 4 strikeouts and no walks. Another in the line of not bad pitchers who seem to stymie the Blue Jays.

Game 4: Drew Hutchison (10-12, 4.51 ERA) vs Masahiro Tanaka (12-4, 2.51 ERA)

Hutchison was not so good against the Orioles so he will be looking for the proverbial rebound against the Yankees…in Yankee stadium….ummmm yeah. He has had a very up and down season. Very good at times and very ordinary at other times.I mentioned focus last time in regards to Hutchison and to finish strong. If he does go strong he could end up approaching 190 innings for the season and that would be great going forward.

Yankee fans are up in arms about Masahiro Tanaka. They think he should be left to heal and not be making a comeback when there is really no reason to. He may give a boost to the series finale and show the team that his arm is sound and he will be ready to earn his giant paycheck next season. As a ball fan I want to see if he still has the control of the 946 pitches he is purported to throw (that is a guess…I know it’s a freakin’ lot). Should be a fun game to watch

Probable Starting Lineups

Toronto Blue Jays

1. Jose Reyes – SS
2. Jose Bautista – RF
3. Edwin Encarnacion – DH
4. Adam Lind – 1B
5. Dioner Navarro – C
6. Danny Valencia – 3B
7. Munenori Kawasaki – 2B
8. Kevin Pillar – LF
9. Anthony Gose – CF

New York Yankees

1. Jacoby Ellsbury – CF
2. Derek Jeter – SS
3. Brett Gardner – LF
4. Brian McCann – 1B
5. Chase Headley – 3B
6. Chris Young – DH
7. Ichiro Suzuki – RF
8. Brendan Ryan – 2B
9. Francisco Cervelli – C

Worth the Price of Admission: Derek Jeter He is the epitome of team player and a sure fire hall of famer going through his last rounds in the city he has played his entire career. Kudos to Jeter.

Worth a Urine Stained Tree in Central Park: Stephen Drew. .156 average on over 200 at bats…makes you crave Ryan Goins doesn’t it?

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