The Toronto Blue Jays will have to wait one more day to kick off their long-anticipated series against the Yankees in New York. A rain delay tonight will push Saturday into a double-header, and according to Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com, manager John Gibbons has decided to keep his starting pitchers in order while sliding them all back within the series.
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This means we’ll still see David Price in the series opener on Friday night, with Marco Estrada and Marcus Stroman splitting the Saturday double-dip before R.A. Dickey closes out the series on Sunday. The New York Yankees will be following the same strategy, leaving the electric rookie Luis Severino to face Price in game one.
“I’ll be ready to go tomorrow,” Price told Chisholm after learning of the postponement. “Every series we play is important now. It’s because of the way these guys played the first half of the season, and once we made the trades, we’ve played really good baseball.
“Every game that we play, every series that we play from here on out is very important. And you can’t put any more importance on any certain game or any certain series, but we all know that we need to win games and keep playing the same baseball that we’ve been playing.”
The one curiosity I have with this setup is the usage of Marcus Stroman in game two instead of game one. The early game on Saturday is set to start at 1:05 ET, with the later game beginning approximately 30 minutes after the conclusion of the first. This doesn’t leave Stroman with a “normal” scenario as he enters his first start, and while he’s not exactly jumping off the bench cold, it should be important to surround Stroman with as much support as possible.
Perhaps manager John Gibbons will play the double-header somewhat backwards, using some reserve players in the first contest behind Marco Estrada. Don’t be surprised to see Dioner Navarro starting the early game with Russell Martin handling Stroman in the latter.
The double-header will also increase the potential of Toronto’s recent September call ups, Dalton Pompey especially, receiving a significant amount of playing time as substitutions. Should game one get out of hand quickly (hopefully in the proper direction), Gibbons has the bench ammunition required to give some starters an extended breather in between games.