Blue Jays: Key factors to winning game 3 of the ALCS

4 of 5

Oct 14, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays relief pitcher Roberto Osuna throws a pitch against the Texas Rangers in the 8th inning in game five of the ALDS at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Peter Llewellyn-USA TODAY Sports

The Bullpen

The starting pitching has been mediocre the first 2 games of the series, but the bullpen was also part of the issue the 2nd game.  It’s become a question mark since Brett Cecil went down with a calf injury, which produced another shuffling of roles. The Jays went form having a lefty that was near a sure thing to a player that got demoted to Triple A mid-season.  Aaron Loup has be okay at times, but has simply lacked the consistency.

The rest of the bullpen has had its issues also, but Aaron Sanchez and Roberto Osuna have been the bright spots in what has become a feared area in games.  This has led to John Gibbons leaving in his starters an inning too long to try and bridge the gap to Sanchez and Osuna.

Hopefully the Jays will not need much from the pen tonight, seeing how Stroman has been pitching deep into games since his return.  The Royals have yet to see Stroman this season, either, which could lead them to further issues with his stuff.  If Stroman struggles, however, Gibbons may have to get clever and see what he has on the shelf.  Toronto can not afford to get down by much in this game with the Royals bullpen being lights out all season and postseason.   The bullpen must be ready to keep the Jays in this game, especially if the offense continues to struggle.

Look for veteran Mark Lowe to hopefully provide some stability, and who knows which starters may be available in this one. If the Jays can stay alive, there will be another travel day coming to give any starter that may pitch an extra day off.

Next: Home sweet Dome! The advantage of home cooking...