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Blue Jays ALCS Game 6 X-factors

Craig Borden
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Jun 13, 2015; Boston, MA, USA; Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Liam Hendriks (31) delivers a pitch during the seventh inning of game against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. The Blue Jays won 5-4. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

Middle Relief

If this game gets out of hand early for David Price, the bullpen will get taxed.  This is a must-win situation tonight, and I would imagine that if Price struggles, he will be on a rather short leash.  This would put the weight of the game on the likes of Liam Hendriks and Mark Lowe.

The two of them have had mixed postseasons this year but both have had career years in the regular season. Hendriks posted 5 wins, a 2.92 ERA, and 71 strikeouts over 64.2 innings.  Since his move to the pen, Hendriks has enjoyed some added velocity on his fastball that has complemented his secondary pitches nicely.  The greater variance in speed has led to more strike outs.  Mark Lowe has also enjoyed a good season, puting up a solid 1.96 ERA with 61 stirkeouts in 55 innings of work in total this season.

This combination in the middle of a game should be solid enough to keep the Blue Jays potent offense in the game if Price struggles.  There could also be some other assistance in the pen tonight in this do or die situation.  Do we see a guest appearance from R.A. Dickey or Marco Estrada?  That is possible due to the nature of this game.  I would hope that Stroman is not used, but who knows what could happen if things get off to a rocky start.  Look for Hendriks to be the primary long guy out of the pen if needed.  He pitched well in an extended outing his previous performance.  Lowe will be the bridge to the young tandem of Aaron Sanchez and Roberto Osuna.

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