Game 2: Saturday, April 16th – 4:05 p.m. ET
Marco Estrada (1-0, 0.00 ERA)
David Price (1-0, 5.73 ERA)
Saturday is what Blue Jays fans have been waiting for since the day that the news of Price’s signing broke: a shot to watch Toronto hit home runs off of him.
Price’s first two outings haven’t been the finest of his career, but as one of the league’s top starters, these can easily be disregarded as early-season stumbles.
After pitching 6.0 innings of two-run ball in his first outing against the Cleveland Indians where he struck out 10 batters, Price had a more difficult time recently against the Baltimore Orioles. In that start, he allowed five earned runs over five innings with two walks. Granted, Price did strike out eight batters on the day.
That’s a worry for the Blue Jays, who have opened up the season terribly prone to striking out. Josh Donaldson had joked over the offseason that he was especially looking forward to facing the left-hander in the coming season. Given his hot start, this could be his game.
Estrada, on the other hand, was nearly flawless through his first test.
The right-hander was excellent against Boston last week, producing a high volume of ugly and off-balance swings from the Red Sox hitters. He threw 7.0 shutout innings on a low pitch count, allowing just five hits while striking out eight and walking two.
His changeup continues to be a huge weapon, which he used at a similar clip to his 2015 rates in his first start. His cutter usage was slightly up, however, it will be interesting to see if that trend continues in round two (especially against left-handers).
If all goes well for Estrada, he should be free to approach the 100-pitch plateau after his return from a minor back injury.
Next: Game 3: Do you like differences in velocity? Well...