Game 1: Monday, May 2nd – 7:07 ET
R.A. Dickey (1-3, 6.75 ERA) vs.
A.J. Griffin (3-0, 2.52 ERA)
Blue Jays veteran R.A. Dickey has given the club three strong starts this season, but they’ve been negated by two ugly outings. His most recent start fell into the latter category, as the knuckleballer allowed six earned runs on eight hits over six innings.
The early-season moans are back again, but this represents a typical April for Dickey, who has traditionally turned a corner in late May or early June. This much should be accepted as a given, with the hope that this corner comes a start or two earlier in 2016.
In his outing prior, however, on April 20th against the Orioles in Baltimore, Dickey was essentially what the Jays need him to be. He allowed three runs that game over six innings, striking out four and walking two batters. With a string of starts like that and the overdue awakening of the Blue Jays’ bats, his value to this rotation will remain very much real.
Countering for the Rangers is 28-year-old A.J. Griffin, the right-hander who’d last pitched at the MLB level with the Oakland Athletics in 2013 before undergoing Tommy John surgery.
His early results in 2016 have been impressive, though, and his strong start continued last week with an eight-inning start against the New York Yankees in which he held the Bronx
to just one run on four hits.
Griffin has gotten by on producing a good deal of soft contact through his early starts, something that’s helped cover up for his low ground ball and swing-and-miss capabilities. He’ll throw a high-80s fastball, low-80s slider and changeup, then drop all the way down into the 60s with his curveball.
Next: Game 2: Marco vs. Martin in a juicy matchup