Game 3: Wednesday, May 4th – 7:07 ET
Aaron Sanchez (2-1, 2.59 ERA) vs.
Colby Lewis (2-0, 3.19 ERA)
Thirteen years separate Aaron Sanchez and Colby Lewis, and when Sanchez hits his peak velocity, these two will also be close to 13 MPH of separation on their fastballs.
Lewis has quietly enjoyed a nice start to the season in Texas, taking a 3.19 ERA into this start after working seven innings of two-run ball against the Angels last week. Strangely enough, he did so without recording a single strikeout or base on balls.
A FIP of 5.76 suggests that Lewis’ good fortune is due to run out, though, especially as he deals with a low ground ball rate and struggles to find success with his slider.
Furthermore, Lewis has been unable to produce strikeouts at a high enough rate (just 5.8 per nine innings). The Blue Jays haven’t exactly been the model of patience thus far, but perhaps a matchup like Lewis is what the lineup needs to get back on track with some deep counts and balls put in play.
Sanchez is coming off arguably the strongest start of his season, pitching seven innings of shutout ball against the the Rays in Tampa Bay. The young right-hander managed to work around six hits and two walks, striking out six.
His strikeout rate of 8.3 batters per nine innings has been extremely encouraging, especially considering that he produced a curiously low K/9 of 5.9 in 2015 working between the starting rotation and bullpen. When paired with his 60% ground ball rate, Sanchez is proving to be an excellent fit with Toronto’s strong defensive infield.
Prior to his start in Tampa Bay, however, Sanchez did get rocked for six runs on ten hits in Oakland. That was a wakeup call for the 23-year-old, and Wednesday’s start will go a long way in re-establishing his path through the early stages of 2016.
Next: Series Finale: Lefty duel in Holland, Happ