Toronto Blue Jays News

Blue Jays face Giants in Interleague clash: Full series preview

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May 1, 2016; New York City, NY, USA; San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey (28) is congratulated by teammates after hitting a solo home run against the New York Mets during the eighth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports
May 1, 2016; New York City, NY, USA; San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey (28) is congratulated by teammates after hitting a solo home run against the New York Mets during the eighth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports /
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Mandatory Credit: Kenny Karst-USA TODAY Sports /

Game 3: Wednesday, May 11th  –  3:45 p.m.

Marcus Stroman (4-0, 3.60 ERA) vs.
Madison Bumgarner (4-2, 3.14 ERA)

A great day to take the afternoon off work as the marquee matchup of the series is slated for a 3:45 p.m. start on Wednesday.

The Blue Jays will get a look at the great Madison Bumgarner, who’s off to another strong start in 2016. His last time out against the Colorado Rockies, Bumgarner struck out 10 batters while allowing three earned runs over seven and a third. In his prior outing, the lefty pitched six shutout innings against the Mets with seven strikeouts.

Bumgarner isn’t keeping the ball on the ground as much as he has in years past, but is doing a better job of forcing pop-ups and creating soft contact. His fastball velocity has dropped 1.5 MPH on average, but it doesn’t seem to be impacting his results on the mound just yet. His curveball, which he throws about 10% of the time, has dropped nearly 3.5 MPH.

What makes the 26-year-old even more dynamic is his ability with the bat. He’s won back-to-back Silver Slugger Awards with an OPS near .750 the past two seasons. That’s good enough to slot him into the lineup on his off-days.

Next: Should Biagini be stretched out to start in 2017?

Marcus Stroman continues to be a ground ball machine for the Blue Jays and has really settled into a groove these past two starts.

In his most recent outing against the Dodgers, Stroman lasted seven innings while allowing two runs on eight hits while striking out eight. He’s now gone a full eight innings three times in 2016, and has only had one outing go fewer than six and two-thirds innings.

Stroman doesn’t have a professional at-bat under his belt, but did hit .252 with Duke at the NCAA level. He’s no Bartolo Colon on the bases, either.

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