Blue Jays Series Preview: Can Jays continue run of success against AL East?
Game 1: May 30 – 7:07 ET
Ivan Nova (3-2, 3.65 ERA, 4.25 FIP) vs.
Marco Estrada (2-2, 2.76 ERA, 3.82 FIP)
In last week’s series preview against the Yankees, I delved into why Nova was a great matchup for the Jays lineup, and while they didn’t touch him up as much as I would have imagined, they still got to him for four runs through 6.2 IP, including Martin’s first home run of the year.
Nova struck out eight Blue Jays in that start as well, as his changeup looked better than what we’ve seen in the past from him, but overall, he still lacks big strikeout potential. He’s been able to suppress the home run ball fairly well this year, but he has given up a home run in each of his last four starts.
His sinker is a good pitch and results in plenty of ground balls, and his curveball is his go to pitch in order to get punch-outs. The Jays have seen plenty of him throughout the years, and they’ll need to work themselves into hitter’s counts and pounce on sinkers up in the zone.
Estrada’s start last week against the Yankees resulted in a decent final line of 7 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 4 BB, 2 K, but it could have been a lot worse than the three earned runs. The 4:2 BB:K ratio isn’t what you like to see, and he was lucky the two homers were both solo shots.
He did a good job of getting out of jams unscathed, but it’s not a recipe for future success. You’d like to see Estrada return to his typically excellent control, and produce a few more swing and misses.
He’s had problems with the home run in the past, but it hasn’t been an issue so far this season up until last week’s start, so it will important to monitor that going forward.
Next: CC has revitalized himself in 2016