Game three of the ALCS is here for the Toronto Blue Jays and they are looking to get back into this series at home. The Blue Jays Jays will take on the Indians and look to keep up with the solid pitching, but also add in some run support.
Dome Field Advantage
The Indians have jumped out of the gate hot and taken two games away from the Jays in the series. The transplant Blue Jays nation fans did not have much to scream about in Cleveland. Some great pitching performances were not helped out by the offence, either.
Now as the series moves to Toronto the Jays fans will be in full force. As the dome gets rocking the Jays bats came alive in the Wild Card game. That momentum from the crowd during that game propelled the Blue Jays through the ALDS. The thunderous environment could be the shock to the system to get the team back on track. Just like a defibrillator, this could give a pulse to a team that has been hurting the past few games after riding toward the sun.
Just as the Blue Jays will be sitting on a powder keg environment, they get a chance to send Marcus Stroman to the mound. Stroman has thrived in these types of moments and feeds off of the energy of the ballpark more then most players. Stroman has been clutch during his playoff appearances. He has kept his team in the game during each performance and is fresh off one of his better starts. He allowed a pair of runs on 4 hits over 6 innings during the Wild Card game. This paved the way for the epic Edwin Encarnacion walk off home run.
Look for Stroman to sprint out to the mound and own the moment to get things started. Stroman looks for these moments and will look a whole lot bigger as the crowd pumps him up. Hopefully he will be strolling off the mound each inning with a big fist pump.
Stirring up the lineup
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Rumour has it that the lineup might look pretty different come game time this evening. Devon Travis is out it appears so the top of the lineup is in flux. Ezequiel Carrera was hitting the ball hard but has cooled off of late. So this brings up the question who bats lead off? Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star writes that that Jose Bautista could be heading back to the leadoff spot for the time being. This will hopefully work by getting Bautista’s bat going along with having someone see some more pitches at the beginning of the game. Bautista should also get some better pitches to hit as Josh Donaldson has been hitting everything of late.
Lower in the lineup Troy Tulowitzki should remain in the 5 spot to help protect the power in the top of the order. Tulo is a great hitter and has been one of the more consistent hitters for the Jays since the All Star break. Russell Martin is showing signs of life with the bat but it was hard to watch him miss opportunities in the first 2 games of the series. This shakeup should get things moving against what has been a solid Cleveland pitching staff so far.
Drone of pain!
Trevor Bauer will be starting for Cleveland in game three. It has been known for a while that Bauer was skipped in his game two start because of an incident with his quad copter that led to a finger laceration and stitches. From all accounts he is fine and ready to go for this evening. The question is, will the pitches work the way he expects? Fingers are very important to getting the proper spin on pitches. If the injury begins to linger this could lead to some hanging balls for the Jays to tee up.
Join in the conversation what do you think could impact Game 1 for the Blue Jays?