Game Threat: Rubber Match on Mother’s Day, Blue Jays (16-16) vs. Dodgers (15-15)


The Toronto Blue Jays and Los Angeles Dodgers will square off today in the rubber match of this three-game series, but more importantly, it’s Mother’s Day, and if you can, you should spend some time with your mom (or another important woman in your life) and let them know that you appreciate them. So seriously, what are you doing reading my takes on today’s Jays game? Go and spend some time with or get on the phone with your mom! 

Yesterday

I didn’t actually watch yesterday’s game because I was on an airplane, so I won’t comment too much on what happened aside from things that I’ve picked up from the boxscore. 

If there was a game in this series that the Jays were going to lose, let’s be honest here, it was probably going to be this one. Clayton Kershaw was pitching for the Dodgers, and as elite as the Jays’ lineup is, it’s still goddamn Clayton Kershaw. That said, the three-time Cy Young apparently didn’t look his best, as the Jays not only managed to pick up eight hits off of him, but they made him throw a lot of pitches in the early stages of the game. 

R.A. Dickey, while a quick glance at his line suggests he was bad, really wasn’t at all. Dickey went seven innings, which is his most in a start this season, and allowed two earned runs on six hits and one walk. His undoing was the defence behind him which made two errors, and also struggled to make the above-and-beyond plays to help him that they usually would. 

But, thanks to Kevin Pillar, there was at least one amazing play on defence yesterday:


News and Scuttlebutt

Keegan Matheson, over at Jays Journal, talked about Joe Biagini, mainly a Tweet from Jeff Blair that suggests that John Gibbons has so much faith in him right now that he’s mentally pencilling him into the starting rotation next season. He mentions Biagini’s impressive work in a small sample size, and how the Jays may lose a handful of relievers to free agency, which could alter the right-hander’s future role.

Nicholas Stellini, from Beyond The Box Score, took a look at Troy Tulowitzki’s poor numbers, noting that while Tulo has always been hot and cold throughout his career, but since being traded to Toronto, he’s swinging and missing a lot more than he ever has. 

Before today’s game, the Blue Jays’ Grounds Crew did an excellent thing for Mother’s Day: 


Also, ugh, I can’t un-see this Donald Trump hair on the Jays Mother’s Day cap: 


Today

Marco Estrada will get the ball for the Jays today, seeking just his second win on the season despite being generally excellent. In his last start against the Rangers, Estrada allowed one run on just two hits and a walk over six innings, pushing his season numbers to a very good 2.64 ERA over 30.2 innings. 

Also, Michael Saunders will be back in the leadoff role today, since the Dodgers are tossing a right-handed starter out there. The leadoff position has become a platoon over the past week, with Kevin Pillar getting starts at the top of the lineup against lefties, while Saunders gets the job against righties. Judging by their splits, it doesn’t seem to be a bad idea. 

That righty that the Dodgers will be sending out this afternoon is rookie Ross Stripling. You may remember his name from his first career start back on April 8, in which he carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning, but was pulled after hitting his pitch limit of 100. In that start he want seven-and-a-third, allowing no hits and striking out four, but surrendering one run thanks to four walks. 

Since then, though, he hasn’t been all that great. In his last three starts, Stripling hasn’t made it any further than the fifth inning, allowing 10 runs in just 13 2/3 innings of work. His platoon splits also show that he’s struggled mightily with right-handed hitters, as they slash a .298/.389/..447 line off of him. So that’s definitely a good sign for the Jays’ hitters! 

Lineups

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