Game Threat: Blue Jays (18-17) @ Giants (17-18)

Madison Bumgarner
Photo Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

Marcus Stroman is 25 years old, and his opponent today, Madison Bumgarner — Bumgarner, who has thrown five straight 200 inning seasons, has made three straight All-Star teams, and was the MVP of both the NLCS and World Series in 2014 — is just 26.

That’s absolutely crazy to me. Even if, to be precise, the difference between their ages is actually one year 274 days.

And sure, I get why. Bumgarner was a high school pick in 2007 who blasted his way into a big league cameo at the end of 2009, and Stroman went the college route and wasn’t even drafted until 2012. But still!

However which way we ended up with this matchup, these are two starting pitchers who are awfully good — especially Stroman, who has been exquisite over his last two starts (thanks to his revisiting of the concept of actually sometimes trying to strike guys out), but especially Bumgarner, who over the past two seasons (159 PA), has hit .252/.280/.469 (numbers that, sadly, would be an improvement on some of the Jays’ key hitters so far this season). Thankfully the Jays have already won this series in San Francisco, or they’d be hard pressed to do so here in this sweet mid-week afternoon tilt. Let’s break out the brooms anyway, though, eh? Bumgarner is a lefty, after all…

Scuttlebutt

Shi Davidi tweets that John Gibbons says Roberto Osuna is unavailable today for the Jays, after having pitched three straight days. Everyone else is good to go (save Brett Cecil, of couse, who is on the paternity list), and most seem to believe that any save opportunity that arises will likely go to Gavin Floyd. What a world!

Would have mentioned this yesterday, except I didn’t: Jays minor leaguer, and 2013 second-round pick (47th overall), Clinton Hollon, has been suspended 50 games for a drug of abuse. Because he’s a minor leaguer, that could be something as uncontroversial as smoking grass (as my mom still calls it) — big leaguers don’t get tested for that, for example. Hollon’s suspension begins on the day after completing a 50 game suspension for an amphetamine, which he was given last August. No, Diamond Jim, there is not a culture of drugs rampant within the Jays’ ranks. Relax.

“ZiPS projects Michael Saunders to have a higher wOBA than Jason Heyward for the rest of the season,” tweets @BVHJays. Seriously, what a world!

Barry Davis tweets clips of Roberto Osuna’s younger brothers throwing in the bullpen at AT&T Park. There’s the right-handed Pedro, and the left-handed Alex. For his part, Tony LaCava is impressed.

TV: Sportsnet

Next Game(s): Friday, @ Rangers, 8:05 PM ET
And now, the lineups…

Toronto Blue Jays

Kevin Pillar(R) CF
Josh Donaldson(R) 3B
Jose Bautista(R) RF
Edwin Encarnacion(R) 1B
Troy Tulowitzki(R) SS
Russell Martin(R) C
Darwin Barney(R) 2B
Ezequiel Carrera(L) LF
Marcus Stroman(R) RHP

San Francisco Giants

Denard Span(L) CF
Joe Panik(L) 2B
Matt Duffy(R) 3B
Buster Posey(R) C
Hunter Pence(R) RF
Brandon Crawford(L) SS
Conor Gillaspie(L) 1B
Gregor Blanco(L) LF
Madison Bumgarner(R) LHP
  • 0noggin

    To me, night’s game summed up the reality of where the Jays are at. Most of their losses are coming in very winnable games that slip away because of a lack of offense, questionable defense and a bullpen with too many weak links.

    The Jays are in a better situation than this time last year, as they’re set at closer and the starters are going a full inning deeper than last year, but they have major gaps at 4 roles – setup/bridge/high leverage/LOOGY – with only two guys (Floyd and Biagini) who are more or less getting their job done (outside of Osuna).

    The setup role in particular is where the Jays are losing games, so I think the Jays should just put Floyd in there now and give Biagini, Storen and Cecil a chance to work the 7th and hopefully figure things out. One of Loup/Cecil will need to win at least the LOOGY role and ideally be able to get some of the high leverage outs. If Chavez, Storen and Cecil can’t figure things out, they will need to be moved.

    Last year, the Jays bullpen only stabilized with the addition of Lowe/Hawkins, and they will almost certainly need at least one move like that this year. But I think they’re only a couple of pieces away from a solid bullpen, and of course a turnaround from their offense and defense certainly wouldn’t hurt.