Game Threat: Acestrada gets the ball in the rubber match, Blue Jays (30-27) vs Red Sox (33-23)

There isn’t really all that much to say about yesterday’s game other than meh. It was a pretty forgettable performance from Marcus Stroman, who, well, has had a few of those recently. And for the third time this season, the offence was shut down by Steven Wright’s knuckleball. Oh how nice it would be to be on the other side of a garbage knuckleball for once!

But thankfully, the true ace of this staff, Marco Acestrada that is, will take the mound in the rubber match this afternoon, as the Jays look to finish this 12-game Yankee/Red Sox swing with a crazy good 9-3 record. 

Speaking of Stroman and his struggles, he said in an article by Gregor Chisholm via Sportsnet that he needs to make an adjustment to get out of this rut. Uhhhhh, you think? Stroman, aside from a good start against Minnesota, which doesn’t even really count, has allowed 13, 11, and nine hits in three of his past four starts. I guess it’s trending in the right direction? Anyways, Ian Hunter takes a look and tells us that it isn’t time to worry just quite yet about the young ace, but if this junk persists, then yeah, we can worry. 

Josh Donaldson will return to the lineup tonight as the DH after missing yesterday’s game with a thumb injury. Matt Dominguez was recalled and Ryan Tepera was optioned to Triple-A Buffalo, so there was some speculation that the reigning MVP would be headed to the DL. Well, that isn’t the case, at least for now. 

Speaking of the DL, Gregor Chisholm tweeted that both Troy Tulowitzki and Brett Cecil were making progress in Dunedin, and that Tulo could be back pretty soon. He also had an update about Franklin Morales for, uh, anybody who cares, I guess? The lefty has been injured for pretty much the entire season, but now he’s throwing light bullpen sessions. 

Well damn, that’s really impressive. Really, though, what about Estrada hasn’t been impressive over the past year? He’s allowing only 5.7 hits against per nine innings, and he’s striking out more batters per nine than he did last season. In his past three starts, Estrada has gone 8.0, 7.0, and 8.0 allowing just a combined four runs on 11 hits and eight walks which is just nuts. 

For the Red Sox, Eduardo Rodriguez will make his second start of the season. His other start was a solid one against the shit birds in Baltimore, where he allowed two runs on six hits and a zero of walks over six innings. He faced the Jays twice last year, and had one pretty good start where he allowed a run in six innings, and one start where he was drilled for eight earned runs over four-and-a-third. Let’s hope it’s more like the second one!

Blue Jays

Jose Bautista (R) RF
Josh Donaldson (R) DH
Edwin Encarnacion (R) 1B
Russell Martin (R) C
Michael Saunders (L) LF
Devon Travis (R) 2B
Kevin Pillar (R) CF
Matt Dominguez (R) 3B
Darwin Barney (R) SS

Red Sox

Mookie Betts (R) RF
Dustin Pedroia (R) 2B
Xander Bogaerts (R) SS
David Ortiz (L) DH
Travis Shaw (L) 3B
Hanley Ramirez (R) 1B
Jackie Bradley (L) CF
Chris Young (R) LF
Christian Vazquez (R) C