Game Threat: Jays (31-28) @ Tigers (29-28)

gibbers-note

John Lott tweets that John Gibbons left the note above for reporters, in lieu of doing his usual pre-game TV interview today. GibbyTheBest!

He did eventually sit down to speak, it turns out, and he awesomely basically just said what was written on the note.

And why wouldn’t he? The Jays are running out the same lineup as they were last night, Venditte does give them an extra arm, and we should expect Sanchez to be good — weird as that may sound to those of us, like myself, who had their reservations going into the season.

Gregor Chisholm tweets that Sanchez, amazingly, has limited opponents to just a .303 OPS on non-fastball pitches, and Krista Rutherford of Sportsnet talks to him about having his name on the water tower in his home town of Barstow, California — watch for it next time you’re on a flat-out high speed burn through the desert.

It’s all happening for Sanchez, which has been simply tremendous to watch. And speaking of that… uh… we better start enjoying it while we can. This six- or seven-inning version of Sanchez, that is. The bullpen will probably end up calling for him (which isn’t exactly the worst fate for either him or us, given what’s gone on back there so far this year), and the Jays’ rotation will be worse for it.

Much worse than I certainly would have imagined back as recently as this spring, when I wondered if Buffalo might be the best spot for him. As I said the other day, he’s been everything we hoped Marcus Stroman would be. *COUGH*

Scuttlebutt

Sanchez also ranks third in groundball percentage, Gregor notes, but the point of the previous tweet was to show just how far his secondary stuff has come. That was the concerns — as were walks — and he keeps passing tests with flying colours.

Speaking of Stroman (who, it should be noted, is ahead of Sanchez, ranking second in MLB by groundball percentage), you may be surprised to learn that he’s being positive about his string of poor outings. “Beauty in the struggle,” he tweets. “Got that feeling back! #HDMH”

Jason Grilli talks to Barry Davis of Sportsnet about taking young pitchers under his wing.

Mark Teixeira of the Yankees isn’t going to have season-ending surgery after all, tweets Bryan Hoch of MLB.com. He’s going to try to get through the year without it, apparently. Which… uh… good luck with that, Yankees.

Tomorrow’s contest is indeed an afternoon affair, which will hopefully see the Jays getting a chance to win yet another series, before they head home for four straight with the division leading Orioles — a club they’ll play in seven of their next eleven contests (the other four being against the lowly Phillies). Let’s do this!

TV: Sportsnet

Next Game(s): Tomorrow @ Detroit, 1:10 PM ET
And now, the lineups…

Toronto Blue Jays

Jose Bautista(R) RF
Josh Donaldson(R) 3B
Edwin Encarnacion(R) DH
Russell Martin(R) C
Justin Smoak(S) 1B
Michael Saunders(L) LF
Devon Travis(R) 2B
Kevin Pillar(R) CF
Darwin Barney(R) SS
Aaron Sanchez RHP

Detroit Tigers

Andrew Romine(S) CF
Miguel Cabrera(R) 1B
Victor Martinez(S) DH
J.D. Martinez(R) RF
Nick Castellanos(R) 3B
Justin Upton(R) LF
Jarrod Saltalamacchia(S) C
Jose Iglesias(R) SS
Matt Boyd LHP