Game Threat: Jays (78-64) vs. Rays (60-82)

Francisco Liriano
Photo credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

I’d be lying if I said I haven’t been a little wary at Francisco Liriano being the one tasked with kicking off this crucial part of the Jays’ schedule, with the club still looking to pull itself out of the funk it has been in over the past two weeks. But honestly, it’s maybe really not so bad!

That’s easy to say right now, before any pitches have been thrown, and it’s not like I’m setting the bar very high by comparing him to other struggling Jays pitchers, but if you take away his horrific first appearance out of the bullpen, his ERA as a Blue Jay has been 3.72 so far. He’s been less busy than R.A. Dickey or Marco Estrada over that span, but he’s certainly been better. Which… maybe should be more terrifying than it is comforting. But I’m still going to go with the latter!

Frank’s got this.

Hey, at least the whole “the Rays have the Jays’ number” thing can’t possibly apply to him, right?

Scuttlebutt

I mean… that Rays lineup… it’s just… can we maybe just… y’know… come on! Let’s do it!

Josh Donaldson is out of the lineup tonight because he’s “banged up” according to John Gibbons, via a tweet from Gregor Chisholm. He sure looks like he could use a rest, based on the results, but he’s still been hitting the ball hard and it seemed like some better luck could be around the corner. Still, a day off can’t hurt. Except for, y’know, the team not having him in the lineup.

Twins beat writer Mike Berardino tweets that a couple of Jays scouts happen to be in Detroit tonight, suggesting that the club may have interest in making a deal for Ervin Santana this winter. Of course, it might also be that Detroit is a potential Wild Card play-in game opponent. Ugh.

Well this is fun: Boston beat writer Rob Bradford tweets that John Farrell has confirmed that the Red Sox are lined up to have David Price pitch against the Jays in what could be an absolutely crucial final game of the season. Of course, that also means he’s setup to pitch the Wild Card play-in game or Game One of the ALDS, should he not be needed for that one.

TV: Sportsnet
Next Game(s): Tomorrow vs. Rays, 7:07 PM ET
AL East Standings: BOS (-), TOR (2), BAL (2), NYY (4), TBR (20)
And now, the lineups…

Toronto Blue Jays

Devon Travis(R) 2B
Michael Saunders(L) RF
Edwin Encarnacion(R) 1B
Jose Bautista(R) DH
Russell Martin(R) C
Troy Tulowitzki(R) SS
Kevin Pillar(R) CF
Melvin Upton Jr.(R) LF
Darwin Barney(R) 3B
Francisco Liriano LHP

Tampa Bay Rays

Logan Forsythe(R) 2B
Kevin Kiermaier(L) CF
Evan Longoria(R) 3B
Brad Miller(L) 1B
Nick Franklin(S) SS
Mikie Mahtook(R) LF
Steven Souza(R) RF
Richie Shaffer(R) DH
Luke Maile(R) C
Jake Odorizzi RHP