The Blue Jays haven’t played a game at Wrigley since 2005. Back then, Josh Towers was the starting pitcher, pitching coach Pete Walker made a relief appearance, and Gregg Zaun was the catcher. Good times!
Friday at 2:20 ET
For whatever reason, the Jays and Cubs are playing an afternoon game on a Friday. I don’t know if that’s some kind of Chicago thing, but I think it’s weird. Anyways, today’s game will feature the first-ever game between two players with the last name Happ, as Ian Happ will start at second base and J.A. Happ will be Toronto’s starter.
Jake Arrieta will get to face his old pal Miguel Montero, who called him out for being a reason why he isn’t able to throw any base stealers out. As we know from Montero’s time in Toronto, it doesn’t seem to matter who’s pitching, he just has a noodle arm. Anyways, Arrieta has been very good in the second half of the season after a sort of rocky start. Since the beginning of July, he hasn’t allowed more than three earned runs in a start and has cleared six innings in seven of eight starts.
Saturday at 2:20 ET
Nick Tepesch will be given his third opportunity as a starter for the Blue Jays on Saturday, but he might be used as an emergency reliever on Friday because only four pitchers are available out of the ‘pen in the series opener. Tepesch got rocked by the Yankees in his first outing, but was very solid against the light-hitting Rays in his second outing. He’s allowing 3.5 walks and home runs per nine and is striking out 3.5 batters per nine, so the goal for Tepesch is to eat innings and hopefully keep the Jays in the game.
They’ll go up against former White Sock Jose Quintana, who hit the ground running after being traded to the Cubs, but has had a few rough outings recently. In hie first three starts with the Cubs, Quintana allowed five earned runs in 19 innings while striking out 25, but in his next three, he’s allowed 10 runs in 16 innings and has 13 strikeouts. In a start against the Jays with the White Sox back in June, Quintana held Toronto to two runs on five hits over seven innings.
Sunday at 2:20 ET
The finale will feature Marco Estrada, who’s coming off of a rough start against Tampa Bay, and Kyle Hendricks, last year’s National League ERA champion. Hendricks hasn’t been as excellent as he was last season, owning a 3.45 ERA through 16 starts, but since coming back from the disable list in late-July, he’s allowed more than one earned run in only one of five starts. That said, he also hasn’t been able to get through further than the fifth inning in three of those starts, as command has been a major issue.
The Jays currently sit three games out of a wild card spot and are three games under .500. The Cubs lead the National League Central by a hair and have struggled to play consistent baseball all season. It’s difficult to predict o expect a sweep of anybody when you’re the Blue Jays, but if Toronto does somehow manage to pull that off, they’ll hit that .500 mark for the first time this season heading into a series with Tampa Bay.
Just keep winning and it’ll all hopefully work out!
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