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Series Preview: Jose Weekend

The regular season is winding down. It’s been an ugly one for Blue Jays fans, as 2017 was riddled with injuries and disappointments, but come December and January, as bad as it was this summer, you’ll likely be sitting there wrapped up in a blanket longing for baseball.

Also, years from now, you’ll be sitting in the bleachers longing to see a legend in right field. This will very likely be Jose Bautista’s final appearance as a Blue Jay at Rogers Centre. He’s the face of the franchise, the best player of this generation, and he’s a key reason why the franchise was resurrected from the grave in 2015.

Like 2017 in general, it’s been a struggle for the GOAT. This season and his slightly-above-200 batting average doesn’t change anything, though. Jose is still very much a legend, and he deserves to go out like one. Pack that stadium this weekend and cheer your fucking heart out at every chance you get. Let Jose Bautista feel the love one more time.

Friday at 7:07 ET

Marco Estrada will make his first start on Friday since signing his one-year extension last week. He’s coming off one of his best starts of the season — an eight inning shutdown of the Twins in which he only allowed two runs on three hits. Estrada had a couple of poor months, but otherwise, he’s been his same old solid self recently. He’ll go up against Masahiro Tanka, who, after an absolutely miserable start to the season, has been pretty good as of late. Since the beginning of August, Tanka has quality starts in five of seven outings and has seen an uptick in his strikeout totals.

Saturday at 4:07 ET

Since beginning his second stint in the starting rotation, it’s been up and down for Joe Biagini. One bad start, one good start, back and forth. Last time out, he was bad, recording just four outs against the Twins. But before that, he was good, shutting down the Orioles over eight innings. If the pattern continues, Biagini will have himself a dominant outing against the Yankees, a team he had a very good start against back in June. He’ll face Sonny Gray, who’s been consistently solid since joining the Yankees. Gray has faced the Blue Jays twice this year, once with Oakland and once with New York, and in both outings he was good-not-great over six innings.

Sunday at 1:07 ET

Marcus Stroman will fittingly start in Jose Bautista’s last Rogers Centre game as a Blue Jay. Stroman has been one of very few bright spots this season, posting a 3.01 ERA through 31 starts. He’s been a pillar of consistency in this rotation and more often than not gives the team a chance to win. I imagine we’ll see Big Game Stro on Sunday as the dome will be rocking for Joey Bats.