The Blue Jays couldn’t be happier to come home following their horrendous six-game road trip. This team was lucky to even get just one win during their trip. If it weren’t for a horrible throw to third-base by pitcher Ariel Jurado, then the Blue Jays probably would have lost every single game on their second-trip to the west coast.
However, the Blue Jays now get to come home for six games before having to go back out to the west coast. Thankfully the Blue Jays have also already had success against the Twins this season. Last month, the Blue Jays went to the “Twin Cities” and came away with three wins out of the four games. Coming into this series the Blue Jays will look to inch closer back to .500, against the still very shocking AL Central division-leading Twins.
Monday at 7:07 ET
StroShow will be looking for redemption in this start, following his worst-start of the season against the Angels. Stroman didn’t face the Twins during their series last month. But, he has faced the Twins four times in his career and holds a 1-2 record against the team from the “Twin Cities”.
The former first-round pick also holds a career-ERA of 3.71, WHIP of 1.163 and 17 strikeouts in 26.2 innings against the division-leading Twins. Those Twins are also red-hot coming into this series, as they have won seven of their last ten games and are currently second in the AL in home runs.
Martin Perez is someone you probably wouldn’t think of pitching like a top-pitcher in the league. But apparently we all live in a world where that is the case. Perez has surrendered just one run or less in three out of his four starts this season. The 28-year-old has also recorded 18 strikeouts and only given up five walks through his four starts this season.
Last month, Perez faced the Blue Jays and received a no-decision after exciting after the sixth inning. In that start Perez gave up seven hits, and just a lone run and a pair of walks. He was able to escape with allowing just one run because of what has plagued this Blue Jays’ offense so far this season. Which is strikeouts, the Blue Jays will need to attempt to limit the strikeouts in this game, or they will struggle to muster up any runs.
Tuesday at 7:07 ET
Someone please get Sherlock Holmes to figure out the mystery behind Aaron Sanchez, and do it fast. Sanchez has been one of the more frustrating stories on the Blue Jays so far this season. The 26-year-old is apparently healthy, but he’s yet to show signs of his 2016-version through seven starts this season. Last time out against the Angels, the mystery-man threw 89 pitches through just four innings, and gave up nine hits(season-high), four earned runs and a pair of walks.
I suppose a positive is that he only surrendered two walks, but that just means he was missing with his location inside the strike zone in this game instead of outside it. Hopefully Sanchez will actually be able to control his pitches against the Twins, or there may be a lot of balls leaving the yard in game two of this series.
Jose Berrios will be taking the ball in game two for the Twins. The Blue Jays were lucky enough to not have to face the Twins’ ace during their series last month. Berrios has been outstanding through seven starts this season. He owns a 5-1 record with a 2.91 ERA and 0.971 WHIP coming into this start.
Giving up hits has been the only negative thing about Berrios so far this season. The 24-year-old has surrendered seven or more hits four different time this season. But, he’s been able to keep those runners stranded on the base-paths because of the high-amounts of strikeouts he creates. Berrios has recorded five or more strikeouts in six of his seven starts this season. Which could be a really bad mixture for the Blue Jays in this game, given the way their lineup swings and misses in a large way each game.
Wednesday at 7:07 ET
Trent Thornton is coming off his best-start of the season, and yet he still is looking for his first win of the season. His teammates took until the twelfth-inning to record any runs on the scoreboard. But nevertheless, Thornton finally looked the way he did during his first two starts of the season. Only last time out he was even better. The right-hander pitched seven innings of one hit ball and recorded five whiffs as well.
Thornton was successful last time out because he was able to locate with his fastball, which then allowed him to set up his off-speed pitches, including his disappearing curveball. The Twins are currently second in the AL for the fewest-amount of strikeouts. So Thornton will need to locate his fastball once again in order to be successful in the finale of this series.
Kyle Gibson will be facing off against the Blue Jays in the finale of this three-game series. Gibson has been in the major-leagues since the 2013 season, and has yet to look like anything more than an average pitcher. He has never pitched 200 innings and won more than 13 games during a single season. Now I know that wins for pitchers are basically meaningless, but it shows that he just isn’t a player teams should stress about.
However, Gibson is still able to make batters swing and miss. While he hasn’t recorded more than six strikeouts in game so far this season, he could surpass that number if the Blue Jays are over anxious at the plate. So while their lineup has a very good chance at producing a lot of hits and runs like the Yankees did in Gibson’s last start. They will still need to be patient at the plate and force Gibson to throw a lot of pitches. As he’s surpassed 100 pitches in each of his last two starts.