Series Preview: Back in Boston

Thankfully, the Blue Jays won’t have to face the Red Sox again until September. The Blue Jays are scheduled to have played the Red Sox ten different times in less than a month. However, playing against the Red Sox has brought the best out of the Blue Jays’ offense this season.

Their offense has recorded five runs or more in nine of their twelve games against the Red Sox this season. The Blue Jays scored a total of just four runs during their three-game series against the Yankees. So they could certainly use a boost in their lineup during this four-game series against the Red Sox.

Monday at 7:10 ET

Trent Thornton has been on a two-week vacation since he last started on July 7. The 25-year-old recorded a quality outing for the first time since June 16 and then was forced to wait two weeks until his next start. In Thornton’s latest outing against the Orioles, he went six scoreless-innings and created five strikeouts.

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Thornton was also extremely efficient in this start, as he threw 71% of his pitches for strikes. The Red Sox’ hitters were able to pick up something on Thornton’s delivery in his start last month against them. So this game should be a big test to see if Thornton was able to change what was causing him to tip his pitches in his previous outing.

Rick Porcello is clearly not over the beating he took in his start a few weeks ago in London. In his start against the Tigers before the all-star break, Porcello gave up six runs on nine hits in just five and 2/3 innings. The 30-year-old has now given up five runs or more over his last three starts.

Maybe some time away from baseball gave Porcello an opportunity to forget those horrible starts. But, the Blue Jays will happily smack him around the ballpark once again. Just like they did in his start against them last month. Where Porcello gave up eight hits, five runs and four walks over his six innings pitched.

Tuesday at 7:10 ET

The Blue Jays have a trio of options to choose from to start game two of this series. All three of Sean Reid-Foley, Jacob Waguespack and Thomas Pannone will be eligible to be recalled for the start of this game. The Blue Jays haven’t said as of yet which way they’re leaning towards.

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But, the one pitcher we know for certain who won’t be making this start is Edwin Jackson. Thankfully, the Blue Jays are sticking to their word about keeping Jackson in the bullpen until he lets them down there as well.

The Blue Jays are probably not too happy that they’ll have to face Andrew Cashner again. Cashner will be making his first start since being acquired by the Red Sox. Cashner made his last start before the break against the Blue Jays. Where he held them to just one run on three hits through his seven innings of work.

Being on a championship contending team should now motivate Cashner to pitch even better than he has recently. The ginger-bearded pitcher has allowed just a single run and struck out ten batters over his last 14 innings pitched. Which means the Blue Jays will likely find it tough to produce many runs once again in this game against Cashner.

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Wednesday at 7:10 ET

The most-frustrating player on the Blue Jays this season continues to make fans want to scream at their devices when they watch him pitch. Aaron Sanchez was once again unable to command his pitches with consistency in his latest-outing. The 27-year-old threw just 57% of his pitches for strikes in this game against the Yankees.

Sanchez allowed just a pair of walks through his five innings of work. But, he surrendered seven hits on four runs. This was the first time since June 19 that Sanchez hasn’t allowed three walks or more. However, Sanchez will be chased from this game very early if he’s unable to locate his pitches within the strike zone more effectively.

Eduardo Rodriguez was sensational in his latest outing against the Dodgers. The 26-year-old likely gave the Dodgers nightmares of reliving their defeat against the Red Sox in last season’s World Series. Rodriguez pitched seven innings and gave up just one run on five hits.

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E-Rod also tied his season-high for strikeouts with ten in that start. In his start against the Blue Jays earlier this season, Rodriguez was taken deep three different times. Which means the Blue Jays will have to try to replicate that performance, if they’re going to be successful in this game.

Thursday at 1:05 ET

Clayton Richard was supposed to start this game before he sustained a lat strain. So, the Blue Jays will have to choose between the two pitchers that aren’t chosen to start Tuesday’s game. With the trade deadline just around the corner, the Blue Jays may have three open vacancies by the end of the week.

Trade rumors continue to speculate around Marcus Stroman. Which means the Blue Jays could potentially have spots for all three of Reid-Foley, Waguespack and Pannone going forward. However, Ryan Borucki is expected to make his season-debut this weekend against the Tigers. Which should provide the Blue Jays a little more depth once Stro-Show is finally traded.

Chris Sale has surprisingly been pounded by the Blue Jays so far this season. In his three starts against them, Sale owns a 7.98 ERA, 1.841 WHIP and has allowed four home runs in just 14 and 2/3 innings pitched. While Sale continues to be a strikeout machine, he also continues to give up far too many runs.

The seven-time all-star has surrendered five runs in each of his last three starts. Sale has also given up at least one home run in four-straight starts. So while the Blue Jays will need to attempt to limit the number of strikeouts as much as they can, Sale is still clearly not the same dominant pitcher he was previously in his career.

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    Have not been following the jays much this year( they are hot trash) but can someone explain why they are wanting to trade stroman instead of re-signing him? He is still youngish and the jays need pitching with lots of $ coming off the books after this year. Like why trade him? Wtf are shapkins doing