Pre-Series Notes: Bichette moves back up the lineup, Zach Pop recalled
Photo credit:Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
By Scott Ony5 months ago
After a disappointing 2-4 homestand against the Los Angeles Angels and Chicago Cubs the Blue Jays have started off their ten-game road trip with a 3-0 sweep of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Their record now sits at 73-59 on the year, 2.5 games up on the Baltimore Orioles for the third and final wild card spot.
The Orioles were blanked 4-0 by the lowly Oakland Athletics on Sunday but enter this series winners in four of their last five. Despite trailing Toronto in the standings they lead the season series 6-3.
There are ten games remaining between these two clubs so these next four aren’t necessarily must win games though they will likely play a major role in determining who qualifies for the playoffs.
Things worth Mentioning…
Bo Bichette has moved back up the lineup and is batting third this afternoon.
In three games against the Pirates he was 6/12 with two doubles, a home run and five RBI’s. The Jays’ shortstop has picked the perfect time to get hot.
Zach Pop has been recalled from triple-A Buffalo.
This move anticipated from the moment he was sent down. By keeping Pop in the minors for a couple of weeks the Jays didn’t have to worry about losing an arm to waivers. Pop impressed in his short stint with the Jays after being acquired at the trade deadline.
He has a 2.70 ERA in seven appearances for Toronto.
Mike Baumann vs. Kevin Gausman
The recently called up Mike Baumann will pitch in game one of today’s double header. He has spent most of this year in triple-A Norfolk. In 20 games (nine starts) with Norfolk he has had mixed results. His ERA of 4.20 isn’t overly impressive but his 12.2 strikeouts per nine innings is.
This will be his first appearance in the MLB since June 19th and the first start of his MLB career. In 12 innings with the Orioles this year he has allowed seven runs.
Opposite of Baumann will be the Blue Jays ace, Kevin Gausman. He pitched well in his last start allowing two runs in six innings with nine strikeouts versus the Chicago Cubs. Although it was a great outing for Gausman he did allow two home runs. This was only the second time this year he has allowed multiple home runs in a game.
Gausman has only seen his former team one time in 2022 and it was disastrous. If it weren’t for him leaving the July 2nd game against the Tampa Bay Rays with an injury, it would have been his shortest start this year. In 2.1 innings the Orioles roughed him up for five runs.
Jordan Lyles vs. Jose Berrios
Jordan Lyles will pitch in game two. His last start on August 31st was one of his best of the year. He pitched 6.2 shutout innings against the Cleveland Guardians to earn his team leading tenth win. This is his only start in 2022 where he has thrown at least six innings and not allowed a run.
He has faced the Blue Jays twice this season going 2-0 with an ERA of 4.91.
Jose Berrios had a couple nice starts in mid-August, but inconsistency continues to be the story of his 2022 season. He gave up double digit hits for the first time this year in his last outing against the Cubs on August 29th. He now has a 5.32 ERA to pair with his career high 27 home runs allowed.
He wasn’t terrible in his lone start versus the Orioles on June 15th. He ended up going seven innings and allowing three runs (two homers) for the no-decision.
Kyle Bradish vs. Mitch White
Out of the seven Orioles pitchers with at least ten starts Bradish’s ERA (5.17) and FIP (4.74) are sixth. His season has not gone as planned though he has been extremely impressive in his last two starts. In 15 total innings versus the Houston Astros and Cleveland Guardians he didn’t allow a run and was only hit four times.
He has pitched against the Blue Jays three times this year and struggled in each of them. In 14.1 innings against the Jays he has an ERA of 7.02. Unfortunately for Toronto they only managed to win one of those games.
Mitch White looked to be a reliable replacement for Yusei Kikuchi after his first three starts for the Blue Jays, but things have taken a turn for the worse. His last two outings have been miserable. In 9.2 innings against the Angels and Cubs he was charged for a whopping 13 earned runs.
He now has an ERA of 7.04 in 23 innings as a member of the Toronto Blue Jays. This was certainly not what management expected when they traded for him at the deadline. In 56 innings for the Dodgers this year his ERA was just 3.70.
Dean Kremer vs. Alek Manoah
Kremer has arguably been the most dominant pitcher in the Orioles rotation this year. His 3.39 FIP and 1.8 WAR according to FanGraphs both lead their seven men with ten plus starts. His 3.22 ERA is second.
His only start against the Blue Jays came in a 4-2 win on August 16th. He threw seven innings of two run ball with six strikeouts to earn the W.
Manoah has pitched against the Orioles twice this season and not fared well. He has been charged for seven earned runs in 10.2 innings versus the O’s. His last start against them was opposite of Kremer where he matched a season high four earned.
That loss seemed to have sparked the big righty. Since that game he has thrown 20.1 innings and struck out 22. Over those three starts his ERA is an astounding 0.90.
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