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Preview: Blue Jays Open Weekend Series in Cleveland

Drew Hutchison (1-1, 3.68) aims to snap the Blue Jays two-game losing streak at Progressive Field against the Indians tonight (7:05 ET, Sportsnet).

Stock_Santos02It’s only fitting Toronto is in Cleveland after the bullpen’s impression of Ricky Vaughn last night. You know the story (and if you don’t consider yourself lucky and skip down a few paragraphs). Steve Delabar, Sergio Santos and J.A. Happ combined to set a club record with EIGHT walks in the bottom of the eighth. Santos threw three wild pitches, all of which lead to runs that turned a 5-3 lead into a 6-5 deficit en route to a 9-5 loss.

“Looking back now I was trying to be too perfect there.”

YOU THINK!?

That was Santos after the game. Here’s more.

“Tough, obviously, when you see your guys, the position players, they go out and play in this cold weather and so many innings. You know, it’s just a long day and those are just games that you’d like.”

Ah, yes. The menacing COLD. The classic excuse for baseball players. But John Gibbons said it best:

“It’s cold, okay, but you know what, it’s cold for both sides. If you’re ever going to get to September, October in the playoffs, it’s going to be cold.”

That might be the smartest thing I’ve ever heard him say.

Well, it was an awful night for a pretty damn good bullpen. It was bound to happen, if maybe not on such a collosal scale. Move on, regroup tonight in Cleveland.

They’ll have the tough task of going up against All-Star Justin Masterson, who was Master-full in two performances against the Jays last season. (3 ER on 7 hits in 12.2 innings over two starts. 11 strikeouts and a .175 opponent’s average).  He has struggled a bit this season, so you KNOW he’s going to turn in his best performance of the season tonight against Toronto.

Here’s the lineup of Jays tasked with trying to continue his woes:

Blue Jays 04/18 (8-8)
OBP HR RBI
LF 53 Melky Cabrera .320 4 5
2B 66 Munenori Kawasaki .222 0 0
DH 19 Jose Bautista .457 6 11
1B 10 Edwin Encarnacion .333 0 4
C 30 Dioner Navarro .283 0 9
CF 28 Colby Rasmus .276 3 5
3B 13 Brett Lawrie .169 3 10
RF 14 Moises Sierra .158 0 1
2B 17 Ryan Goins .171 0 0
ERA W L
P 36 Drew Hutchison 3.68 1 1

It was a so-so offensive effort last nig
ht. Good to see Jose Bautista crank another home run, and two more hits from each of Edwin Encarnacion and Dioner Navarro. And Anthony Gose walked THREE times, and stole a base. But the good news ends there.

Colby Rasmus was 0-for-5. Brett Lawrie should have been 0-for-5. His only single probably should have been caught, but the Twins had a catcher playing right field. And Ryan Goins was 0-for-3. With Jose Reyes due back tomorrow, I PRAY that Goins is sent to AAA. Diaz has held his own, and can play multiple positions, and Kawasaki is, well, Kawasaki.

Good to see Colby Rasmus back in centre field. Hopefully the hamstring issues are behind him. I assume Bautista DH’ing is just a half-day of rest after 18 innings in the field yesterday.

Stock_Lind03Adam Lind remains out with lower back tightness. The Jays will reportedly make a decision on him after the game. He’s supposed to play catch before the game to see how it feels. Jose Reyes is returning tomorrow, and if Lind doesn’t need a DL stint, Gibbons said another position player will be sent down, and the club will continute with an 8-man bullpen. If Lind goes on the DL, another position player will still be going down, and a 1B/DH type will be recalled, likely Dan Johnson or Juan Francisco, both of whom are left-handed power hitters. Either way, we’ll have clarity tonight or tomorrow morning!

No live-tweeting during the game tonight, but follow us on Twitter regardless.

@jaysbalk
@di_nic

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