Friday: Wily Peralta (5.0 IP, 0.00 ERA, 27.8 K%) v. J.A. Happ (7.0 IP, 3.86 ERA, 34.6 K%)
J.A. Happ, cousin to (former?) Wisconsin Badger basketball start Ethan, was a tough luck loser last week, taking an L despite allowing just three runs (two earned) over seven innings. He thinks it’s okay to pronounce “J.A.” as “Jay,” so he really deserved everything bad that happens to him.
Peralta’s first start of the 2017 season was an encouraging one, as he shut down the Rockies over five innings of three-hit ball.
Saturday: Chase Anderson (6.0 IP, 1.50 ERA, 17.4 K%) v. Marcus Stroman (6.1 IP, 1.42 ERA, 20.8 K%)
In a slightly unfortunate twist of fate, the biggest star of the first Team USA to win the World Baseball Classic is Stroman, who plays for the only MLB team not based in the United States. Of course, it’s not really *that* unfortunate, since the MLB marketing machine never seems interested in promoting its stars unless they’re former NFL players. Long live Tebow.
Anderson, who was ticketed for the bullpen before Matt Garza revealed a late spring injury, was solid in his first start of the season. This continued a trend since the All Star break last season when Anderson began to right the ship, with a 3.02 ERA and 53 strikeouts over 65.2 innings.
2017: First meeting
All-Time: 161-119 (77-65 in Toronto)
Fun fact!!! The Blue Jays are one of just six teams the Brewers hold a winning record against. Their .575 winning percentage against Toronto is their highest against any team.
Are the Blue Jays good?
Well, the facts and figures say no so far this season, right? The Blue Jays enter this series 1-5, having been swept by the Orioles and dropping three of four to Tampa Bay to begin the season. They’re hitting .202 as a team this season with a 68 wRC+, and have managed to score more than two runs just twice this season.
While the lack of offense is a tiny concern given the state of the front of the Baltimore rotation and the back of Tampa Bay’s, there’s not much here besides small sample size noise. Two of their losses have been of the walk-off, extra inning variety, including an 11th-inning shrimp against the Rays on Saturday. The rotation has held up well during the offensive dry spell, keeping the Blue Jays in games. There’s a ton of power in this lineup, and it won’t be kept quiet for long.
Who is the most handsome Blue Jays player?
Hitters to watch:
Russell Martin, C: Last season, Rule 5 draftee Colin Walsh was a statistical oddity during April as he remained among the team’s OBP leaders (.355) despite going hitless until April 19th and collecting only two hits during the entire month. Martin is filling that role for the Blue Jays so far this season, as he’s hitless in 20 plate appearances but has the fifth-highest OBP thanks to a 30% walk rate. Martin’s track record is a bit longer and stronger than Walsh’s, and there’s no reason to believe he’s done hitting. In the meantime, the veteran backstop is finding ways to get on base even as he valiently does battle with the BABIP dragon.
Orlando Arcia, SS: It hasn’t been even 250 plate appearances yet, but there hasn’t been much to get excited about during the former top prospect’s major league career. Arcia’s glove has always been his ticket to the bigs, and he was a middling prospect because of it from the moment Milwaukee’s scooped him up as a 16-year-old. His stock exploded when he started tearing the cover off the ball with Double-A Biloxi, but it seems like no one’s evaluated his play again since. He was a disappointment offensively at Triple-A Colorado Springs, and his glove has barely kept him in the lineup so far in his young major league career. If he can hit around .250 with double digit homers and steals, he’ll be a major league asset, if not a first division starter. If he can’t … well, he wouldn’t be the first glove-first shortstop whose flame petered out on the game’s biggest stage. I’m worried about Arcia. Hopefully, this will all end up like the last time I shared an unpopular opinion about Wisconsin sports; everyone will scream at me that I have no evidence when I do, but I’ll be super wrong anyway.
If the Blue Jays were a Taylor Swift GIF, which one would they be?
Milwaukee Broadcast Information:
Tuesday: :6:07 pm on FS Wisconsin and 620 WTMJ
Wednesday: 6:07 pm on FS Wisconsin and 620 WTMJ
Who’s gonna win the baseball games?
Well, it’s the Brewers. The Brewers will win both games in Toronto, ramping up their trek back to a .500 record and sending Toronto into a deep early-season hole.