Rays at Toronto

Thursday, September 20 2018 @ 07:27 AM EDT

Contributed by: Magpie

The last home stand of the season, beginning tonight.

The Jays went 4-5 on the road trip, which perhaps counts as a moral victory. Before it began, I thought 2-7 was definitely in prospect and 1-8 was very much a possibility. John Gibbons now needs just 3 wins in the team's last 10 to finish above .500 for his Jays career, and the team needs 4 of the 10 to avoid 90 losses. Unfortunately for all concerned, the remaining games are played against either a) the defending World Champs or b) the hottest team in the whole major leagues. Tampa was sitting at .500, 53-53 on the 29th of July.  They've gone 32-13 since and as you'll recall, their big moves at the deadline involved trading a couple of All-Stars (Wilson Ramos and Chris Archer) to the National League.

It's time for them to cool off a bit, no?

Thu 7:07 - Gaviglio (3-8, 5.25) vs Stanek (2-3, 2.49) et. al.
Fri 7:07 - Reid-Foley (2-3, 5.54) vs Guys Who Didn't Pitch on Thursday
Sat 4:07 - Pannone (3-1, 3.77) vs Glasnow (2-6, 4.06)
Sun 1:07 - Borucki (4-4, 3.86) vs Snell (20-5, 1.97)

Tampa is about to become the first team in the game's long history to assign more innings to relief pitchers (759.2 IPand counting) than to their starters (591 IP so far.) Naturally, they also have the only 20 game winner in the majors and the AL's probable Cy Young winner because nothing makes any sense, and expecting anything to make sense will only make you crazy. Tampa's starters have posted a 3.58 ERA so far, which is the third best figure in the AL, and slightly better than what they've received from their relievers (3.61).  Blake Snell is a starting pitcher, of course, and he also accounts for a much larger chunk of his team's total starter innings than any pitcher in the majors.

You will recall that the Blue Jays went into the 2018 expecting (well, hoping) that their starters would prove to be the team's strength. And that they were what would, if  anything could, make this season fun and successful. The starters gone 38-60, 5.17 and only two starting crews in the league have been worse (Texas and Baltimore.) And I thought the bullpen was bad. (Well, they are. But still...)