|KANSAS CITY ( VARGAS )|
TORONTO ( HAPP )
|913||KANSAS CITY||+155||Ov 9,+105||+135||Ov 9,+105|
|914||TORONTO||-165||Un 9,-125||-145||Un 9,-125|
|vs Left-handed Starters||17-20||-1.2||19-18||4.9||0.263||0.314||0.411||0.725||4.8||0.260||0.318||0.419||0.737|
|Past 7 Games||2-5||-2.5||2-5||4.6||0.272||0.318||0.416||0.734||4.6||0.254||0.315||0.386||0.700|
|vs Left-handed Starters||14-22||-12.2||12-21||3.7||0.234||0.301||0.381||0.682||4.9||0.261||0.321||0.414||0.735|
|Past 7 Games||3-4||-1.1||2-5||4.4||0.230||0.301||0.387||0.688||5.7||0.266||0.332||0.455||0.787|
|9/11/2017||HAMMEL(R)||CHI WHITE SOX||LOPEZ(R)||3-11||L||-170||9 ov||O||9||6||1||17||11||0|
|9/12/2017||GAVIGLIO(R)||CHI WHITE SOX||COVEY(R)||4-3||W||-185||10 ov||U||4||3||0||13||10||0|
|9/13/2017||SKOGLUND(L)||CHI WHITE SOX||GIOLITO(R)||3-5||L||-145||10 ov||U||8||10||0||10||9||1|
|9/14/2017||JUNIS(R)||@ CLEVELAND||TOMLIN(R)||2-3||L||175||9 ov||U||9||5||0||12||11||0|
|9/15/2017||VARGAS(L)||@ CLEVELAND||BAUER(R)||4-3||W||185||9 ov||U||11||9||0||6||7||1|
|9/16/2017||HAMMEL(R)||@ CLEVELAND||CARRASCO(R)||4-8||L||215||8.5 un||O||9||5||1||13||6||0|
|9/17/2017||DUFFY(L)||@ CLEVELAND||KLUBER(R)||2-3||L||220||7.5 un||U||7||8||2||3||5||1|
|9/19/2017||KENNEDY(R)||@ TORONTO||STROMAN(R)||2-5||L||165||9 un||U||6||4||1||8||2||0|
|9/20/2017||JUNIS(R)||@ TORONTO||ANDERSON(L)||15-5||W||110||9 un||O||18||8||1||6||5||1|
|9/21/2017||VARGAS(L)||@ TORONTO||HAPP(L)|| |
|9/22/2017||HAMMEL(R)||@ CHI WHITE SOX||LOPEZ(R)|| |
|9/23/2017||DUFFY(L)||@ CHI WHITE SOX||COVEY(R)|| |
|9/24/2017||GAVIGLIO(R)||@ CHI WHITE SOX||GIOLITO(R)|| |
|9/25/2017||KENNEDY(R)||@ NY YANKEES||SABATHIA(L)|| |
|9/27/2017|| ||DETROIT|| || |
|9/28/2017|| ||DETROIT|| || |
|9/14/2017||ANDERSON(L)||@ MINNESOTA||BERRIOS(R)||2-3||L||145||9.5 un||U||8||12||1||7||9||0|
|9/15/2017||HAPP(L)||@ MINNESOTA||COLON(R)||4-3||W||-115||9.5 ov||U||8||9||0||7||5||0|
|9/16/2017||ESTRADA(R)||@ MINNESOTA||MEJIA(L)||7-2||W||115||9.5 ov||U||11||7||0||4||3||1|
|9/17/2017||BIAGINI(R)||@ MINNESOTA||GIBSON(R)||7-13||L||125||9 ev||O||6||5||2||16||8||0|
|9/19/2017||STROMAN(R)||KANSAS CITY||KENNEDY(R)||5-2||W||-175||9 un||U||8||2||0||6||4||1|
|9/20/2017||ANDERSON(L)||KANSAS CITY||JUNIS(R)||5-15||L||-120||9 un||O||6||5||1||18||8||1|
|9/21/2017||HAPP(L)||KANSAS CITY||VARGAS(L)|| |
|9/22/2017||ESTRADA(R)||NY YANKEES||TANAKA(R)|| |
|9/23/2017||BIAGINI(R)||NY YANKEES||MONTGOMERY(L)|| |
|9/24/2017||STROMAN(R)||NY YANKEES||GRAY(R)|| |
|9/25/2017||ANDERSON(L)||@ BOSTON||POMERANZ(L)|| |
|9/26/2017||HAPP(L)||@ BOSTON||SALE(L)|| |
|9/27/2017|| ||@ BOSTON|| || |
|KANSAS CITY: 2016: 81-81, third place.
Manager: Ned Yost (eighth season).
He's Here: OF Jorge Soler, RHP Jason Hammel, RHP Nathan Karns, DH Brandon Moss, LHP Travis Wood.
He's Outta Here: RHP Wade Davis, DH Kendrys Morales, OF Jarrod Dyson, RHP Luke Hochevar, RHP Edinson Volquez.
Projected lineup: SS Alcides Escobar (.261, 7 HRs, 55 RBIs), LF Alex Gordon (.220, 17, 40), CF Lorenzo Cain (.287, 9, 56), 1B Eric Hosmer (.266, 25, 104), DH Brandon Moss (.255, 28, 67), RF Jorge Soler (.238, 12, 31 with Cubs; likely to start season on DL with strained oblique), 3B Mike Moustakas (.240, 7, 13), C Salvador Perez (.247, 22, 64), Raul Mondesi (.185, 2, 13).
Rotation: LH Danny Duffy (12-3, 3.51 ERA, 188 Ks), RH Ian Kennedy (11-11, 3.68, 184 Ks), RH Jason Hammel (11-11, 3.83 with Cubs), LH Jason Vargas (0-0, 2.25 in 3 starts after returning from Tommy John surgery), RH Nathan Karns (6-2, 5.15 with Mariners).
Key relievers: RH Kelvin Herrera (2-6, 2.75, 12 saves), RH Joakim Soria (5-8, 4.05), LH Matt Strahm (2-2, 1.23), LH Travis Wood (4-0, 2.95), LH Scott Alexander (0-0, 3.32), RH Chris Young (3-9, 6.19).
Hot Spot: Starting Rotation. Duffy showed signs of blossoming into an ace late last year, but is yet to put it all together for a full season. Hammel was signed after the tragic death of RHP Yordano Ventura in a car accident in the Dominican Republic. Vargas barely pitched last season after coming back from elbow surgery. Karns has intriguing potential, but might end up in the bullpen unless he lives up to it quickly.
Outlook: Royals GM Dayton Moore thinks his starting rotation is the best it has been during his tenure, even if just about every spot is tenuous. He also thinks Kansas City has more power at the plate this year thanks to Moustakas' return from a torn ACL and the signing of Moss. Paulo Orlando (.302, 5, 43, 14 SBs) will replace Soler in right field at the start of the season. But there are plenty of question marks up and down the lineup, not to mention on the pitching staff, and several things must break right for Kansas City to make noise in the AL Central and take a run at its third World Series appearance in four years.
|TORONTO: 2016: 89-73, second place
Manager: John Gibbons (10th season)
Who's new? 1B/DH Kendrys Morales, C Jarrod Saltalamacchia, IF/OF Steve Pearce, IF Lourdes Gurriel, LHP J.P. Howell, RHP Joe Smith
Who's gone? 1B/DH Edwin Encarnacion, OF Michael Saunders, C Josh Thole, C Dioner Navarro, OF Junior Lake, RHP R.A. Dickey, LHP Brett Cecil, RHP Joaquin Benoit
Projected lineup: 2B Devon Travis (.300, 11 HR, 50 RBI), 3B Josh Donaldson (.284, 37, 99), RF Jose Bautista (.234, 22, 69), DH Kendrys Morales (.263, 30, 93 with Royals), SS Troy Tulowitzki (.254, 24, 79), C Russell Martin (.231, 20, 74), 1B Justin Smoak (.217, 14, 34), CF Kevin Pillar (.266, 7, 53, 14 SB), LF Ezequiel Carrera (.248, 6, 23)
Rotation: RH Marco Estrada (9-9, 3.48 ERA), LH J.A. Happ (20-4, 3.18), RH Marcus Stroman (9-10, 4.37), RH Aaron Sanchez (15-2, 3.00), LH Francisco Liriano (8-13, 4.69 with Pirates and Blue Jays)
Key relievers: RH Roberto Osuna (4-3, 2.68, 36/42 SV), RH Jason Grilli (6-4, 3.64), RH Joe Biagini (4-3, 3.06), LH J.P. Howell (1-1, 4.09 with Dodgers), RH Joe Smith (1-4, 3.82 with Angels), LH Aaron Loup (0-0, 5.02)
Hot spots: bullpen. The Blue Jays signed only a couple high-profile free agents (retaining Bautista, adding Morales) and brought in many lower-profile veterans mostly to compete for bullpen jobs. Howell and Smith, signed to low-risk deals, are all but guaranteed jobs. But what of Dominic Leone, Mat Latos, Mike Bolsinger, Lucas Harrell and Leonel Campos? Toronto seems to be crowd-sourcing its middle innings with low-risk, right-handed options. Up to a half-dozen pitchers could be competing for one or two jobs.
Outlook: The Blue Jays' roster is enviably balanced, albeit among the older ones in the league. Toronto led the AL in ERA last year. Their entire starting rotation returns, and their veteran bullpen is set up well to support second-year closer Osuna. Ironically, the youngest player in the Jays' starting lineup, 26-year-old Travis, has the biggest health concern of the bunch. He didn't appear in a spring training game until recently because of offseason knee surgery. Encarnacion, who was good for .270/30/100 every year, will be missed. The question now is whether Morales (33), Bautista (36), Tulowitzki (32) and Martin (34) are still close enough to their primes to power another playoff run.
|Jays' Happ, Royals' Vargas square off in rubber match|
TORONTO -- Something must give when left-handers J.A. Happ and Jason Vargas oppose each other Thursday.
It will be the rubber match of a three-game series at the Rogers Centre after the Kansas City Royals trounced the Toronto Blue Jays 15-5 on Wednesday to gain a split of the first two games.
Happ (9-10, 3.76 ERA) has won three starts in a row and has not lost since Aug. 25, a span of four starts.
Vargas (16-10, 4.19 ERA) has won two starts in a row, most notably Friday, when he was the winning pitcher as the Royals ended the Cleveland Indians' 22-game winning streak.
The Blue Jays (71-81) also need a win Thursday to gain a split in their six-game season series against the Royals (74-77). Kansas City is within 3 1/2 games of the second American League wild-card spot occupied by the Minnesota Twins.
Reaching the playoff would be a difficult task for the Royals since the Los Angeles Angels and the Texas Rangers sit between them and the Twins.
The Royals, who lost the opener to the Blue Jays 5-2 on Tuesday, had 18 hits on Wednesday, including the 37th homer of the season by Mike Moustakas, which set a single-season club record. Steve Balboni hit 36 for Kansas City in 1985.
"We needed that," Royals manager Ned Yost said of the offensive outburst.
And Moustakas needed that home run after going 15 games without once since hitting No. 36 on Sept. 1. He had hit only one homer in 28 games before Wednesday.
"This is a pretty good place to hit," Moustakas said. "I knew I got it pretty good. It was a good feeling to see it go over the wall and kind of get that one off my chest. ... It's been a little frustrating, sometimes trying to do too much, sometimes trying to just kind of back down and figure it out."
The Royals improved to 2-4 on an 11-game road trip.
The Blue Jays, who reached the American League Championship Series in 2015 and 2016, have four games left on their final homestand of the season, yet they maintain a sense of optimism for next season after struggling this season with injuries and underperformance.
Right-handed starter Marco Estrada emphasized that when he explained why he signed a one-year, $13 million contract extension for 2018 even though he was eligible to become a free agent in the offseason.
"I'm extremely optimistic about our chances next year," Estrada said before the game Wednesday. "That was the main reason why I wanted to come back. I feel like things are about to happen for this team."
He will join a rotation that will have Happ, Marcus Stroman and Aaron Sanchez, who missed most of this season with a blister and other issues with his right middle finger. The fifth starter is still to be determined.
Happ, who struggled early in the season with elbow inflammation, is 3-0 with a 2.25 ERA in his past four starts.
In one start this season against the Royals, June 23, he allowed four hits, no walks and one run in 6 2/3 innings and did not factor in the decision as Kansas City won 5-4. In five career starts against the Royals, he is 2-2 with a 4.91 ERA.
In the 4-3 win over Cleveland on Friday, Vargas allowed five hits, three walks and three runs in five innings. He has three wins in six starts against the Indians this season.
The Royals are 18-11 in his starts.
Vargas is 3-3 with a 4.96 ERA in nine career starts against the Blue Jays. He is 3-0 in his past four starts against Toronto. His last loss to the Blue Jays occurred on April 29, 2012, when he was with the Seattle Mariners.
|Last Updated: 8/14/2018 7:27:33 AM EST|