When and where: May 23, 2019, Rogers Centre, Toronto, Ontario, 12:37 PM ET
The Toronto Blue Jays will try to split even with the Boston Red Sox in the eagerly anticipated series finale on Thursday. After getting blown out on Tuesday, the Red Sox have retaken control of the four-game series with a scintillating win over the Blue Jays on Wednesday. The best the Blue Jays can hope for is avoiding a second-straight loss when the NL East rivals meet for a sixth time this season.
Red Sox’s Martinez resting back injury
The Red Sox were forced to go into Wednesday’s game without batting savant J.D. Martinez, who was kept out of the lineup due to back soreness. Per ESPN.com, Red Sox manager Alex Cora could keep the AL Hank Aaron Award winner out of Thursday’s game as well, citing the artificial surface at Rogers Centre as a concern.
The Red Sox could use a series win after splitting even with the Colorado Rockies and losing to the Houston Astros. Despite climbing back into the AL East race, they have started to slip back into some of the same struggles we saw from them earlier in the season, particularly with the hot-and-cold offensive performances. The Red Sox can drop 15 runs on you one night and then two runs the next night. Rarely has there been any consistency with the offensive effort, and the same goes for their defense. They survived a sensational game against the Blue Jays on Wednesday that needed 13 innings to decide.
Weber, the 28-year-old righty, will be first on the mound for the Red Sox on Thursday. He was called up on May 6 and has since made three appearances as a relief pitcher. He’ll be getting his first start of the season after a string of strong pitching performances against the Houston Astros, Seattle Mariners and Baltimore Orioles. In eight overall appearances on the mound, he has only allowed one earned run—a homer to Astros DH Josh Reddick.
Blue Jays’ offense comes to life
For those thinking the Red Sox would run over the Blue Jays, which was nearly everyone outside of Toronto, things haven’t gone exactly as expected in this series. After getting stomped off their home field in a 12-2 loss, the Blue Jays responded by playing good defense and heaping 10 runs on the Red Sox. Then came Wednesday’s epic 13-inning clash that was ultimately decided by a home run by Red Sox second baseman Michael Chavis.
FOR THE WIN! pic.twitter.com/LDmyNOa3cM
— Boston Red Sox (@RedSox) May 23, 2019
It has been a struggle for the Blue Jays since sweeping the Oakland Athletics. They have gone on to lose meetings with the Los Angeles Angels, Texas Rangers, Minnesota Twins and Chicago White Sox. They currently sit in fourth place of one of the toughest divisions in baseball without much hope of climbing any higher. They lack the talent on their roster, but most importantly, they have the New York Yankees, Tampa Bay Rays and Red Sox standing in front of them. It was always going to be an uphill battle whether they had the talent or not.
Despite having a feisty defense, they still remain the fifth-worst run-scoring team in baseball, which isn’t surprising considering their offensive limitations overall.
- Red Sox are 12-5 in their last 17 Thursday games.
- Red Sox are 44-18 in their last 62 road games vs. a team with a losing record.
- Red Sox are 15-6 in their last 21 overall.
- Red Sox are 36-17 in their last 53 games on astroturf.
- Blue Jays are 2-7 in their last 9 games on astroturf.
- Blue Jays are 2-7 in their last 9 home games.
- Blue Jays are 1-5 in their last 6 home games vs. a team with a winning record.
- Blue Jays are 1-5 in their last 6 vs. a team with a winning record.