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Game 123: Blue Jays at Red Sox

Let the Wookiee pitch

“Star Wars” Characters at Fenway Park - September 28, 2005 Photo by Jim Rogash/WireImage

Welp. Nathan Eovaldi was scheduled to start tonight but we found out on Sunday he’d be pusehd back again. Turns out that was to the IL. And he’s joined by Eric Hosmer. They’re replaced by Josh Winckowski and Franchy Cordero. While Hosmer’s .225/.311/.300 line in 12 games was nothing to write home about, at least it came with some defense. Franchy (.222/.300/.380) Cordero and Bobby (.207/.278/.356) Dalbec will fill in for him in the meantime. It’s apparently still not Triston Casas time.

Casas has hit .258/.367/.458 in 62 games with the Triple A Worcester Red Sox this year and worked around some injuries. For now, that’s where he’s staying. Of course, the Sox do like to have guys make a debut on the road, so it’s possible that even with the timing making sense today he’s going to first appear in a lower-pressure environment.

Josh Winckowski didn’t have the type of run the Kutter Crawford had. It’s been a lot of ups and downs. A shellacking at the hands of the Pittsburgh Pirates in just about the easiest game he could ask for raised his ERA to 5.19 and his FIP to...5.21. He’s tossed more than 6 innings just once. He isn’t a strikeout machine. He gives up a lot of contact. His record is 5-6 and the Red Sox are 6-6 in his starts. There just isn’t much to hang your hat on here.

He’s only 24 and he was probably not penciled in for the 60 major league innings he’s tossed so far during the planning for the season, but if the Sox are looking for someone who can hold down a tough offense? It’s a tall ask. In his 12 stars he’s allowed 6 runs agains the Yankees and Pirates, 5 against the Cleveland Guardians, 4 against the Orioles, 3 against the Orioles and Ray, and 2 runs or less against the Guardians, Brewers, Cubs, Royals, and Athletics.

All this said, he’s now due. Clearly.

Ross Stripling, meanwhile, is putting together a career year. His strikeout percentage, 20.9%, is a tick below his average but he’s cut his walks to just 4.2% - well under the 7% of 2021 or the 8.2% of 2020. If you stop giving up free passes good things can happen. Stripling’s ERA/FIP is 2.93/3.52 and his BABIP is at .275 vs .291 over his career so there might be room for a little regression. And there’s this: do you believe pitchers or hitters have the advantage of seeing each other multiple times? This season, Stripling has faced the Sox 3 times. He’s gone 4 innings giving up 2 runs, 5 innings giving up 2 runs, and 5 innings giving up 1 run.

Once more, it’s also Star Wars night at the ballpark. Maybe Chewie and the gang can provide some luck.

And, apparently, welcome back JBJ.

Game 123: Blue Jays at Red Sox

Lineup spot Blue Jays Red Sox
Lineup spot Blue Jays Red Sox
1 George Springer, DH Tommy Pham, LF
2 Vladimir Guerrero Jr., 1B Alex Verdugo, RF
3 Lourdes Gurriel Jr., LF Xander Bogaerts, SS
4 Alejandro Kirk, C Rafael Devers, 3B
5 Teoscar Hernández, RF J.D. Martinez, DH
6 Bo Bichette, SS Christian Arroyo, 2B
7 Matt Chapman, 3B Kiké Hernandez, CF
8 Cavan Biggio, 2B Franchy Cordero, 1B
9 Jackie Bradley Jr., CF Kevin Plawecki, C
SP Ross Stripling, RHP Josh Winckowski, RHP