The Toronto Blue Jays edged out the Texas Rangers by a score of 1-0 on Friday night to get their weekend started in Arlington the right way. They needed it after a lifeless performance against the Angels for two days. Aaron Sanchez called out his team about how bad their effort was, and it didn’t really resonate because they scored just 1 run the following game. That said, they didn’t need the hitters to get up because Shane Thornton was dialed in.
Thornton pitched 7 scoreless frames to lead the Jays to victory in front of no fans. The rain pushed everyone out of the seats and it was sort of surreal to see literally no one in view of the camera. They missed a thrilling game-winning play, as the Rangers made an error to yield the winning run to Toronto.
The Blue Jays used some small ball to get the winning run across the plate, as Danny Jansen laid down a sac bunt to move runners over to 3rd and 2nd. The Rangers threw the ball away on the play to 3rd and the result was a run scored. It’s nothing to be proud about for an offense, but for a struggling unit like the Jays, you take them anyway you can score. That’s all they needed with Thornton throwing a gem Friday evening.
Toronto is going to need to get some offense eventually, though. Depending on their pitching staff to slam the door like they did last night often is not going to happen. The Jays are going to see what they can get from Thomas Pannone in a starting role this evening. He typically plays out of the bullpen and has only made one start this season. His five other appearences were as a reliever. Pannone made 6 starts last season with varying degrees of success. Head below for our free Blue Jays vs. Rangers pick.
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Pannone will get a chance to make a nice impression and stick around in the starting rotation after Matt Shoemaker went down. Shoemaker is gone for the season after tearing his knee. Terrible break for Shoemaker who was pitching well and looked to be over injury problems.
Just like that, things changed in a hurry with Shoemaker going down. He would have been fantastic trade bait at the deadline, but that chance is all but gone. However, when one door closes, another opens up and that’s what Pannone is thinking.
He’s pitched out of the bullpen primarily this season and has had a rough go of it. In his one start in 2019, he pulled after allowing 5 hits and 4 runs in 2.2 innings against the Indians. The Tribe went on for a 7-2 win in that game. He settled down once he got in the bullpen, but has been unraveling recently. Pannone allowed 3 runs in 1.2 innings against the Athletics and then 2 to the Giants in 2.1 innings.
In his previous three outings, he was touched up for an ERA of 13.50 and 2.62 WHIP. His most unpleasant work has come on the road, where he has gotten beaten down for a 9.82 ERA and 1.91 WHIP. This will be his first try against this lineup in his career. He has yet to face any hitter on the Rangers.
Lance Lynn has had some bumps in his road since leaving the Cardinals after seven years in St. Louis. He has made six starts this season and has posted an ERA of 5.45 and 1.47 WHIP. However, to his credit, there’s two really bad outings that have skewed his numbers way up.
Lynn has surrendered 2 or less runs in four of those six starts. But he gave up 7 and 8 runs in the other two, so he’s been either on or really off. Lynn has been dominant against this current Blue Jays’ lineup. Toronto are hitting just .185 with 1 long ball in 27 at-bats against Lynn. He is coming off a great performance in Seattle, where he gave up only 1 run across 7 innings. I’m under the impression that the Rangers should be able to bounce back against Pannone after getting blanked on Friday night.