Tuesday night will be an interesting day at Rogers Centre for one glaring reason: Melky Cabrera is scheduled to get his 2012 World Series ring. The decision to award Cabrera with a ring wasn’t made with controversy, but he will indeed receive a ring.
The actual game pits an interesting matchup between Barry Zito and R.A. Dickey.:
Scouting R.A. Dickey (2-5, 5.06 ERA)
Dickey is still trying to fully bounce back from a rocky start to his tenure in Toronto. This process was put on hold when he gave up seven runs to the Seattle Mariners are May 4 He responded with a six innings of two-run ball against the Tampa Bay Rays is his most recent start, but his ERA of 5.06 isn’t where the Blue Jays thought he would be at this point in the season.
Dickey has had a few big undoings in 2013, but the most table is his BB/9 ratio of 4.1, a two-walk increase from 2012. The other most notable concern is his first pitch strike percentage of 53 percent, which is nearly 10 percent lower than his 2012 total. So, it’s no surprise that he’s seen up an uptick in walks and a decrease in strikeouts.
Dickey’s knuckleball has still been effective, mind you. It’s yielded a .235 batting average and .416 slugging percentage. So, he hasn’t lost his go-to weapon.
In three career starts against the Giants, he’s 0-1 with a 4.05 ERA.
Scouting Barry Zito (3-1, 2.75 ERA)
Zito’s success seems to depend on where he pitches. In two starts on the road this year, he’s compiled a 14.21 ERA. Then in five starts at home, he’s 3-0 with a 0.55 ERA.
With those splits in mind, the lively Rogers Centre wouldn’t figure to be a boon to Zito. According to ESPN Park Factors, it’s the fifth-best park for home run hitters, and the Blue Jays surely have a lot of those skill sets on their roster. To name a couple, Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion
Zito’s success in Toronto will hinge on his location of ability to mix speeds. Of course, that’s his approach in every start, home or away, and it’s the approach that’s rejuvenated his career. But that approach becomes even more crucial in a hitters park against a team that leads the American League with 51 homers.