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Toronto’s starting rotation was its biggest concern heading into the 2014 season, and so far, it has already contributed to couple of losses in Tampa Bay.
The rotation will need to be much better in this series against a powerful Yankees lineup filled with high-priced stars.
Right-hander Dustin McGowan will be on the mound for the first game of the series as he makes his first big league start since 2008 due to injuries.
No doubt, emotions will be high, and McGowan will need to keep himself in check in order to have a good outing.
Considering this will be his first start in such a long period of time, the Blue Jays likely won’t let him throw more than five innings and will keep his pitch count around 75.
McGowan possesses a mid-90s fastball and has a lot of movement on his off-speed pitches. If he stays healthy, he can make a huge contribution to this rotation.
Blue Jays ace R.A. Dickey will start during the second game of the series on Saturday.
The 39-year-old was torched in the first game of the season against the Rays for six runs in five innings.
He had a lot of difficulty getting his knuckleball over for strikes, as was evidenced by his six walks issued during the outing.
Against a patient Yankees lineup, it is crucial for Dickey to throw strikes because walking too many batters will likely lead to a similar line he posted against the Rays.
Drew Hutchison is scheduled to start the third game of the series on Sunday.
The 23-year-old right-hander was impressive in his first start of the season against the Rays, going 5.1 innings and giving up no runs.
The Blue Jays will need more of the same from him against the Yankees, although pitching deeper into the game would be a huge plus.