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Brandon Morrow will start Game 1 of this series while R.A. Dickey will start Game 2.
Before the season started, Dickey and Morrow were both expected to be the front-line starters in Toronto’s rotation.
Dickey was the Opening Day starter and was widely acknowledged as the team’s ace.
Morrow has always had some of the best stuff in the rotation, and after an injury-plagued season last year, he was supposed to be finally putting it all together in 2014.
But both of these pitchers have struggled out of the gate.
Dickey has lost two of his first three starts and has posted a 5.30 ERA in 18.2 innings pitched.
Command has been a major issue for the 39-year-old knuckleballer, as evidenced by the 10 walks he’s already issued.
Considering that Dickey is a fly-ball pitcher who gives up his share of home runs and extra-base hits, those walks end up making it difficult for him to limit the damage in the event that his knuckleball gets hit hard.
Morrow has had his own problems, as he’s given up seven earned runs in just 11 innings of work.
The good news for the team is that the right-hander did have a decent outing in his second start, as he pitched six innings of three-run ball against the Astros. He’ll need to build off that in his next start.
Both Dickey and Morrow need to step up and pitch to their capabilities in order for the team to have a good chance of taking this series.
Pitching in the large confines of Target Field should be a big help as well, especially for Dickey.