Baltimore Orioles: Andrew Cashner’s Chances Against Toronto Blue Jays

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MARCH 28: Andrew Cashner #54 and Drew Jackson #6 of the Baltimore Orioles stand on the field during batting practice before the game against the New York Yankees during Opening Day at Yankee Stadium on March 28, 2019 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MARCH 28: Andrew Cashner #54 and Drew Jackson #6 of the Baltimore Orioles stand on the field during batting practice before the game against the New York Yankees during Opening Day at Yankee Stadium on March 28, 2019 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /
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The Baltimore Orioles put their three-game winning streak on the line tonight against the Toronto Blue Jays with Andrew Cashner taking the mound.

Opening Day was a major bummer. All the excitement surrounding new leadership and a brand new season quickly disappeared as Andrew Cashner allowed three runs in the first inning, including a rocket off the bat of Yankees’ slugger Luke Voit. We know the odds of 2019 being a long season are high, but the Baltimore Orioles‘ hadn’t lost on Opening Day in nearly a decade. That streak is now over.

Cashner’s Opening Day nod was one of the worst performances on Opening Day in franchise history, earning a Baseball Reference Game Score of 25 (4 IP, 6 H, 6 ER, 4 BB, 3 K).

Just four other Opening Day starts ranked worse than Cashner’s implosion, with Erik Bedard‘s 2007 start against the Minnesota Twins sitting at the top of the list. Bedard gave up six earned runs on 10 hits while walking two and striking three in 4.2 innings of work. The Orioles dropped that game by a score of 7-4.

Cashner struggled to find the strike zone in his attempt to own the bottom of the zone as New York hitters feasted against his pitches. In all, seven batted balls registered exit velocities of 105 mph or higher on Opening Day, five of them coming off Andrew Cashner pitches, including Luke Voit’s 112 mph home run and Giancarlo Stanton‘s 120 mph single in the bottom of the first.

In the last two games for the Baltimore Orioles, both teams haven’t combined for five hits of 105 mph or harder.

Will Andrew Cashner rebound in his second start with the Baltimore Orioles?

The veteran will climb the mound again Tuesday night at the Rogers Centre against the Toronto Blue Jays, who made Monday night’s game interesting after David Hess kept them hitless for 6.1 innings.

Two of the hardest hits from a Blue Jay came off the batt of Randal Grichuck last night, a 103 mph flyball out and a 108 mph home run against Pedro Araujo. Watch out for this matchup on Tuesday night. Grichuck is just 3-14 off Cashner, but two of those hits were home runs.

Cashner made four starts against the Jays last season, all four resulted in losses for the Orioles who went just 4-15 when battling the Blue Jays. In those four starts (24.2 innings), Cashner allowed nine earned runs on 26 hits with nine walks and 14 strikeouts.

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It wasn’t all Cashner’s fault as he received just nine runs of support in four games, typical of a 2018 Baltimore Orioles lineup. But these Orioles are new, young, fresh, and exciting! They broke the New York Yankees (Giancarlo Stanton is on the 10-day IL with a bicep injury and Miguel Andujar may be going under the knife for season-ending surgery) and Trey Mancini fears no one in 2019!

In all seriousness, the Orioles face a tall task if they want to make it four-straight wins and give Andrew Cashner any run support. Marcus Stroman is climbing the mound tonight for Toronto after tossing seven shutout innings against the Tigers in his 2019 debut. He allowed just two hits and struck out seven. A trio of Orioles’ hitters have had prior success against Stroman. Chris Davis, Jonathan Villar, and Trey Mancini are a combined 12-35 (.343) off the 27-year-old right-handed pitcher.

The Blue Jays have the third-lowest hard-hit rate in the league just a few games into the season (28%- Orioles at 22% and Pirates at 21% are lower) and are hitting .188 as a team through five games. Will they breakout against Cashner or can the veteran take a page out of the book of David Hess and use his four-seamer effectively up in the zone? Before he can do that and utilize his changeup (which looked pretty good against the Yankees and produced a few swings and misses), he will need to find the strike zone.

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First pitch is scheduled for 7:07 pm. Come hang out with us over @BirdsWatcherFS on Twitter!