Joe Saunders has had quite the roller coaster of a season, but has compiled a miniscule 0.42 ERA in 21.2 IP during his last 3 starts, while giving up only 13 hits and 9 walks in this span. The Angels have taken advantage of his effectiveness, managing to win each of Saunders’ last three starts. Fluke or not, the Angels will be happy to ride the streaky Saunders for as long as they can.
He’ll have a tougher time doing it tonight, facing an early-season offensive powerhouse in the Toronto Blue Jays. Amazingly, 2009 stars Adam Lind and Aaron Hill have struggled out of the gate, but the team has been fueled by the demonstrative rebound of Vernon Wells from his wrist injury, and out-of-nowhere surges by journeymen Jose Bautista (leading the AL in HR with 14), Alex Gonzalez, and John Buck.
Tonight, we can find out a little more information regarding the issue of whom has been the bigger fluke thus far: a hot Joe Saunders or a journeymen cast of characters from Canada. Saunders actually faced the Jays at Toronto on the 11th of April, where he pitched an 8-inning shutout. The fact that this will be the second time Saunders has faced the Jays will give us a nice opportunity to see his ability to make adjustments and execute a game plan.