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Pannone's recent struggles evidenced in Blue Jays' loss to Mariners

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TORONTO – The challenge for starting pitchers is not only turning over a lineup multiple times but also taking the ball every five days all season long.

By using openers more liberally, the Blue Jays can shield their pitchers from the challenge of facing opposing hitters three times, but there’s still a physical toll for those tasked with eating innings. In some ways, Thomas Pannone’s performance in Sunday’s 7-0 loss to the Seattle Mariners reinforces that point.

Pannone gave the Blue Jays 3.2 innings in relief of opener Wilmer Font, but he topped out at 91.2 m.p.h. while allowing two of the four homers the Mariners hit. As the season has progressed, Pannone’s velocity has dropped off slightly but consistently, leaving him with less margin for........

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