The Blue Jays have not had one of their starting pitchers throw a pitch in the 7th inning of a game yet this season. And yesterday, Josh Johnson didn’t throw one in the 3rd. With a dismal ERA of 7.59 – by far the highest in the majors – we’re actually lucky to be only 3-6 (as much as it pains me to say it).
But I haven’t hit the panic button, nor will I for quite a while yet. Because I understand baseball is a marathon – it’s not a sprint. The Jays still have 153 games to play and I totally expect the rotation to sort it out. They just need to quit nibbling when they get ahead and pitch to contact. There are too many deep counts leading to high pitch counts so far this season.
But I look at it this way. The rotations ERA today is 7.59. If you take R.A. Dickey’s years since he has been a full time knuckleballer and average those numbers with the other four’s career ERAs, the rotation – if it finished the year close to each member’s career ERA – would end the year with a sparkling 3.66. So even if it jumps to 4.00 or 4.20 this season, the rotation is due for more than a few dazzling performances.
And that’s the thing about baseball. When a team hits only .180 with RISP in April, it’s likely they will hit over .300 in May because over 162 games, things have a way of averaging out.
So am I concerned the Jays are off to a slow start? Not at all. Am I happy with it? Not at all.
The bats are rarely putting multiple hit innings together – as evidenced in yesterday’s 11-1 drubbing handed to us by the Tigers when we recorded 9 hits but only scored 1 run. The defence has been shaky – particularly Emilio Bonifacio at 2B and Macier Izturis at 3B. But these guys will sort it out. Everyone’s talking about Bonifacio’s 4 errors. Well, he had 3 in one really bad game. He could very well go 20 games without one. That’s baseball – it will average itself out.
And that’s why I love this game. The worst teams will win 60, the best teams will lose 60; it’s what we do with the other 102 that matters.