So, the Blue Jays did what I hoped they would do at the very least – they finished 4-3 on their recent road trip despite a patched together rotation and being 1 hit by John Lester.
Surprise call up, Chad Jenkins, pitched well and got away with mistakes on Sunday to earn much needed win. By winning Sunday, the Jays won just their second series of the season. Yikes.
Jenkins is now 2-3 with a 4.38 ERA over 37 major league innings. With his outing vs. the Red Sox, he earned another start in my opinion, especially with Josh Johnson and J.A. Happ on the DL and R.A. Dickey and Brandon Morrow pitching with back and neck spasms.
That’s if Morrow pitches. The whole reason Jenkins got the unlikely call up from double-A (Jenkins had only 1 minor league start in the minors this year since he was recovery from a shoulder injury) was because Morrow was unable to go. Morrow originally scheduled to pitch last Friday but had his start bumped out due to back and neck spasms so Ramon Ortiz got the nod. Then on Sunday, Morrow still wasn’t ready so Jenkins got the call up (and took advantage by throwing strikes). Now the Jays are aiming for a Wednesday start from Morrow. My guess is if he misses it, he’ll land on the DL.
If Morrow is able to go Sunday, I actually like our chances to take the 2-game mini series (and 2-game mini home stand) vs. the Giants tomorrow and Wednesday. We have Dickey going tomorrow and hopefully Morrow Wednesday. When on either of these guys can steal a win. Also, it looks like the offence is starting to hit a bit. Forget the game vs. John Lester – he was just unhittable for any team that night – the Jays hitters are really seeing the ball right now and having good at bats.
Happy to see Emilio Bonifacio get a couple starts. We need to give him at bats and get him going. He has too much talent to sit on the bench 3 out of 4 games.
Casey Janssen – what can I say? He’s been the best closer in the American League so far this young season and the Jays only allstar in my opinion.
With our “win 90” count down, the Jays now have to go 75 – 48 in the remaining 123 games. That’s .610 ball. Not impossible, but certainly not easy (especially with the patched up rotation).
Let’s steal two from the Giants!
A lot of people I know have been asking me whether I think the Blue Jays postseason hopes have already been crushed. And it’s still the month of April.
But let’s face it. Nobody expected a 9-17 start out of this group and if they did, they most likely wouldn’t have thought it was the offence that was hurting the team.
The Blue Jays have scored 3 runs or less in 15 of their 26 games. They have a major league worst .259 batting average of ball in play. Their last 7 games have been decided by 2 runs or less.
What does all this mean?
The Jays are due to score a lot of runs. They are do to have some of those “at’em balls” find holes and even better, due to have some bloops fall in. They are due to blow out some teams very soon.
Baseball is a game were nothing lies after 162 games and this team has too much talent not to turn this around. It’s only a matter of time, in my opinion. Once they string a few wins together, they could go on a huge run.
But will it be too late when they do? Well, you can’t win a division in April but you can certainly lose one. Already the Jays have dug themselves into a deep hole. Not always, but normally 90 wins gets you a playoff spot (the Rays won 90 last year and missed). To win 90 games, the Jays need to go 81-55 over the remaining 136 games. That’s playing nearly .600 ball (.596 to be exact). Can they do it? Absolutely. But it needs to start right not. Boston will not finish the season playing .720 baseball. They are due to lose. Neither John Lester or Clay Bucholtz have lost a game and sport ridiculously low ERAs (2.27 and 1.19 respectively). Both Morrow and Buehrle are due for wins.
In baseball, assuming talent is there, usually the hot teams are about to cool off and the cold teams are about to heat up. It’s time to even things out.
One request – can we please get Emilio Bonifacio into more games? He should be starting at 2B and Maicer Izturis should be at SS. You can bring in Munenori Kawasaki if you have a lead late or if someone needs a day off. Bonifacio is hitting .188 with a .232 obp over 64 at bats vs. a career .264 avg and .325 obp. Kawasaki is hitting .225 with a .313 obp vs. a MLB career (admitted sample size) .201 avg and .273 obp. So which player has more upside? Look at Izturis: he was batting .174 ten games ago and then hit .243 to bring his average up to .200. His career average is .271. Logic says he’ll continue to produce and probably go through a period of hitting over .300 for several games.
Let’s start playing .600 ball!