And so it goes for our Toronto Blue Jays, in that even the wins feel like losses. The saying goes that " a win is a win", but what should have been an uneventful ninth turned into a near debacle that would have left even the most diehard of fans shaking their heads. And probably a little nauseous.
In what's becoming a disturbing trend (or is it a new reality?), the Blue Jays bullpen follies continued to torment us in very nearly handing back a 5-1 lead, choking on three Angel runs and leaving the tying run stranded in scoring position. Bad relief pitching I can handle (well, not really, but bear with me here), bad bullpen management I cannot.
About the only positive thing I can say about Cito's use of the pen in the ninth is that he retrieved the ball from Brandon League after three batters. How he hands the ball to Casey Janssen (with de-facto closer Jason Frasor available), who had been getting knocked around by opposing batters to the tune of a .340 clip, is another entirely.
Well, it does make sense to some degree. It makes perfect sense if the team has already shifted into "let's find out what we have for next year" mode. And really, it should come as no surprise that this is where we find ourselves. The writing has been on the wall for weeks.
Travis Snider is going to play every day. Randy Ruiz is getting a shot to stick. The young starters are showcasing their stuff in a late-season audition for the 2010 rotation. And I guess the bullpen needs to sort itself out also. So this is where we are. All of us. Following a team that seems less concerned about winning the remaining games on the schedule than with sorting matters out for 2010.
Among other notes on puppy dogs and ice cream, I wrote this in the comments section today:
"It is funny, though, how many of us - even the great optimists among us - have finally reached the tipping point."
It seems that sentiment is now being shared by Cito and J.P. We're only left to wonder just how far up the Blue Jays food chain the feeling permeates.