It's not as though we weren't somewhat present and watching and/or listening to the games over the past week.
But somehow, it barely even registered with us until this morning that the Jays are currently plunged in a five game slide, having dropped five of six games to the big kids in the AL East. It could be that we trying so hard to identify the encouraging parts of these games and the signs of good times ahead that we've glossed over the fact that the team is just not putting enough together to win games, especially against their tough divisional rivals.
We're probably too busy consoling ourselves by looking at the strong starts from Brett Cecil and Shaun Marcum, and the strongish start from Brandon Morrow, and saying "If only they had some offense tonight." And when the Jays relentlessly beat Josh Beckett around the park, we start having happy thoughts of "What if they actually got some good pitching tonight?"
And the next thing you know, you're sliding backwards to the wrong side of .500, and finding yourself cautiously grateful for an appearance by the Oakland A's. (Who actually look kinda good this year, in the way that mid-pack AL West teams can start to look like contenders to win 86 games and the division title after one good week.)
Fear of a left-handed planet
Not that we're wishing ill health upon young pitchers, but we breathed a sigh of relief when we saw that A's lefty Brett Anderson wouldn't be available for the forthcoming series. The Jays are 1-4 thus far against lefties, posting a godawful .468 OPS in games started by LHPs.
It looks as though the Jays might get Gio Gonzalez in one of the four games this series, but the other three pitchers should be right-handers. (Justin Duchscherer tonight, possibly Trevor Cahill or Vin Mazzaro tomorrow, and Ben Sheets tossed into the mix at some point.) None of which guarantees victories, mind you. It just makes the overriding feeling of dread subside by a few percentage points.
And speaking of "few percentage points", that whole "play Lyle Overbay against lefties because he wants to play against them" plan? Not working so well so far: Lylo is rocking a .333 OPS, including a .095 OBP and a .238 SLG. (And those numbers include a homer against a lefty, so imagine how miniscule they'd be otherwise.)