Thursday, April 29, 2010

A quick and quiet five game losing streak

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.)


MRB said...

FYI,from the Boston Dirt Dogs:

Jays Make It Easy for Sox to Get Back on Track

Boston 2, Toronto 0 | Les is More
Lester Turns It Up to 11... Strikeouts... Sox Now 11-11
Run DMc Keeps on Producing: McDonald Scores One, Drives in Another
So What We've Got Is an Adrian Beltre That Hits... But Just Not Home Runs
Papelbon Does His Best Ramon Ramirez Impression: A Clean 13 Pitch Save
Seems Like Old Times in Toronto... Is Ricciardi Still in Charge Up There?

"Once we get on a bit of a roll it's hard to stop us. If we keep putting games together like that, pitching and hitting when we need to, things will take care of themselves."
-- Jon Lester, back to being his old self

Tao of Stieb said...

I think MRB just cost himself an invite to come watch the Sox at my place for the rest of the summer.

He is a Masshole in exile...and I shall offer no shelter!

Anonymous said...

I'm about to make you feel awful, Tao. Ready? It's spelled minuscule.

William said...

The Blue Jays are in one of those maddening stretches. When they hit, they can't pitch. When they pitch, they can't hit. When the starter does well, the bullpen caves. Things should get better here, especially if the bullpen improves.

Got to say tha Overbay has got to go. The guy is a real dead weight.

Tao of Stieb said...

Yo, Anonymous 1:25:

Miniscule is an acceptable variant spelling. It's usage is increasingly common.

But I'll cop to this: If you look at the etymology of the word, it comes from "minus", so it's probably better form to use the "u" spelling.

But I'm guessing that your comment had less to do with etymology, and more to do with being an arsehole.

Anonymous said...

Whoa whoa. Totally meant as a playful jab and nothing else.

Tao of Stieb said...

Yeah, well, I'm a grumpy man, damnit!

Get off my lawn, you punk grammarians!

(And that's me being playful. It's like we're a bunch of kids in the sandlot!)

Peter D said...

Also, the fact that John MacDonald starts against every lefty, doesn't help the Jays cause.

I would like to see Aaron Hill go on a hot streak. I don't care what the Jays record is this year, I just want the following:
- Lind and Hill to repeat their success from last year.
- Snider to take that next step
- Jays starting pitching to develop and a couple of their pieces to look like the real deal. Give me any two of (Morrow, Cecil, Romero, and Rzepcynzki) and I'll be happy.