When the Jays left town for an 11-day road trip, things seemed pretty frickin' rosy. They'd won two of three games in their first two series, with the allegedly dreadful Mariners and the struggling Red Sox on the itinerary, it seems as though the Jays were ready to roll through the first month of the season.
But it hasn't even remotely played out that way. The roadtrip finished up 3-7, but has felt longer and more miserable than even that record would suggest.
(For those of you who hate it when we go into apologist mode, you might want to skip ahead to the comments, where you can begin castigating us for our weak-kneed sycophancy.)
The Jays weren't that far off from coming home with an even 5-5 mark, if Bob Davidson's awful extra inning call doesn't go against them, and if they buckle down against the Mariners when they held their comfortable lead. Obviously, there's no spot in a team's record for hypotheticals, so this is all so much blather. And we'll cop to that.
Still, a team is going to have rough road trips in the run of a season, and given that this one saw them travel to the West Coast and back and facing a tough Red Sox team that was highly motivated to pull their bloated carcass off the mat, we can almost swallow the seven loses.
Mind you, the team is going to have some issues to address, most notably a free-swinging offense that mustered up a grand total of three runs in the past three outings, and ran into outs (which we know some of you scrappy-doodle-dandies love, but it makes us nauseous. On the other side of the ball, there's a starting staff that pitches around the opposition, racking up strikeouts (yay!), high pitch counts (boo!) and early exits that tax the bullpen to the point where reinforcements need to be called in to bail out a 12-man staff (double boo!)
But aside from that...All's well!
One-Two Gut Punch of Outrageous Fortune
We hate to play the game of figuring out what is going on in the mind of the players. Still, we wonder if the meltdown against the Mariners and the blown call against the Angels didn't take some of the spring out of their step. (By the end of today's 9-1 drubbing, it was hard to pick out Juan Rivera from the pack of lifeless zombies shifting their weight around the dugout.)
Up Next - The Evil Empire
Because there's nothing quite like Mr. Steinbrenner's crazy collection of superstars coming to town to help a team out of their funk, the Jays get two games against the Bronx Bombers starting tomorrow.
But a win featuring a fine performance by Kyle Drabek and a manhandling of A.J. Burnett? That might just salve over the wounds of a lousy week.