It wasn't exactly the Blue Jays wanted to end the first half of the season - with a loss which put them two games below the .500 mark. As much as an optimist as I am, I can't help but look back on the Jays first half and think that the glass is half empty rather than half full.
It was a familiar story; a rookie pitcher does his best to give the team a chance to win, while the offense squanders multiple chances to put runs on the scoreboard. Marc Rzepczynski wasn't as impressive as he was in his debut earlier this week, but R-Zep was okay and made it through six innings. Earlier in the game, he was doing a great job of keeping the ball down in the zone. As the game progressed, you could gradually see his pitch placement rise higher and higher in the strike zone which got him into trouble on multiple occasions.
David Dellucci finally snapped his 0 for 19 streak with an RBI double in the top of the seventh inning. There is a lot of criticism surrounding Dellucci right now, but keep in mind that Jose Bautista also struggled when he first started playing with the Blue Jays last season. Bautista was 0 for 15 before he picked up his first hit in a Blue Jays uniform.
Then when the Blue Jays actually had a rally going in the seventh, it looked like Aaron Hill pulled up running out a ground ball at first base which actually could have scored the tieing run. It was very uncharacteristic of Hill and maybe he's just gassed from a very productive first half, but should not be tolerated either way. Exceeding expectations before the All-Star Break does not mean Hill can just float back down to earth.
Those hoping for Travis Snider to come back and save the Blue Jays are also in for a disappointment; apparently he's nursing a bruised knee after a play at the plate a few games ago with the Las Vegas 51's. I guess the David Dellucci experiment will have to continue until the Great White Pasty Hope (hat tip ToS) is ready to return and be that other feared left handed bat that the Blue Jays have been searching for.
So now the Blue Jays (aside from Roy Halladay and Aaron Hill) will have four days to rest, regroup and refocus on the second half of the season. I've noticed that within the past few months, it seems like the Blue Jays have resorted back to their 2008 selves; all pitching and no hitting.
At their high point earlier this season, the Blue Jays were riding high at the top of the American League East and at one point were 13 games above .500. My how things have gone downhill quickly; since May 19th the Blue Jays are 17-32. I can almost pinpoint exactly where things went downhill; that faithful start in Boston on May 19th against Tim Wakefield. Ever since then, things haven't been the same for the Jays.
We know where the Blue Jays went south but we still have yet to find out exactly why it happened. I just hope they can figure it out and fix it quickly before the end of the season sneaks up on us.