Thursday, June 10, 2010

Is This the Tipping Point?

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Either the Tampa Bay Rays are that good, or the Toronto Blue Jays are playing that badly. Right now, I'm willing to bet on the latter.

For the third straight game, the Blue Jays helped the opposing starting pitcher resemble a Cy Young candidate.

In the past three games, the Blue Jays have totaled a mere 11 hits.
Yes ... just 11 hits in three games. Add up all the earned runs in the past three games, and you will come up with five. In comparison, the Rays scored seven runs during Tuesday's fifth inning alone.

At the risk of being labeled as a bandwagon jumper, my baseball sixth sense tells me that this could be the tipping point for the 2010 Toronto Blue Jays.

Last season, it was the road trip from hell that began the infamous fall from grace from the top of the standings. The year prior, it was the road trip to Progressive Field in Cleveland which eventually cost John Gibbons his job.

I'm begging to get that same eerie sense about this particular road trip, too.

The way the Blue Jays have played against the Rays this week and the Yankees on Sunday reminded me of this very same Blue Jays team from years past that for one reason or another could not figure out their opponent's starting pitcher.

Plus, it didn't help that Shaun Marcum blew up bigger than Violete Beauregarde. Luckily, most of the Blue Jays starting pitchers have each cashed in a "get out the doghouse free" card anyway, and this was only the first blowup of the season for Marcum.

The rest of the team though? For the third straight game, they have been stunned at the plate  I can't even put it into words how lost they look right now. And it's not like there is one shining ray of hope in the lineup, they have all look bad this week.

At least there was one positive to take away from last night's debacle: David Purcey's impromptu mop up performance. I don't know what it is about relievers in situations when the game isn't on the line, but it seems like someone from the bullpen always comes through with a couple of solid innings of relief after the starter has hit the showers.

Now it's all up to Brett Cecil to change the course of this series with his ocular lenses. Go get 'em, Brett Skywalker!

8 comments:

  1. BOOURNS on this post! It reads like it was written by one of the haters from the DJF site. It is 3 games... The season is 162 long and I guaran-fucking-tee that at some point the Yankees and the Rays are both going to slump (atleast a little bit).

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  2. Matt_CC, I know this post is a departure from my usual optimistic outlook on the team - I think I just needed to sleep the bitterness off.

    Having slept on it though, I'm still noticing patterns during this series that popped up back in '08 and '09.

    I hope that Cecil will help break the Jays out of the funk tonight, because it doesn't get any easier from hereon out with Ubaldo Jimenez on Friday in Colorado. Yikes.

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  3. You also forget to mention another positive which is that Overbay continued to hit well last night. That guy's slump is officially over, and hopefully can be traded, or at the very least contribute more offensively for the rest of his tenure with the Jays.
    The Rays proved themselves complete douchebags when the catcher tried to trip Bautista scratching in that one run last night.

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  4. Maybe I'm one of the haters, but I like to think of myself as being realistic. The Jays should have never been considered to be realistic contenders this year, they just don't have a team that is comparable to the Red Sox, Tampa or NY. This should not be a surprise to people as even the Jay brass have identified this.

    Yes there are some absolute positives that I was not expecting so far this year, like the pitching performances of Marcum, Cecil and Romero. To an extent you could say Morrow as well, but I had fairly high expectations for him and viewed this season as a chance for him to put it all together in time for next year.

    The Jays have benefited from and easy early schedule, which makes it appear they are better than they are. Yes I know, there success can't be completely be attributed to the schedule and I admit that they are a better team than I expected. That being said, I will be happy if they can finish the season at .500, which I still think is a bit of a reach.

    With all this in mind, the GM can not lose focus of the long term plan and he should be using his bargaining chips such as Bautista, Downs, Frasor, Camp, etc. to see if he can build on the foundation he has begun to put in place. I also believe that it would be smart to deal one of their young pitchers for a STUD young bat. They have depth in pitching and a long term need in offense that could be resolved by this type of move. That being said there are no guarantees that other teams would be interested in accommodating the Jays in making this move.

    As a Jays fan, enjoy the positives that this season brings, but do not put any unrealistic expectations on this team.

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  5. sadp, yes I think it's safe to say Overbay is officially out of the woods. He's back up to a .233 AVG which is a very promising sign, especially for the trade deadline. Come on Lyle, hit some dingers!

    Peter D, don't get me wrong: I'm not saying this is the beginning of the end for the Blue Jays this year.

    Like you said, they have exceeded expectations so far, but maybe now the clock has struck midnight and Cinderella has to get that pumpkin back home.

    The starting pitching has been phenomenal thus far, and that's definitely something to be extremely optimistic about going forward.

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  6. Looking at the 2 and 3 hitters averages, it's pretty amazing the Jays have done as well as they have. Hill and Lind have GOT to hit if this team is to have any chance...

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  7. The team will finish at or around .500. Better record than last year.

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  8. Mattt, your guess is as good as mine. I'm getting pretty close to reaching a point where I'll start to really worry about Hill and Lind, although Lind came through tonight with the RBI 2-out single.

    Anon, I think I predicted somewhere around 70 wins for this team in 2010, so if they finish anywhere close to .500 it will be a great accomplishment.

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