|Courtesy of @MassF|
You thought the night after a 14-5 drubbing and a season-high five errors was as low as it could go for the Blue Jays? You thought a players-only meeting combined with a late-game collapse after holding an 8-3 lead was the worst?
No ... this is rock bottom.
This is the low point of the 2013 season for the Toronto Blue Jays. Seven straight losses, ten games below .500, 14.5 games back of first place. Just when you thought things couldn't get any worse, they have.
And just in case this week wasn't soul-crushing enough, word is Brandon Morrow (the Blue Jays Opening Day number two starter) is done for the season.
Baseball is supposed to be an escape, right? People watch baseball to get away from their daily stress for a couple hours. But how bad is it when you need an escape from your escape?
In many ways, this series against the Los Angeles Dodgers has truly been a microcosm for the entire season. The Blue Jays got blown out and perform horribly on the field in nearly every aspect of the game on Monday.
Then the very next night, they seemingly have the game under wraps, only to let it all collapse. Repeat that scenario again on Wednesday, and that's been the series (and season) in a nutshell for the Blue Jays.
At first, one would think it's the bullpen that's coughed up the last few losses and to some effect that's true. But they also were forced to pick up seven innings of work the night prior after Josh Johnson only managed to pitch through two innings on Monday.
So Dustin McGowan, Brett Cecil, Juan Perez and Dustin McGowan all pitched in consecutive games, and as Gregg Zaun noted, the Blue Jays bullpen is running on fumes and beginning to show signs of fatigue.
Here's the scary part; if the bullpen is beginning to fall apart, that's when you know things are bad. If one of the few things that has been consistent for the Blue Jays all season is suffering because of an increased workload, then what the hell else is there to look forward to?
One can't expect the team to dig themselves out of this mess immediately. But unlike previous years, the problem is the Blue Jays don't have the liberty of time on their side. This team is built to win now. And the Blue Jays need to produce now.
Here it is July 25th, just past the midway point of the season and it already feels like the disaster that was the end of the 2012 season. It also somewhat resembles the "clubhouse mutiny" situation at the end of the 2009 season, when the players had seemingly turned on Cito Gaston.
Maybe we're just making this out to be a hyperbole of discourse and blowing it way out of proportion. But one can't argue the impact of raising expectations to an astronomical level, and then having them shattered mere months later.
This is a very concerning precedent that's been set for a team that for the most part, is going to be with each other for the next two to three years, too. These are the very much the same 25 guys the Blue Jays are going into battle with next year.
So if it's the very same cast of characters, can you really trust them to perform better next year? If they can't get it together now, who's to say they will next year or even in 2015?
I think most people's hopes of ending the 20 year playoff drought this year have already been dashed. A lot would have to happen for the Blue Jays to even have a flicker of hope to contend this year.
At this point, virtually nobody is counting on the Blue Jays to pull a 2012 Oakland Athletics and complete the second half Cinderella story. Frankly, as a fan ... it's a dark, dark day when you know your team has next to no chance at making the playoffs.
Really, all anybody can ask the Blue Jays now is to provide some semblance of hope for next year. The season itself isn't anywhere close to being over, but it's a sad reality that in some ways ... it is.
All I can say to the 2013 Blue Jays is prove me wrong. Please ... prove me wrong.