May 31st was an important day. I mentioned previously that the Blue Jays W-L record on May 31 would determine whether or not the panic button would be pressed for the Blue Jays. I’m announcing that I’ve done it.
To be honest, I think I pressed that button a couple of weeks ago. I think the button I’ve actually just pressed is the all-too-familiar, “I’ve known for awhile that this season was a flusher, but I hope the Blue Jays can play spoiler” button.
Enough about buttons though.
After seeing the highlights (I was out of town) of the May 31 game, I realized that the entire 17 inning gong show was a poignant representation of the season thus far.
How so, you ask?
- There was an unreasonable confidence in an ‘inevitable win’ – but they lost
This point doesn’t necessarily speak to the presence or absence of talent on the team. It refers to the false assurance we fans build up prior to a series versus a team we think is worse than the Blue Jays. Toronto fans are winners when it comes to expecting wins. The Padres aren’t exactly a powerhouse, and the fact that they were below .500 meant that we were all totally convinced the Jays would come out on top. The Blue Jays are, after all, better than than their record would indicate. Or are they? May 31st’s game certainly wasn’t anything special. It was par for the course. Maybe it’s time to not expect so much
- Starting Pitching lacked a lot of lustre.
Chad Jenkins, the starter on May 31st, hasn’t had too much experience in the Majors as a starter. Though his stamina is still in the works, his numbers thus far are much better than most of the pitching staff. This hits the point that our ‘elite’ starters are pitching at or below the same level as those we bring up from the minors. Do I need to say more about this?
- Errors! Errors galore!
JP, JP, JP! Throwing the ball away does not a winning game make. It seems like in an unacceptable bulk of losses I see, there are multiple errors committed at incredibly pivotal moments. I’m not blaming JP, but using him as an example. I’m confident that if the pivotal-error dispensers (Izturis, Bonifacio et al.) and ball passing fiends (both of our catchers are 1st and 2nd in the ENTIRE LEAGUE when it comes to passed balls*) account for a pretty big chunk of the reason why we aren’t above .500 – yet we’re middle of the pack when it comes to errors committed by team. There’s no excuse!
*I totally get that catching a knuckleballer is difficult, but even THAT is no excuse for this dismal fact
- An early lead was blown …. again.
This could be a bogus point as I only have flashbacks of rage (and not actual stats) to go by, but it seems like our Blue Jays have an ability to come out scoring first, but surrender it really, really quickly. Game 1 versus the Padres was no exception.
It’s depressingly poetic that the May 31st loss was a microcosm of the entire sad season so far. That loss produced this lovely sight:
As I said above, I’m shifting to the “Let’s play spoiler” mentality. With the
AL East AL East except Toronto so tight, the Blue Jays can influence the outcome of the AL standings. A disappointing outcome so far, and something I certainly didn’t expect. I still love my team and I hope I’m wrong, but after a .481 May, I can’t really say much more.