Archive for April, 2013

It’s a game of inches

I didn’t want to look at the standings this morning. I’d rather not know what the Jays record is right now because I’m trying not to think about the hole they are digging themselves. But the reality is they are four games under .500. Now that’s not a huge deal if they play around .500 ball for the next month or so. But if the next 20 games are like the first, well, then they’re going to have a big problem.

What’s the problem? Well, if you’ve been watching you know. And it’s not just one thing. It’s kind of everything. They’re not hitting consistently — only four hits last night. Their defence seems to fold when they need it the most, and not on tough plays either — yes, Kawasaki I’m looking at you but you’re just the latest. And although I was about to say the pitching hasn’t been solid, I realize it’s actually been very good lately. The bullpen is lights-out and the starters have put together a lot of ‘quality’ (or close to) starts lately.

So what’s the problem? Bad luck? Maybe… But I don’t know if I believe in luck when it comes to sports. It’s a game of inches and the Jays are frustratingly just inches away…

Aaron Loup just grazes that guy by a couple of inches last night. Kawasaki puts another few inches on that throw and Edwin gets it. And this is just last night. I’ve seen it a lot already this season — everywhere I’m seeing a team that is close to being very good and then we come up short by a few inches.

But that’s baseball. And whether the Blue Jays can find it in themselves to find that extra inch in their game, I don’t know. Is it for lack of trying? No. Is it for lack of talent? I hope not. I think it’s there somewhere in their game but only the next 142 games will tell. And if they don’t have it, well, yes, it’ll be a long frustrating summer for me. But that’s why I love baseball because it’s a game of ‘oh so close’. And the good teams consistently find that extra inch or they don’t deserve to win.

Solid return home

So the Jays returned to the dome tonight and only 15,000+ got the news I guess. But the 35,000 who didn’t show up sure missed a great game.

The Jays came back from a 2-0 hole in their half of the first to tie it. Buehrle beared down and gave the Jays a solid start. Kawasaki continued his climb to the top of the fan appreciation chart with a triple. And Casey Janssen nailed it down (after some nailbiting) in the 9th. Overall, a very solid win with some very good signs. After falling in a one-run game yesterday, it was good to see the Jays come right back and win one of their own.

As for the crowd, well, it was small but as the game went on the crowd got more into it. “Riiiiioossss” could be heard throughout the game, berating the former center-fielder who left town with his tail between his legs (see: autograph-gate) and cheers of “Ka-wa-saki” (clap clap clap-clap clap) rang out in the late innings.

So a great return home. The only bad news was after the game Sergio Santos was put on the DL with a tricep strain (again). But Brett Lawrie has been called up. So it’ll be good to see him back in the lineup (hopefully) tomorrow.



That’s how Little Orphan Annie would scream in the comics, and it’s exactly how I screamed while watching Reyes slide into 2nd base last night. Yes, it seems the baseball gods hate us but since there aren’t results from the MRI as of writing this, saying how bad it is is purely speculation. But it seems that we’ll be without Reyes for at least awhile. I don’t need to tell true fans what a loss this is. Just his smile and attitude alone, forget about his play on the field…

Let’s get this out of the way though… Why was he stealing 2nd base with a four run lead anyhow? I guess he’s our spark plug and the pitching hasn’t exactly been shutdown lately. So I can see why he was doing it. But man, if that was Vernon Wells doing that — we would have vilified him. Clearly the hearts of Blue Jays fans are with Reyes. We certainly love this guy in a way we haven’t felt since Robbie was around. And we have him for years. As for lingering effects of this injury, again, let’s see what the MRI shows.

So let’s talk replacement. Not that he’s ‘replaceable’. I think John Gibbons hit upon the solution in the post-injury innings of the game last night. Move Bautista to 3rd base until Brett Lawrie returns. Then you call up Moises Sierra and put him in RF. And you figure out a middle-infield of Bonifacio and Izturis at 2B and SS respectively. What does this do? Well first of all it puts better defense at 3rd base. We haven’t seen any and it’s not like we haven’t tried everyone else there the last week. This also puts a great arm in RF. I had to endure seeing Rajai Davis’ noodle out there for a game or two last week when Bautista was down. It wasn’t pretty. I love Rajai, but not in right field. And this move also puts some pop in the lineup. I’d like to see what Sierra can do over a month or two in the lineup. He’s got more power than 50% of our lineup and Edwin ain’t hitting much right now. Anyhow, it’s just a thought and apparently the Jays are close to bringing up Munenori Kawasaki from Buffalo. A light-hitting SS that spent a bit of time in the majors last year but most of his career in Japan.

As we know, AA is gonna do what he wants and it’ll probably be completely different than anything we’re thinking. But I’m tired of the McCoy merry go round. Not this year, please.

So now we wait to find out how bad the Reyes injury is. As Tom Petty says, the waaaiiiting is the hardest part. Yah, I’m old. Actually, Tom Petty was before my time though. At least this happened near the beginning of the season. When Tony Fernandez broke his arm in 1987, it was the last part of the season and he, and the team, never recovered. Let’s hope for the best with Reyes. Yes, I drank the Kool-Aid too. I love this guy.

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