Looking back at the 2012 season for the Toronto Blue Jays, we can point to a lot of different factors that contributed to what was by no doubts a disappointing season. However, if we want to point to one specific moment when the Jays season went past the point of return, we have to look at the moment when Brandon Morrow was placed on the disabled list.
Morrow went on the 60-day DL on June 13th with a oblique injury and would not return until August 25th. During that stretch, the Blue Jays went 25-39, effectively putting on the cement shoes of for the season.
So, it was fitting that Morrow would close out the 2012 Blue Jays season with a reminder of why he is the staff ace heading into 2013, and not Ricky Romero.
Yes, Morrow threw three complete game shut-outs on the season, but his performance on Wednesday night against the Twins was perhaps his single best game of the season.
Over the course of eight innings, Morrow stunted Minnesota, allowing just 3 hits on the night, while walking 3 and striking out 11 in the 2-1 Blue Jays victory.
What was most encouraging was Morrow’s ability to mix four pitches in order to confuse the Twins. His improvement with the cutter and change-up have been a key to his development in 2012.
The win gave Morrow his 10th win on the season, becoming the only Blue Jays pitcher to surpass double-digits in victories. Morrow finishes the season with a record of 10-7 with a 2.96 ERA and 108 strike-outs in 124.2 innings pitched. Despite missing 11 starts on the season, Morrow also accumulated a WAR of 2.4 according to FanGraphs.
Morrow also finishes the season with the 3rd most shut-outs in the American League, and fourth in batting average against, holding opponents to a .221 mark on the season.
With a lot of work heading into the 2013 off-season, the Blue Jays will look to this start and the evolution of Morrow in 2012 as a building block for next season’s pitching staff.