What went down:
The tough start for the Toronto Blue Jays has continued, a 1-6 week, all against AL East rivals has pushed Toronto Fans to the brink. Jays fans looking for someone to blame have begun to call for the head of manager John Gibbons. Baseball fans tend to greatly overvalue the impact that Managers have on a team, so if not Gibby, who can be held responsible for the atrocity of the last week? We’ll take a look and see who increased the Blue Jays probability to win games the most for the week and who is to blame for effecting the team the most negatively.
Batter: Maicer Izturis
After being awarded our inaugural Omar Vizquel Honour for Ineptitude Maicer Izturis responded in kind with a very respectable week at the plate going 6/19, with a walk. Over the 6 games he played this week Izturis compiled a positive Win Probability Added (WPA) of 35%. The most important play of the week for Izturis was his lone walk, coming with the Bases Loaded against Baltimore Orioles Closer Jim Johnson. The walk put the Blue Jays ahead in the 11th inning and allowed them to secure their only victory of the week.
The Omar Vizquel Honour for Ineptitude:
Batter: Melky Cabrera
Melky Cabrera did not have a good week. The Blue Jays Left Fielder did not register a positive Win Probability in a single game throughout the week, negatively affecting the Jays Win Probability by an ugly 74.5%. Melky has gotten off to a slow start, unable to find the hitting form that saw him lead the league in hitting before his season was ended early with a PED related suspension. Turning around his season is a key component of a Blue Jays turnaround, hopefully coming sooner rather than later.
Pitcher: Mark Buehrle
Mark Buehrle made one start this week, and it was an ugly. A soft tosser in the joke that is known as Yankee Stadium, Buehrle never truly stood a chance. A start of 5.1 IP with 3 strikeouts, 5 ER, and 3 HR given up, Buehrle managed to negatively affect the Blue Jays Win Probability by 33%. While it certainly wasn’t the worst pitching performance we’ve ever seen, it was bad enough to warrant Buehrle’s first ever Vizquel!
This week for the Blue Jays was just plain ugly. Many of the masses known to follow Toronto’s baseball team were in full on panic mode before the Blue Jays sloughed through a 1-6 week, taking only a single game from the Orioles and being swept in a four game set by the hated Yankees. While the Blue Jays talent is undeniable, and the team will be better, the hole they have dug for themselves in April has only made their quest for the playoffs over the next 5 months that much more difficult. A poor start does not mean that the Blue Jays will not make the playoffs this season, but it certainly does make getting there a heck of a lot harder.