It was yet another ugly week for baseball fans in the Great White North with their Toronto Blue Jays going a disappointing 2-4. They managed to take just a single game against each of the division leading Boston Red Sox and the lowly Seattle Mariners.
The Blue Jays offense struggled mightily in their 4 losses, managing to score a pitiful 3 runs and never really threatening to do much else. In their two wins they appeared to be a completely different team, wutg the offense managing to show the kind of fireworks that was expected coming into this season as they exploded for 19 runs.
I’ve lost count of how many times the Blue Jays have won a game and had it heralded as a ‘turning point’ but Sunday’s win adds to the total. What’s left to be seen for the belaugered Jays is if this win actually is a turning point, if their playoff aspirations remain in tact it had better be; ‘it’s early’ is getting closer and closer to ‘there’s always next year’ with every series loss.
Coming into this season there was some doubt about what the “real” Edwin Encarnacion was. Could he possibly match his prodigious power numbers from last season, or would he regress to something less super human? Over the past couple of weeks EE has managed to eliminate any concerns about whether 2012 was an anomaly, crushing devastating home run after devastating home run.
Encarnacion’s Win Probability Added for the week was a gaudy 26.4%, how did he achieve this? By doing what he does best and hitting the baseball to where even the BABIP Gods couldn’t touch him. Watching from the 100 Level Outfield of the SkyDome on Tuesday night I can attest that Edwin’s 500 Level Bomb was something to behold. If you’ve been living under a rock and haven’t seen the homer in question, I present it to you in GIF form complements of GameReax.
Omar Vizquel Honour of Ineptitude
The defending National League Cy Young Award Winner continued to struggle this week. In his start on Saturday, Dickey was victimized by the long ball giving up 7 runs on 6 hits (3 of which were of the round trip variety) and 2 walks. For those of you keeping track at home that’s 7 runs on just 8 baserunners. Dickey also struck out 5 in his 6 innings pitched. His Win Probabity Added for the Game (and the week) was a nauseating -26.4%. It was an odd day for Dickey as he seemed totally in control until he was suddenly not. As a member of the crowd at the Dome for his start I would have been a lot more upset, but it was a really nice day out, and I live in Canada, I’ve got to enjoy this weather while it’s here.
If the Blue Jays are going to turn this thing around, they are going to need their presumed ace lead the charge. Mr. Dickey got off to a not quite this slow start last season as well, so here’s hoping to a similar turnaround to dominance.
The Blue Jays open a 4 game set tonight in Tampa Bay facing the division rival Rays, before a 3 game set against the borderline unbearable division leading Boston Red Sox. It’s been said before, and hopefully won’t need to be said again but this is a big week for the Blue Jays if they have any hope of making a claim for one of the American League’s playoff spots.
If they continue to struggle, the Blue Jays fans will need to take comfort in the words of the Starks of Winterfell. Winter is Coming, and so far that’s the only time the Blue Jays have looked like contenders.