Did you see that everyone? That little glimmer off in the distance? Maybe? Well that my friends is a sliver of hope. A 4-3 week, including a series win against the hated Boston Red Sox this weekend in Fenway has returned that glimmer for the Blue Jays faithful. 4 wins in 7 games over a week doesn’t sound like much, but that pace over an entire season is good for 92 wins (as in the pace many of us expected of the Jays all season) so it’s a good start.
Quality starts from the likes of Mark Buehrle, Ramon Ortiz and Chad Jenkins were the kind of good things that Blue Jays fans had come to assume could not happen to their team in this train wreck known as the 2013 season. If the Buehrles and Jenkins of the world can start contributing this team, just maybe we’ll have ourselves a week to watch.
This week in Blue Jays baseball gave us one of the more exciting comeback wins in recent memory for the club, a victory after trailing 7-0 to the Tampa Bay Rays had the Blue Jays faithful proclaiming the club had finally turned a corner. A couple of games later the Blue Jays managed to blow a very winnable affair, losing via a walk-off walk in the bottom of the 10th, effectively crushing that optimism as swiftly as it had come. But alas the series win in Boston and the schizophrenic crew known as Toronto sports fans were full of optimism once more.
J.P. Arencibia has been the whipping boy of the more statistically inclined legion of Blue Jays fans for some time. The player derided for being loved for his looks and personality more than on field performances had quite the Monday evening, after getting benched in favour of Henry Blanco in an attempt to get Mark Buerhle ‘going’, J.P. pinch hit for his offensively inclined battery mate and just happened to swing his way to a 76.5% WPA for the game. J.P’s rest of the week wasn’t nearly as impressive as his clutch soaked 2 for 3 performance Monday(the rest of the week he was a combined -34.5%) that single game was enough for him to be named this week’s GBOAT.
Omar Vizquel Award for Ineptitude
Just like J.P. Arencibia was awarded the GBOAT for essentially one plate appearance, Brad Lincoln is the focus of my ire for a single appearance that was crushing on the same level that J.P.’s home run was elating. On May 9th, Lincoln entered the game in the bottom of the 10th, with two runners on Lincoln did not manage to record an out and did the inexcusable by walking in the game winning run. This walk to Luke Scott was in itself worth a negative Win Probability Added of 40%. This appearance was ugly. The ugliness was amplified by the fact that this loss was the end of the Blue Jays first “winning” streak of the season. A walk-off walk was yet another blow to the psyche of Blue Jays fans, it felt like yet another meltdown in a season full of them.
While it wasn’t the week most Blue Jays fans were hoping for, it was certainly the week that the Blue Jays deserved. They went a whole week without losing a series (baby steps), and continued to smash the baseball all over (and often out of) the ballpark. Positive contributions from Ortiz, Jenkins and Buehrle reminded Jays fans that good things can happen to them, and just maybe better things are on the horizon. I mean if the Leafs can be on the verge of winning a round in the NHL Playoffs, anything can happen…Brett Lawrie is fired up, are you?