Two off days left the Blue Jays with only 5 games on the books this week, albeit with one that had two games worth of innings, and with those 5 games coming against the Texas Rangers and defending champion Giants managing to scrape by with 3 wins can be considered a success.
With the starting rotation seemingly rounding into form and looking like that of the contending team we all expected at the start of the year, the Blue Jays look poised to finally make the run we’ve all been waiting for.
The bullpen once again pitched heroically, most notably in the 18-inning affair on Saturday afternoon (and evening by the time it ended). The since demoted Brad Lincoln was nothing short of game saving in his 4-innings of work, only to be handed a plane ticket to Buffalo (or bus ticket? I’m kind of curious now).
This week’s GBOAT was one of the easiest I’ve awarded so far this season, not only did he pitch his best game of the year against the Giants going 8.1 innings giving up only 2 hits and 2 walks, but R.A Dickey also led the team in batting WPA!
Everyone’s favourite knuckler managed to drive in a run with a double down the line after a wee bit of trickery that had the Kung Fu Panda Pablo Sandoval out of position.
I don’t watch a ton of National League baseball so I don’t know how often pitchers attempt the fake bunt/slash at the ball move, but man is it awesome when it works to perfection. I mean I’d much rather have a DH hitting there so we wouldn’t have to see essentially every other at bat by a pitcher, but this play was indeed fun.
Omar Vizquel Award for Ineptitude
Jose Bautista. I love ya Jose, you’re one of the best in the game, but when you get cold, it can get ugly. For the 5 games this week Jose was good for an ugly WPA of negative .359 (meaning he lowered the Jays’ chance of winning by 35.9%). To top it all off, Jose went and did this in his last at-bat on Sunday.
While there are sure to be a parade of hack columnists attacking Jose over his perceived attitude problem after his ejection on Sunday, I don’t really care; this is the kind of stuff we have to deal with if we want one of the best hitters in baseball. That’s who Jose is, he’s not going to change, and this is only a story because he’s struggling.
The Blue Jays open up a 3 game set with the Chicago White Sox, before heading to Arlington to take on the Rangers in that always enjoyable Texas heat. It will be interesting to see if the suddenly resurgent Blue Jays rotation can take the heat of playing in these two hitter friendly ballparks. As has become a weekly refrain, the Blue Jays need to starting winning, and winning a lot if they want to get back into this race, until next week, let’s hope that starts to happen.
Follow Travis on Twitter at @travisb31