Another week, another dose of disappointment for the fans of the Toronto Blue Jays as the team continued to flounder after their 11-game winning streak going just 3-4 on the week. The Jays managed just one win in four tries against the powerful Detroit Tigers, and failed to sweep the hapless Twins taking two of three.
The Blue Jays offense continued its Jekyll and Hyde act, putting 23 runs on the board over their 3 wins while managing to get just 9 men across the plate in their 4 losses. More consistency from the offense (i.e. not getting shut out by the god awful Twins) would be a major step forward for this team and would allow them to start stringing together the wins again.
The Blue Jays now sit 10 games behind Boston for the division, and trail Tampa Bay (with 4 teams in between) by 5.5 games for the Wild Card. With a somewhat soft schedule remaining for July, the Blue Jays need to pounce now and remind everyone once again why this team was the World Series favourite heading into the season.
Colby Rasmus is quietly having himself a nice little season in CF for the Toronto Blue Jays. His high strikeout totals and low batting average make him the target of ire for many casual Jays fans, often lumping him in with J.P. Arencibia.
While both players do strikeout a lot, struggle to make contact, and hit a lot of home runs, Rasmus separates himself (and makes himself a useful piece) with his stellar defense in CF and his ability to work in a walk every once in a while.
This past week was one of Colby’s finest of the season with a triple slash of .333/4.29/.708, Colby contributed two home runs and three doubles in addition to his aforementioned fine defensive play.
Colby is now 5th among all MLB centre fielders with a WAR of 3.0, and it’s about time that he is given the recognition he deserves for his fantastic play.
Omar Vizquel Award for Ineptitude
Since his return from a brief stint with Triple A Buffalo Munenori Kawasaki has struggled to regain his form at the plate for the Blue Jays. For the past week Kawasaki was doing his very best to mimic the contributions of the Blue Jays 2012 mascot and this award’s namesake by managing to have a triple slash of just .059/.059/.059 with just 1 hit and no walks in 18 plate appearances.
Kawasaki is still a fan favourite, during Sunday’s game fans serenaded him with chants of “Ka-wa-saki” when he came in as a pinch runner in one of the stranger scenes I have witnessed at the ball park (the cheers for Kawasaki pinch running were quite easily louder than for Edwin’s triple which preceded Kawasaki’s entrance).
Here’s hoping that Kawasaki will soon return to the at-bat grinding, singles slapping, walk off hitting goofball that Blue Jays fans fell in love with before his bat becomes too much of a liability for him to be around.
As was mentioned above the Blue Jays remaining schedule for the month of July remains relatively soft, and ripe for an assault on the standings. A 3-game set against the Cleveland Indians followed by 3 games against the Baltimore Orioles lead the Blue Jays into the All-Star break.
Winning both of these series and getting back to .500 by the All-Star break would be a psychological (at least for fans) victory, making the perilous ascent to the playoffs seem somewhat realistic, if they continue to struggle however time is going to start to run out.