Well, after last night’s loss, the 2013 Toronto Blue Jays will not hold a winning record against any of their American League East rivals. Considering how easily the Blue Jays were speculated to trounce through the division after their busy offseason, this is about as far of a departure from there as you can get.
Thankfully it’s almost over.
Before it is, there is still the formality of finishing the games left on the schedule. As discussed above, the Orioles took last night’s game, winning by a score of 3-2. And it would not be a Blue Jays loss if a player was not hurt in the process, as Mark Buehrle left last night’s game with a right calf contusion, as Gregor Chisholm details in his wrap-up on the game. The shot to the leg likeely put Buehrle out of his misery at that stage, as the Orioles had their way with him through 3-1/3 innings. Chad Jenkins would come on in relief and was outstanding, tossing 3-2/3 of 1-hit ball, striking out four in the process. The Blue Jays cut the deficit to a single run, but ultimately left the tying and winning runs at second and third in the eighth before falling for the 87th time this season.
But there was some good news for Toronto. There is now no longer any worry about the team becoming the most playoff-challenged franchise in the game any longer. As Ben Nicholson-Smith at Sportsnet points out, the Kansas City Royals were eliminated from playoff contention last night, ensuring that they will maintain the longest active playoff drought in baseball. With Pittsburgh having stepped into the playoff picture, Toronto now owns the second longest drought in the game, as we discussed earlier this week.
On Friday night, the Blue Jays will look to end their two-game slide as they host the Tampa Bay Rays at Rogers Centre. On the mound, R.A. Dickey (13-13) will attempt to finish the season on a winning note, and with a winning record. As Jeff Blair at the Globe and Mail discusses, Dickey’s splits at Rogers Centre with the roof open and the roof closed are night and day. Dickey’s ERA with the roof open (5.51) is more than a run and a half higher than when the Jays close the roof for him (3.95). In fairness, Blair also points out that Dickey’s ERA is another also significantly lower on the road (3.57), so perhaps we should simply save him for road starts in 2014?
Speaking of Rogers Centre, there appears to be some major upheaval going on at One Blue Jays Way, as discussed by our friends at Bluebird Banter and Drunk Jays Fans. Both pieces are in response to an article written by Bob Elliot at the Toronto Sun who details the loss of several scouts after the appointment of Brian Parker as Scouting Director for the Blue Jays. Well, several meaning 12(!). However, as commenters at Bluebird Banter point out, the article was apparently edited to remove content pertaining to a rumored turf war between Dana Brown and assistant GM Tony LaCava. Let the conspiracy theories begin.
Finally, The National Post ran a piece that correlates Michael Wacha‘s near no-hitter for the Cardinals on Wednesday night to the near no-no tossed by Dave Steib for the Blue Jays. The correlation? Well, it came on the 25-year anniversary of Steib’s miss. Eerie huh?