Apr 2, 2013; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher R.A. Dickey (43) and catcher J.P. Arencibia (9) talk at the mound against the Cleveland Indians at the Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY SportsNo matter how long you’ve been watching baseball it’s easy to forget during the offseason that no matter how talented your team is they’re not going to just walk all over other teams every day of the week.
The Toronto Blue Jays did a good job of reminding us of this fact in their home opener. The Jays did the impossible and lost a game with Dickey on the mound and their dangerous lineup minus Brett Lawrie only mustered 1 run.
Yes that’s right even the “World Series favorites” Blue Jays are going to lose games the same way the “going to finish in 4th place” Blue Jays did.
J.P. Arencibia is still going to have many passed balls that take away double play opportunities or extend innings. Maybe he can shoot for less than 3 in a game next time. It’s a safe bet in my eyes that Dickey could have gone at least 7 innings or better with less runs scoring if Arencibia wasn’t giving the Indians extra bases or outs.
Arencibia proved he was a below average catcher a long time ago so with the Jays needing to increase their chances of winning as much as possible this season it’s not too early to say his leach on catching Dickey and his knuckleball was already shortened by his defensive performance in the season opener.
If I stood outside Rogers Centre with a petition to not let Arencibia keep catching Dickey I could probably get enough people to sign that we could take legal action against the Jays if we wanted to.
No matter how deep a team is offensively there’s going to be nights that they just don’t get timely hits with runners in scoring position and it was that kind of night during the Jays season opener.
Adam Lind hit into a double play with the bases loaded and no outs which everyone knows by now is Lind’s job, playoff ambitions or not.
The Jays also had 19 straight hitters in a row retired at one point which has happened before and will happen again. The Jays just have to make sure it doesn’t happen that often.
If there was something to be encouraged about and is certainly not typical Jays is that all their hitters had deep long at bats and pushed Indians starting pitcher Justin Masterson’s pitch count to 70 after just 3 innings. It obviously didn’t help the Jays score many runs in the game but most nights when you work a starter out like that you’re going to have a lot more to show for it.
The 2013 Blue Jays might be a playoff team and be better than all the other Blue Jays teams over the years that weren’t playoff caliber. It’s just that when they lose it might feel like you can’t tell the difference.