Toronto Blue Jays The Week That Was: May 20-26
May 12, 2013; Boston, MA USA; Toronto Blue Jays shortstop Munenori Kawasaki (66) reacts as right fielder Jose Bautista (19) crosses home plate after hitting a home run during the sixth inning at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
A week full of divisional games saw the Toronto Blue Jays continue to inch their way back up to .500. Taking 2 of 3 from fourth place Tampa Bay, and splitting a 4-game set with third place (and finally struggling) Baltimore left the Blue Jays at 21-29 for the season, and 9.5 games out of the division lead (only 6.5 out of the Wild Card). The week had everything for the Toronto Blue Jays, close victories, narrow defeats, blow-outs going both ways. It saw the hero everyone expected in Jose Bautista, and the hero everyone wanted in Munenori Kawasaki. Overall it was just a great week of fun for the Blue Jays and their fans. While an additional win or two would have been nice, I’ll take weeks like this anytime after that dreadful experience in April.
This week’s GBOAT goes to the man who may actually be the Greatest Blue Jay of All Time by the time he’s done smashing baseballs out of the SkyDome Jose Bautista. The Jose Bautista show Wednesday night against Jeremy Hellickson and the Tampa Bay Rays was a sight to behold. While the stat is not perfect for determining certain games being “better” than others, it sure is fun to look at and see how much a player contributed to a team’s victory. So when Jose Bautista set a club record with a single game WPA of 1.045 (as in he added 104.5% to the Blue Jays win probability) I was excited.
He accounted for all four of the team’s runs, with two solo home runs and a pair of RBI singles (including a walk off). Accounting for all the offense combined with a close game throughout was the perfect storm for his exceptional WPA total. In the rest of the games for the week Jose hit a mere .500 with 5 walks (two more than J.P.A has this season!).
Omar Vizquel Award for Ineptitude
I recently spent the majority of a 1000+ word post sharing my feelings about the baseball skills of resident Blue Jays catcher J.P. Arencibia and my thoughts about his seeming inability to not swing at a baseball thrown in his direction, no matter how unhittable it is. His prodigious strikeout numbers and sickly walk numbers truly bother me as a baseball fan. So when J.P. managed to work a walk (his THIRD of the season) I wondered if maybe J.P. had read my stuff and was going to turn a new corner. But then I realized that the only thing stupider than thinking that is thinking J.P. is ever going to be anything other than his offensively average and defensively poor self. His good day at the plate on Sunday to salvage his stats for the week were not enough to make me forget my grudge….besides the only players that had worst week’s were Ramon Ortiz (it was his birthday) and Sean Nolin (his first career start) so I couldn’t give it to them…I do have a heart after all.
A week full of interleague play sees the Blue Jays do a home and home series with the Atlanta Braves (get ready for a flurry of brotherly type articles about the Rasmus’), followed by a three game set in beautiful San Diego. It’s a big week for the Blue Jays to continue their march towards .500, as they hope to buck their recent team history of general awfulness when facing teams from the senior circuit. Another week with more wins than losses could go a long way (hopefully) to finally revive some confidence into this fan base and (hopefully) stop so many idiots throwing things on the field!