Series Preview: Toronto Blue Jays (44-47, 5th AL East) vs Baltimore Orioles (51-42, 3rd AL East)


June 1, 2013; San Diego, CA, USA; Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Mark Buehrle (56) throws during the first inning against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The Blue Jays are officially broken. The same problems that crept into the club for most of the last two decades has hit us again. We can’t seem to do the three fundamentals together. Hitting, Pitching and Defense. It is what the game is based on. For the most part we have either pitched well or hit well or played defense well…or or or. We need to see more and and and. Excuses are for losing teams. Lashing out at the media is for losing teams. Constantly predicting prosperity and delivery poverty is for losing teams. We have starters but not aces. We have mashers but not hitters. We are almost the opposite of where we need to be. Perhaps a shake up is needed. Obviously the off-season one isn’t taking. We need more hitters and less mashers. We need something.

Baltimore has silenced the doubters by continuing to play winning baseball. I am convinced Buck Showalter was highly underrated before and now is getting his due by turning a lot of decent parts into a machine. Their pitching is still suspect but they make up for it with hitters…not just mashers (though they do mash). Showalter gets the best out of his club. With a core of Andrew Jones, Chris Davis, Manny Machado and Nick Markakis they have thump. At this rate they may thump more doubles than almost any team in baseball history. Another bona fide starter may just make this team the favourite to take the East.

Probable Starters

Game 1: Mark Buehrle (5-5, 4.50 ERA) vs Chris Tillman (10-3, 3.92 ERA)
Game 2: Todd Redmond (1-1, 3.55 ERA) vs Jason Hammel (7-5, 5.03 ERA)
Game 3: Josh Johnson (1-4, 4.62 ERA) vs Scott Feldman (0-1, 7.15 ERA)

Looking at all three games I would say they are winnable. We used to have the Orioles number and hopefully we can eke out a sweep over the orange clad lads. Buehrle, Redmond and Johnson all have their flaws but if we are to prove the character of this team we should be in every game…that is if the offense decides to show up this weekend. Looking at the ERAs alone should have us taking this series but as we have shown numbers seem to not mean much. Let’s see what happens.

Probable Starting Lineups

Toronto Blue Jays

1. SS: Jose Reyes
2. RF: Jose Bautista
3. DH: Edwin Encarnacion
4. 1B: Adam Lind
5. CF: Colby Rasmus
6. 3B: Maicer Izturis
7. LF: Emilio Bonifacio
8. C: J.P. Arencibia
9. 2B: Munenori Kawasaki

Baltimore Orioles

1. LF: Nate McLouth
2. 3B: Manny Machado
3. RF: Nick Markakis
4. CF: Adam Jones
5. 1B: Chris Davis
6. C: Matt Wieters
7. SS: J.J. Hardy
8. 2B: Brian Roberts
0. DH: Nolan Reimold

Final Word

So with a sweep we can enter the break at .500. Does this mean anything? Not really. Psychologically maybe a bit but what matters at this point is to go into the break fighting…something lacking most of the time in Cleveland. It’s time to step up a notch. I love that Reyes and Kawasaki keep things loose but perhaps it’s time to stop joking around. Winning is fun too isn’t it? I want to see a renewed commitment. Most of these guys have a track record. Toronto is not where track records are supposed to die…well not all track records (see Murphy, Larry). Earn the dollars you make. Get rid of all that is swimming in your head…regroup during the break and come back with that hunger. We need to see that hunger.