With 21 frustrating and oftentimes embarrassing losses behind them, it’s time for a statement-type game from the Toronto Blue Jays
There’s ugly, then there’s Toronto Blue Jays baseball ugly.
It’s hard to imagine that the reigning American League East champions could sink any further as the new season pushes forward, but after last night’s 13-2 drubbing at the hands of the normally quiet Tampa Bay Rays, I’m starting to think a Houston Astros-type fate isn’t that far away for these Jays.
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Certainly, a 19-21 record isn’t the worst fate the Jays could have handed themselves. In fact, if you add the offensive struggles and the unreliable bullpen to this record, it doesn’t actually look that bad.
From coughing up late leads to leaving the bases loaded in the early innings, from ending things in fisticuffs to getting blown out, it’s really the manner in which the Jays have lost those 21 games that stings. There are only a handful of games that I think the Jays should have lost; there are only a handful of games that the Jays didn’t deserve to win. The rest have left me frustrated.
Even last night’s game – Toronto’s first real blowout loss of the season – bothers me, but it does this in a less obvious way.
After tagging Toronto starter J.A. Happ for eight earned runs on seven hits over two innings of sub-par pitching, there was never really any doubt that Tampa Bay would win the game. (Happ definitely had an “off” night – I’ve seen more accuracy in a Donald Trump speech than in what he was tossing last night.) What bothers me is the lack of emotion shown by the Jays in response to this latest setback.
Aside from manager John Gibbons getting thrown out of the game for the second consecutive day, Toronto’s response was muted. They put together a meagre two runs on seven hits in what should have been a statement-type game following Sunday’s brawl in Arlington, Texas. Instead, it felt like the Jays surrendered before taking their first at-bat. Tampa Bay had already done its damage and Toronto was reserved to lick its wounds.
Where’s the killer instinct from last season? Where’s the team that won 93 games, the American League East, and the hearts of baseball fans all across Canada? Where are my Toronto Blue Jays?
It’s a long season, and with a game basically every day, there’s always an opportunity to make fresh statements. I can think of more than a few reasons for the Jays to club the Rays into oblivion tonight.
That would be quite the statement.