I write this in the immediate aftermath of a 7-1 pounding at the hands of the Tampa Bay Rays. The Blue Jays, I assumed, had lost 3 in a row. In reality, checking the schedule show that they have lost 2 of 3, and only 4 of 7. They have not been bad. The hope that this team will compete in the American League is still there, but for me, it’s certainly tough to understand how.
Some things have been really difficult to swallow. For a rising power in the AL East, the team has not jelled offensively. After being limited to 4 hits tonight by Charlie Allstaff, after Jeff Niemann was knocked out with an injury at the end of the first, the Jays are a lineup full of holes.
On the road trip, the two cleanup hitters had the following slash lines. .156/.229/.344 and .162/.220/.361. Take your pick. Eric Thames had a tidy .182/.200/.333 road trip. Colby Rasmus is hitting a lot of line drives. 24.7% is a great rate, but the road trip resulted in a line of .229/.308/.286. Yes, he slugged .286, lower than his OBP.
On the flip side, the pitching staff has been walking the entire planet. And doesn’t seem too bothered by it. They have allowed 135 walks, 50 since Henderson Alvarez’s CG shutout in Anaheim. Also, they have given up 44 homers, second to Minnesota, the league’s worst team.
The American League’s dark-horse playoff candidate has been playing a dangerous game on both sides of the ball. Only the snappiest defense in the league has kept them in these ballgames.
Soon, the Jays will find the first third of the season under their belt. It looks a lot like they will have a .500 record to show for it, unless they can prove that they know how to beat the Rays, Yankees and Mets more often than not.
I want to see a team confident it can win. As a fan, it’s disappointing to see one stifled after just one big inning.