The second week of the season wasn’t as kind to the Jays as the first. A tough trip to Anaheim highlighted a week where the offense went missing. But still, sitting over the .500 mark after three series against teams who may be considered contenders ain’t a bad way to start the year.
Week 2: April 4 – 10
Record: 3 – 3
Here are three things that came out of week two of the Blue Jays 2011 schedule:
1. Down and Out in Anaheim
With the team full of confidence, the Jays touched down in Anaheim to face the Angels (with old friends Vernon Wells and Scott Downs) for their first road trip of the season. They couldn’t get out of town fast enough.
Despite Friday night’s stirring come from behind win (Jayson Nix!!!!), the Jays lost the series and really didn’t look good doing it. Ervin Santana completely shut them down on Friday until the 6th and Jered Weaver completely dominated them on Sunday to the tune of 15 K’s. But it was the game in-between, the filling, that left everybody angry.
Reading the box score, Toronto deserved to lose, stranding 18 runners and getting little to no clutch hitting. But they actually had the game won until a brutal call by umpire Bob Davidson brought everything crashing down. I moved to a new home on Saturday so I didn’t get a chance to see the play until this morning. After reading the reaction on Twitter I was expecting a brutal, terrible, awful call. What I saw was even worse than I was expecting. I have no idea how interference can be called on Escobar in that situation and I have no idea how the team showed enough restraint to not club Davidson in the face.
The bottom line, however, is that Toronto never should have been in that situation – not with all those baserunners. Chalk it up as one that got away.
2. Wild Week for Escobar
How about the week that was for the Jays SS? It was truly a week that can be summarized by the good, the bad, and the ugly.
The Good – Back-to-back three hit games on Tuesday and Wednesday, including a game winning walk-off HR in the 10th inning against Oakland
The Bad – Missed Thursday, Friday, and virtually all of Saturday with dizziness after banging his head on a triple on Wednesday.
The Ugly – Came on as a pinch hitter in the 13th inning on Saturday and was the victim of Bob Davidson’s phantom interference call
Overall Escobar has been a bright spot in Toronto’s lineup early on, hitting .476 with a 1.365 OPS. Throw in the start that Jo-Jo Reyes had on Sunday (7 IP, 1 ER) and the Escobar / Reyes for Gonzalez deal last year is looking more and more like a steal.
3. Anthopoulos’ Crystal Ball
In the off-season, there many people (I’ll admit it, even me) who desperately wanted to see our young GM bring in Manny Ramirez. Even though he had a poor 2010, the man could still hit, he loved Toronto, and he absolutely mashed the ball in his career at the Rogers Centre. For a team who seemingly had an opening at DH, he was the perfect fit.
But AA didn’t budge. Manny didn’t come here. Instead he signed a discounted one-year deal with the Rays that many people (again, I’ll admit it – even me) thought of as a great steal.
Well, Alex was right.
Manny’s stat line with Tampa Bay? Downright ugly.
1 for 17, .059 average, .118 OPS, 4 strikeouts, 1 failed drug test (his third), 1 abrupt retirement, 0 apologies, and 1 huge distraction.
Thanks for steering clear of that disaster. For once I’m glad I was proven wrong.