Beginning with three games in a place where they can’t win and ending with a series against a long-time rival, week six of the season wasn’t kind to the Jays.
Put Toronto in Tampa’s Tropicana field and bad things will likely occur. Put Toronto in Tampa against David Price and you have a recipe for disaster. After losing two of three to the Rays, the Jays have now lost 12 consecutive series in Tampa Bay dating back to 2007. The finale of the series saw Toronto completely bewildered by Price, who is now 8-0 with a 1.99 ERA against the club. Wow.
Throw in a little history on Saturday and week 6 is clearly one this team would like to forget.
Here are three things from week 6.
Week 6: May 2 – 8
Record: 2 – 4
1. Oh No-No
It had happened three times before in franchise history.
May 5, 1981 by Len Barker of the Indians.
June 29, 1990 by Dave Stewart of the A’s.
May 1, 1991 by Nolan Ryan of the Rangers.
And now, we can add a fourth.
May 7, 2011 by Justin Verlander of the Tigers.
For the fourth time the Toronto Blue Jays were the victim of a no-hitter.
Verlander was unreal on Saturday, masterfully shutting Toronto down one batter at a time. He threw 108 pitches (74 for strikes) and struck out four. If not for an incredible at-bat by J.P. Arencibia in the 8th (an eventual 12 pitch walk), Verlander would have been perfect.
Perhaps the most impressive feat of his performance was the fact that he was still exceeding 100 MPH in the 9th inning. The Jays truly had no chance.
2. Where’s the Offense?
Talk about offensive doldrums.
Last week was brutal in terms of run scoring for the Jays. Six games played and only 15 runs scored – 7 of which came in one game. Toronto also only managed 42 hits, an average of 7 per game, and only once were they able to reach double digits.
With Bautista out of the lineup for most of the week with neck spasms, the onus fell on the rest of the team to pick up the slack. Aside from Lind and Rivera, everybody failed. Miserably.
Take a look at how some of the Jays hitters fared:
Rajai Davis – 3 for 23, .130 AVG, .261 OPS, 4 K
Edwin Encarnacion – 5 for 20, .250 AVG, .686 OPS, 3 K, 1 RBI
David Cooper – 1 for 14, .071 AVG, .214 OPS, 3 K, 1 RBI
Yunel Escobar – 4 for 21, .190 AVG, .482 OPS, 2 K
J.P. Arencibia – 3 for 16, .188 AVG, .485 OPS, 2 RBI
John Farrell tried several different lineups, even moving Davis down to the bottom of the order, but nothing seemed to work. Sure they faced some tough pitchers, but obviously the Jays hitters are going to have to provide more production than that.
3. Adam Lind 09
In 2009 Adam Lind won a Silver Slugger award by hitting .305 with 35 HR, 114 RBI, and a .932 OPS.
In 2010 Adam Lind fell apart, batting only .237, slugging 12 fewer home runs, and driving in 42 fewer runs.
Well it looks like Lind v.09 is back. Though tightness in his back caused him to miss Sunday’s game and forced the end of his 11-game hitting streak, he remains one of the hottest players in the AL. He was the only Jay who did any damage in Tampa (.636 AVG, 1.576 OPS, 1 HR, 3 RBI), and went 2 for 5 with another home run on Friday night.
Since bottoming out at a .232 clip on Easter Sunday, Lind has exploded. In 12 games he has 21 hits, a .457 AVG and 1.318 OPS, along with 6 HR and 15 RBI.
If he can find it in his heart to give Aaron Hill a sip of the 2009 juice, the Jays might really be ready to do some damage.