The 2012 season is underway, and the start of the season has proven to be epic for the Blue Jays. A record setting Opening Day game went 16-innings, and was followed up by another extra inning game on Saturday. Though a tough loss on Sunday ruined the chances at a sweep, the 2-1 start has the team headed in the right direction as they return home for tonight’s home opener.
Here are three things from week 1:
Week 1: April 5 – April 8
Record: 2 – 1
1. Slow Starts
Yes Toronto is off to a 2-1 start. Yes they have scored 17 runs in three games. But there is some cause for concern in that in each of the three games the Jays have gotten off to incredibly slow starts. Through the fiirst six innings of each, Toronto has managed to score only three runs on only six hits. As a team the Jays have taken just a single walk and have struck out 11 times. They have also trailed by more than one run in all three games: 4-1 on Thursday, 2-0 on Saturday, and 4-2 on Sunday.
Though they managed to come back and win two of those games, this is a trend that the Jays do not want to continue.
2. Ice Cold Colby
I have a lot of faith in Colby Rasmus. I think he will have a bounce-back season with solid production. But there are a lot of people out there who don’t believe in him – I have a friend who has guaranteed Rasmus will finish the season batting under the Mendoza line. While his defence has been outstanding thus far, Colby isn’t doing himself any favours in terms of silencing his critics. Through three games he has looked awful at the plate.
Batting in the nine hole, Rasmus has gotten off to a .067 start, with a measly .192 OPS. That translates into one hit in 15 at bats, with only one walk and two strikeouts. It’s obviously incredibly early and there’s no reason to panic just yet, but a slow start for the seemingly fragile Rasmus was probably the worst thing that could have happened for his confidence.
But don’t worry friends – I still have faith.
3. Bullpen Brilliance
After suffering through an unbelievably bad 2011, Toronto fans expected much improvement from the bullpen in 2012. The acquisitions of Francisco Cordero, Darren Oliver, and Sergio Santos, the re-acquisition of Jason Frasor, and the return to health of Carlos Villanueva gave hope that the Achilles Heel from last year might possibly be a strength this year.
Well, so far so good.
Though the ‘pen is walking a few too many batters to be completely happy (10 so far) and Santos did have a blip on Saturday by blowing the save, they have been lights out thus far. 18 innings pitched, only 2 ER allowed, and 12 strikeouts. That equates to a 1.00 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP. The bullpen was incredible in Thursday’s opener, tossing 11 scoreless innings and thwarting the Indians several times when it looked like they were about to steal a win.
Last year I grew incredibly nervous each time John Farrell pointed to the ‘pen, but so far this year it’s the opposite.