I’m a pretty positive guy.
For those of you who stop by here often (thanks for coming!) you know that I run a pretty upbeat and optimistic Jays blog. I can shrug off the losses. I don’t get carried away by the wins. I try not to panic or get bogged down with negativity when guys slump.
But once in a while I get a bit disheartened.
Today is one of those days.
I don’t mean to pick on Rajai Davis. I like Rajai Davis. I like his speed and his explosiveness on the basepaths. But if there’s one thing that Rajai Davis has proven over the past year and a bit is that he is not a starting outfielder. He is great off the bench, but brings a limited amount of usefulness when penciled into the lineup on a daily basis.
Granted – it’s not his fault. The Jays are thin right now due to injury (Travis Snider, Ben Francisco) and ineffective play (Adam Lind, Eric Thames), basically forcing John Farrell to throw Davis out there every day. All in all, he’s done a decent job. His .732 OPS is better than it was the past two seasons, and he is 14 for 16 in SB attempts.
But last night he sucked.
Leading off the bottom of the third, Davis struck out weakly on five pitches. After a walk in the fourth, Davis came up to the plate again in the bottom of the sixth, and this time whiffed on three straight pitches. Then in the ninth, once again leading off, Davis worked the count in his favour at 3-1, then looked miserable. He watched strike two, then flailed hopelessly at the next pitch, basically using only his wrists to strike out for the first out.
An awful, awful game for Rajai.
But it was really an awful, awful game for the entire team – Rajai just sticks out in my mind.
Brett Lawrie was caught stealing 2nd in the first after lifting his foot off the base – a play you might see on T-Ball Tuesday. Encarnacion struck out looking with the bases loaded. Mathis did the same with two runners on base. The Jays hit five balls to the warning track, yet surrendered three bombs themselves, including one to a catcher named Jhonatan (yes, that’s the correct spelling) Solano, a player who looked like he was still in elementary school, more for his 5’9″ frame (looked more like 5’2″) than for his baby face. Despite walking five batters, Chien-Ming Wang – yes, that Chien-Ming Wang, the same guy who hasn’t posted an ERA in the 3′s since 2008 and has barely pitched since 2009 – shut the Jays down.
To add to the disheartening feeling, when Toronto came to the plate down by two in the ninth, the players due up didn’t exactly inspire confidence: Davis and Mathis. And it’s not like there’s much on the bench either – Mathis was replaced by light hitting 45-year old Omar Vizquel.
Aye aye aye…
As I said, I’m generally a positive and realistic fan. This wave of frustration will pass me by. Maybe even this afternoon as I head to the game in the sun.
Oh wait – Strasburg’s pitching?
Well, maybe tomorrow then…