Imagine we lived in a fairy tale world.
Close your eyes and picture it. Clouds are made of marshmallows. Rivers and streams are made out of beer. Everything is lollipops and rainbows.
In this perfect world, beers at the Rogers Centre are only $1. Tony Fernandez is back with the Blue Jays as a bench coach.
And most importantly of all, the Blue Jays can pitch.
With how bad things have been recently the only scenario I can picture Toronto ever pitching well in is in a fantasy world.
Yes the pitching staff is in shambles due to injury. But the guys that are there are doing nothing. Absolutely nothing.
In the last five games the Jays have gone 1 – 4, and Toronto pitchers have allowed a staggering 39 runs.
Incredible. It’s tough to win in major league baseball when your offense has to put up crooked numbers every day. And even then nothing is guaranteed, as shown last night when the Jays scored 7 and still lost.
In fact, so far in 2012, when the Jays have scored 6 runs or more in a game, they have won 82.8% of the time . That sounds like a very good percentage. But let’s compare that to Toronto’s chief combatants for AL playoff positions, the Red Sox, Yankees, Rays, and Angels. (Sorry, I still don’t believe in Baltimore).
Red Sox: 85.7%
Each of those teams has won a greater percentage of their games when they’ve plated 6+ runs. On the surface it looks like mere percentage points, but those percentage points translate into a few wins, and there is a good chance that only a few wins may separate Toronto from October baseball.
Of course, there will be many, many wins between them and the playoffs if the pitching continues at this rate. In the last 7 days, Toronto has a team ERA of 6.53, good enough for dead last in the American League. For reference Seattle is first with a 1.36 ERA.
Over the past 14 days, the story is worse. Toronto’s ERA is 6.32, still dead last, and miles behind the second worst pitching team (Cleveland at 5.19). The Jays also have the second highest walk total (41), and the second worst WHIP (1.51) in that time.
Let’s go further and expand the search to the past 28 days. The Blue Jays still had Brandon Morrow and Drew Hutchison throwing, yet still rank second worst in AL ERA at 4.73, and second worst in WHIP at 1.39.
The problem is bad, and has been getting worse. Look at the pitching staff ERA’s in the last two weeks:
Pretty bleak. Of pitchers who have thrown at least 5 innings, only Francisco Cordero, Casey Janssen, and Aaron Laffey have ERA’s under 4.50. Brett Cecil, Jesse Chavez, Henderson Alvarez, and Ricky Romero have been unbelievably awful.
You know your team is especially in trouble when CoCo Cordero is your best pitcher…
Things can still turn around, and I know they will. But right now Jays fans have no choice.
We have to imagine we live in a fantasy land.