We saw something rare from the Blue Jays yesterday, something that has been altogether lacking so far in 2013 – life.
After blowing a 3-run lead in the seventh, the team buckled down to beat the Orioles in 11 innings, avoiding a sweep, and maybe – just maybe – sparking the team to better things.
But despite yesterday’s win, there’s no denying that through the season’s first 22 games, the Blue Jays have been a big disappointment. A 9-13 record and last place in the East is not how fans envisioned things after the great offseason. And while the record is shocking enough in itself, it is not as shocking as these 10 stats – 5 from Toronto and 5 from around the league – early on in 2013:
1. Blue Jays run differential of -29
With what was supposed to be a rebuilt rotation, a solid bullpen, and a powerful offense, this is crazy. Things have been better recently, but when the Jays lose, they lose badly. The -29 is only better than Seattle and Houston.
2. Melky Cabrera, Brett Lawrie, and Adam Lind combined home runs: 0
Yes Lawrie was hurt and Lind hasn’t played everyday. Yes Cabrera is now “clean”. But the trio have combined for only seven extra base hits and a slugging percentage of .281. Not good enough.
3. Best starter statistically is J.A. Happ
The least heralded and celebrated member of the staff leads all starters with a 3.68 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 6.5 H/9, and a 115 ERA+.
4. Blue Jays are the worst defensive team in baseball
At least by baseball reference’s Total Zone rating they are, with a -20 rating meaning the defense has cost the team 20 runs. Who knew Yunel Escobar and Kelly Johnson would be missed so much?
5. Blue Jays are one of the worst offensive teams too
Toronto’s AL rank in major categories: batting average – last, OBP – third last, OPS – fourth last. With the hitters Toronto has this won’t last.
Now for five stats from around the league:
1. Colorado Rockies: 14-7
I picked them to finish dead last, yet here they are in first. And having played the Brewers, Diamondbacks, Giants, and Braves, they haven’t exactly been playing bad teams either.
2. Matt Cain: 104th ranked ERA
The Giants ace has been as steady as they come over the years, but an awful start has him ranked 104th in baseball among qualified pitchers with a 6.59 ERA.
3. Adam Dunn = pathetic
Adam Dunn has always had problems with strikeouts and batting average, but this year is ridiculous. He currently has only 7 hits in 70 at bats, for a .100 average. He has 28 strikeouts and only three home runs.
4. Joey Votto has 26 walks
He leads the league by a mile, and is currently on pace for 198 free passes. That would be the second highest single season walk total in major league history.
5. LA Dodgers have scored only 64 runs
That total ranks them second last in all of baseball. For a team that spent a lot of money on a loaded lineup (with Matt Kemp, Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, and Andre Ethier), that is a shockingly pathetic offense.