Three Things From Week Ten

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Believe it or not, we are already ten weeks into the 2013 season. Time flies. Unfortunately for the Jays, time is flying too fast – they remain in last place, a whopping seven games back of second last place.

The team did put together a winning week last week, which is a step in the right direction. But at some point, 3-2 weeks will need to turn into 5-0 weeks in order for real progress to be made.

With four games upcoming in Texas, this might be a tough week to start that roll.

Here are three things from week 10:

Week 10: June 3 – June 9

Record: 3 – 2

1. One That Got Away

It would have been really nice to finish that sweep of Texas yesterday. Really, really nice. And that was a game that Toronto should have had, a loss that will sting for a while.

Coming off Saturday’s marathon, the

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Jays faced rookie pitcher Justin Grimm on Sunday, and had to be salivating. Grimm sported a 5.13 ERA coming into the game, and was absolutely pasted by Boston in his previous start. Sure enough, the Jays jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the third and looked to be on their way. With Texas starting a bit of a makeshift lineup (Chris McGuiness, Leonys Martin, and Leury Garcia) the Jays should have been able to hold it.

Sadly they let the lead and the game slip away. No hitting, some sloppy defense, and poor pitching combined to give Texas a 6-4 win, allowing them to avoid the sweep and ruin what would have been an excellent weekend at the dome. It always seems to hurt more losing games that you should win and yesterday was no exception. But, in the long haul, for every loss that should have been a win, you can find a win that should have been loss. Such as…

2. One That We Stole

With a 3-1 lead in the ninth, and previously perfect Casey Janssen on the hill, one would have expected a Toronto win on Saturday. But after Texas rallied to tie the score, let’s be honest – the Blue Jays had no business winning that ballgame.

The Rangers loaded the bases with nobody out in the 10th and failed to score. They put a man on in the 11th and failed to score. They put runners on first and second in the 12th and failed to score. They had a runner on third with one out in the 14th, runners on first and second with one out in the 15th, and runners on first and second with nobody out in the 18th, and failed to score all three times. All in, Texas stranded 9 runners in extra innings alone.

The Jays won the game on Rajai Davis’ RBI single in the 18th, but they can count their blessings that they were able to pull it off.

3. Starting Improvement

With all the negativity surrounding Toronto’s starting pitching this year, last week finally saw the long anticipated turn around. For the first time all season, the starters pitched effectively in every game, finally giving much needed relief to the bullpen (though an 18-inning game kind of ruined that in the end).

In five starts, Toronto’s rotation pitched 31.1 IP, surrendering only 6 earned runs for a 1.72 ERA. They also walked only 9 batters and gave up 20 hits for a WHIP of 0.93. Throw in 24 strikeouts and you have a pretty solid week.

Josh Johnson threw a bit of a clunker yesterday, but was outstanding in his return from the DL on Tuesday in San Francisco. R.A. Dickey finally resembled the Cy Young winner that he is, with 8.1 shutout innings, and only two hits allowed, on Wednesday. Esmil Rogers continues to pitch well as a starter, and Mark Buehrle after a terrible start to the season, has now thrown four straight quality starts and has a 2.42 ERA in his past 26 innings.

Finally, after being down for so long, things are looking up.

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