The All-Star break couldn’t come soon enough.
Here are three things from week 15:
Week 15: July 7 – July 13
Record: 2 – 4
1. Houses of Horrors
Yankee Stadium. Tropicana Field. The West Coast. Where are three places the Blue Jays hate playing?
Toronto’s failure to win in Tampa Bay has been well documented, and the club blew yet another golden chance to end a long run of futility in Florida. After winning Friday night the Jays were given a gift when David Price was scratched from his Saturday afternoon start. Surely this would be the long awaited series victory at the Trop! But no – a bullpen implosion (yet again) cost the Jays the win, and they limped out of Tampa with their tails between their legs after being shutout yesterday.
But there is something just as bad about the West Coast for Blue Jay fans. The team never seems to play well in California (or Seattle), and this past week was no exception. After being dismantled by the A’s in Oakland, the Jays headed to Angels Stadium and promptly lost 2 of 3 to the Angels, including a very winnable game where – you guessed it – the bullpen gave it away.
So the Jays ended the first half of the season with a 2-8 road trip, but good news awaits. The teams opens the second half Friday night with a seven game homestand against the reeling Rangers and Red Sox. The ship has to be righted now, or else it may never will.
2. Injuries, Injuries, and More Injuries!
First Brett Lawrie. Then Edwin Encarnacion. Now Adam Lind and Nolan Reimold. Toronto’s disabled list is seemingly growing by the day. And that list doesn’t even include Jose Bautista (playing with a sore hamstring), Jose Reyes (sore shoulder), Colby Rasmus (wrist), and Munenori Kawasaki (hamstring).
It’s hard enough to win in this league when a team is fully healthy, but it is downright impossible when players are dropping like flies. Toronto simply doesn’t have the depth – either on the bench or at the minor league level – to deal with a barrage of injuries. Which means there are two options. The first is for Alex Anthopoulos to get on the phone and fix this team. Make some trades for healthy bodies who can help the lineup immediately. It’s pretty clear that guys like Anthony Gose, Kevin Pilar, and Brad Glenn don’t have what it takes to hit in the big leagues.
The second option is to embrace some non-traditional healing practices and start using them during the All-Star break. I’m talking about ointments, teas, rubs, grains, anything that can heal a broken bone or a tender muscle. Get Lawrie to start ingesting coconut oil, and Edwin to start drinking weird smoothies.
That might be our only hope.
3. Dickey Gettin’ His Groove Back
Times have been tough lately. The Blue Jays have been losing games like crazy and are threatening to throw away all the good they did in May. But maybe, just maybe, not everything is going wrong.
In his past three starts, it certainly appears that R.A. Dickey has turned his season around. He has pitched extremely well in losses to Oakland and Tampa Bay, and a victory over the Angels: 21 IP, 15 hits allowed, 4 ER, 7 BB, 16 K, 1.71 ERA, 1.05 WHIP.
Remember that last season Dickey had a tremendous second half. If the last three starts indicate the beginning of another second half surge, perhaps the Jays aren’t as dead as we all thought they were.