Every Monday during the 2015 season, 500 Level Fan will take a look back at the week that was, giving readers a snapshot of all things Blue Jays, including three top stories and the Blue Jay player of the week.
This is what happened in week 6.
Week 6: May 11 – May 17
Record: 1 – 6
Season-to-date: 17 – 22
AL East: 5th, 5 GB of New York
Wild Card: 4.5 GB of 2nd Wild Card (Minnesota)
1. Houston: Where Dreams Go To Die
On July 31 of last season, the Jays showed up in Houston and won the first game of a four game set to improve to 60-50. They had a 3 game lead on Seattle for the second wild card spot, and were only 1.5 GB of the Orioles. That was the last good day of 2014. The Astros won the next three games to suck the life out of the Jays and start them on the path to a disastrous 9-17 August. Last Thursday the Jays arrived in Houston again, looking for some momentum to kickstart their 2015 campaign. Unfortunately, history repeated itself. Toronto was swept in four straight, losing games in any way imaginable. Blow a late lead with a bullpen collapse? Check. Have a starter get shelled? Check. Have the offense go missing? Check. The Blue Jays are now 2-9 in Houston since the Astros switched to the American League three years ago. Thankfully they don’t go back until next year.
2. What To Do With Dickey?
The knuckleball wasn’t knuckling on Friday night, as R.A. Dickey was torched by the Astros. He surrendered 7 ER and 2 HR in 5 IP, marking his second straight start (and 3rd in the past 5) that he has allowed 6 or more earned runs. On the season he has a poor 1-5 record, 5.76 ERA, and 1.36 WHIP, and leads the league in losses and earned runs. Not only has he been struggling badly, he also weakens the lineup when he starts, as Josh Thole replaces Russell Martin behind the plate, making it that much more difficult for the team to earn a W. The question now is what should the Jays do? With his huge salary, trading him will be next to impossible, and relegating him to the bullpen would likely be a disaster for a guy who relies on feel. The only real option is to keep sending him out there and hope he pulls himself out of this current funk. He has a history of improving as the weather gets warmer, so I’m still hopeful that he can deliver in 2015. I hope he proves me right.
3. Chris Colabello: Hall of Famer
He didn’t even make the team out of Dunedin, but Chris Colabello certainly is playing like a man on his way to Cooperstown. In 12 games, the 31 year old veteran is hitting .413 with a 1.003 OPS. He has a base hit in 9 of those 12 games, including 7 multi-hit games, and is one of the only Jays that is continuing to hit despite the current struggles of the team. It’s clear that this insane hot streak isn’t going to last (Colabello had a .649 OPS in 114 career games coming into this year), but as long as he keeps hitting, fans should keep enjoying it.
Player of the Week
Edwin Encarnacion, 1B
It took a while, but just like last season EE is starting to heat up in May. Edwin only had 4 hits last week, but all of them went for home runs. That’s how you can explain a strange slash line of a .182 average but a 1.035 OPS. He also scored 6 runs and drove in 6.
Down on the Farm
A look at how the minor league affiliates are doing
AAA – Buffalo: 19 – 18, 4th place
AA – New Hampshire: 18 – 19, 5th place
A+ – Dunedin: 16 – 21, 6th place
A – Lansing: 20 – 17 , T-2nd place
The Look Ahead
Back home to kick off a 10 game homestand. Time to make a move.
May 11-21 vs. LA Angels
May 22-24 vs. Seattle