The glass-half-full approach to Saturday’s Blue Jays 4-2 loss to the Boston Red Sox goes like this:
Toronto starter Marco Estrada had one bad inning, giving five hits and four runs in the bottom of the third and the hitters were facing David Price, one of the 10 best pitchers in the league for the last five years. Additionally, it’s Game 12, so there are 150 more to be played and this club was under .500 after 100 games, so pump the breaks, Chicken Little.
The glass-half-empty approach to Saturday’s Blue Jays 4-2 loss to the Boston Red Sox goes like this:
Boston had one big inning, touching up Marco Estrada for four runs on five hits in the bottom of the third, with Toronto giving up two hits and three baserunners over five scoreless innings the rest of the way home and this supposed juggernaut of an offense yet again couldn’t get anything going. They mustered three hits after Edwin Encarnacion doubled to center scoring Jose Bautista to cut the lead to 4-2.
That’s where it finished. The game was, in essence, done after the Top of the 4th.
Sure, some of that can be attributed to Price collecting nine strikeouts and not allowing any free passes, but when Saturday’s game is a replication of several other games this season where Toronto hitters weren’t facing their former teammate, yet delivered the same performance, that becomes a reason to be concerned.
Because this is supposed to be a team that can put crooked numbers on the board and pick up their pitchers when they have a rough inning or are without their best stuff, but so far, that’s not what is happening.
Right now, the pitchers have to be locked in and allowing next to nothing because timely hits and manufactured runs aren’t coming and no one other than Josh Donaldson, Bautista and Encarnacion are making consistent contact.
Chris Colabello put up another bagel and is now batting .045 on the season. Russell Martin has twice as many hits this season as Colabello, good for a .091 average. Troy Tulowitzki sits at .119 after having a couple “decent games” over the last week, where decent games are 1-for-4 nights with an RBI or an extra base hit. And there are no other options available to the Jays right now.
It’s not like Justin Smoak is swinging a hot stick (or has at any point in his career) and the rest of the bench mob – Darwin Barney, Ezequiel Carrera and Josh Thole – aren’t exactly known for their sticks.
Yeah, this team will be better when a couple of these guys find their strokes and it won’t be this bad all season, but are “The Big 3” staying hot throughout this period? Is that streak going to last for six, eight, 10 games?
Those are the reasons why Saturday’s game and this middling start to the season should be cause for concern.
Player of the Game: Jose Bautista
This is clutching at straws a little because no one really had a great game for Toronto, but Bautista went 2-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI, boosting his average to .297 and upping his on-base percentage to a staggering .480 through 12 games.
Given how well “Joey Bats” and the reigning MVP have been playing so far this season, it feels like we might be trending towards one of them – or both of them – laying into their teammates for their lack of production some time soon.
On Deck: If there is a silver lining for Toronto, it’s that Aaron Sanchez will take the mound today against Steven Wright. The 23-year-old has been lights out in his first two starts, allowing three combined runs. The trouble, of course, is that he’s received four runs in those two outings and the bullpen let him down both times.