Will the real Blue Jays please stand up? Are they the team that swept the Twins and took two from the Orioles on the road, or are they the team now looking for a quick escape from St. Petersburg?
Many things in life are more important than baseball, but my heart and mind don’t always see it that way. With the Blue Jays having now lost two games in a row, I can’t seem to think of anything else. I can’t seem to shake those losses from my head.
Everything seemed fine at the start of the week. Coming off a sweep of the Twins, the Blue Jays took two of three from the Orioles on the road. That was huge, and it pushed them into first place in the division by two games. Their next stop was St. Petersburg, Florida to play the lowly Rays. Life looked good.
The Rays, unfortunately, had other designs, handing the Blue Jays two straight losses. They massacred us in the first game, and they mowed down Marco Estrada in the second one. If it wasn’t for a last-minute push from the Blue Jays, yesterday’s game would have been a complete letdown. Now it’s only a partial letdown, but a letdown none the less.
Just when you think this team has figured things out, just when you think the bats and pitching have finally aligned, something comes apart; another wheel falls off. It was stressful at times to watch last season’s team because they had so much ground to make up. It’s frustrating at times to watch this season’s team because they’ve let so much ground slip through their grasp.
They could have easily swept the Indians in their last meeting, but had to settle for one win against two losses because the bullpen couldn’t keep things together. They could have swept the Orioles, too, if the bats showed a little more life and Jason Grilli, one of the few bona fide warriors in the bullpen, didn’t decide to reveal that he’s actually human at the worst possible moment.
These are only three of the many wins that aren’t wins because the Blue Jays couldn’t hold things down. They aren’t playing with the same swagger and sense of purpose that carried them to the post-season last season; they don’t have the same momentum on their side. There’s no killer instinct here.
What makes things worse is that Boston seems to have that momentum and instinct. The Red Sox are doing what good teams are supposed to do: beat bad teams. With a pair of convincing wins over the Athletics this weekend, they’re now tied for first in the division with the Blue Jays. The Orioles sit two games back.
I know the season isn’t over, and there remains plenty of time for the Blue Jays to finally do their thing, but it feels like this is Boston’s moment, it feels like the Blue Jays are just there to toy with our hearts. Close, but never quite there: that’s how I would describe this season so far.
I don’t like it, and I can’t stop thinking about it.
*FEATURED IMAGE CREDIT: freaktography UNDER CC BY-SA 2.0
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