Sports. Honestly. Since 2011

Jays Swept by the Rays to Start Second Half

Well, that wasn’t a great start to the second of the half of the season, was it?

The Toronto Blue Jays started the second half of the season at home, on a very exciting weekend at that, but still managed to get swept by the Tampa Bay Rays. The Rays won 8-5 on Friday, 4-3 on Saturday and 4-3 again on Sunday. Each of these games could have been won by the Blue Jays, but their scoring abilities this series really crippled them and helped the Rays to victory.

It’s disappointing to see them lose, especially on days like Saturday and Sunday. Saturday’s tilt had over 1000 Expos fans travel to Toronto, part of a trip created by Expos Nation to show MLB that the Expos fans want a baseball team in Montreal again.  It was a great showing of support and would have been special for all the Expos fans to see the Toronto Blue Jays win. The Sunday loss was even worse for the home team because it was the day the great Jays Slugger, Carlos Delgado, was enshrined in the Level of Excellence at the Rogers Center. It was a great move by the organization to honor one of the best Jays sluggers of all-time.  Too bad the team couldn’t win that day.

What makes all of this worse is that the attendance for all three games was 33 266, 42 639 and 41 247. This year’s attendance for Toronto games has been fantastic and they are sure to hit over 2 million people by the end of the season, it’s just disappointing that they aren’t able to win in front of such large crowds. It would make more sense if they were losing and no one was going to the games, but this season people are showing up despite the underachieving team. The Blue Jays are ranked 14th in the league in overall and average attendance, which is over 31 000.  Unfortunately the excellent fan support hasn’t propelled the team in the least.

The situation has gotten so bad that Mark Buehrle and RA Dickey both feel this team is probably just overrated after each starter suffered with a loss in their pitching performances. Dickey pointed out that it doesn’t mean this team should be blown up and remade, rather it just needs to add some pieces to fix their problems and correct hurdles. He’s right, this isn’t “one season and everyone is gone”.  A few tweaks here and there and the Jays could be in playoff contention for the next couple of seasons.

What the Jays management needs to do is not blow up this team.  What needs to be done is add a starting pitcher through a trade or free agency, make sure to extend Josh Johnson and not lose him to New York or Boston.  Like Greg Zaun said earlier in the week, have a few pitchers in the minors who are ready to start in the Majors so if injuries happen they will be ready with a replacement – I know, easier said then done, and apparently the team have only a few plausible kids coming through the system right now. Toronto needs to stop using relief pitchers as starters.  It drives me and a lot of other Blue Jays fans to the brink of insanity.

The good news for the Jays is Melky Cabrera is back from injury and JA Happ is making strides to returning to the big club as he is set to start in Buffalo (Toronto’s AAA Farm team).  He would really help the rotation and hopefully Brendan Morrow will follow suit and be back soon. This way Esmil Rogers can go back to the bullpen where he belongs.

The only problem with so many returning players is that the Jays have to send some of the players back to the minors, which is understandable.  What I don’t understand is why Sergio Santos will get a chance in the bullpen once he’s ready. Santos has proven to be injury prone and frankly pretty useless for the Jays in the time he’s played for them. The bullpen is great without them and I don’t think he should get a chance until he proves himself in triple A.  Granted, I think Kawasaki should be with the Jays now too. Good news is Kyle Drabek is pitching in Dunedin.  It doesn’t mean we’ll see him this year, but we could have him as one of those pitchers we can use next year if injuries happen.

For now we need to see what this team can do for the rest of July and the beginning of August.  If they are eliminated by that point, then the team should work hard for next season and hope the results are better. The amazing part about baseball is that it isn’t over until they are mathematically out, which means there is still hope, however little there might be.

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Main Photo Credit: Keith Allison via photopin cc


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