Unfortunately for the brilliant Jays fan who showed up to Saturdays contest vs the Rays, with what may be one of the better crowd signs ever, I am indeed in fact telling you that there is… wait for it… cue the Vince McMahon entrance music… NO CHANCE for post season baseball in Toronto.
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but in all honesty, what did we expect?
Despite being still mathematically “in it”, the Jays post season hopes went out the window when they failed to take the series, let alone sweep it, from the Rays this past weekend. It’s hard to figure out what the bigger gut punch was:
a) Blowing an outstanding performance by JA Happ in Friday’s 1-0 loss. Trick or treat Happ gave up two hits, one walk and struck out seven over seven innings. His only blemish was serving up a home run to back up catcher Ryan Hannigan.
b) Getting CARVED UP by a virtual no name in the same Friday contest. Seriously! Who is Nathan Karns? This guy only managed to throw a two hit shutout over seven innings while striking out eight Blue Jays! The more astounding thing is how the Jays were suppose to be “lucky” to be missing the Rays young LHP Drew Smyly, who was shut down with an innings cap earlier in the week.
c) Rallying in the 8th and 9th innings, including John Mayberry Jr’s epic game tying solo shot in the ninth with two outs, only to immediately give the Rays the win in the 10th. I wouldn’t even be that mad about losing a game after rallying to tie it, but it was the way that they GAVE AWAY the game in the 10th that was a pretty big kick in the dick. Seriously! Bases loaded with no out?! Come on!
The sad thing is that we should have been prepping the Blue Jays obituary a week ago when they managed to lose a series to the lowly Red Sox, including a disastrous Friday night affair that saw the Jays bullpen blow not one, but TWO SAVES in the SAME GAME.
And then… Just when you thought you were done with them, they REEL you back in… Just like they do every September, the Jays offer a glimmer of hope. That glimmer came in a series sweep of the pitiful Cubs, a sweep that saw the Jays offense pound the Cubs a combined 28-3 in the three game set.
And just when you start believing that there may ACTUALLY be a chance… a relative no named pitcher pitching for a cellar dweller comes in and crushes that chance.
In reality we shouldn’t pin their recent downfall on the reason there will be no post season baseball AGAIN in Toronto. This season was doomed ever since the Jays pulled off an AMAZING May and went 21-9. Despite winning the first five games in June, the Jays finished the month 12-15 and followed that up with back to back monthly records of 15-11 in July and a dismal 9-17 in August.
Perhaps if they could have finished even REMOTELY close to .500 in August then we would not had to have worried about these MUST WIN and MUST SWEEP series now.
As it stands, the Jays are now in Baltimore for a three game set against the AL East leading Orioles, who have reduced their playoff clinching “magic number” to three games. Somehow I get the feeling that we have a STRONG chance of seeing the O’s clinch a post season berth during this series.
The Blue Jays will send their (potential) young ace in the making (Marcus Stroman) to the mound against savvy lefty Bruce Chen in Monday’s opener. I have to admit that despite ANOTHER year of having to “look forward” to NEXT year, at least next year we get to enter a full year with Stro, Hutch and Sanchez, with Pompey and Norris a call away in Buffalo.
As long as they can remain healthy, they future does look bright indeed for the Blue Jays.
21 Years and counting…
Monday: Stroman (10-5) vs Chen (15-4)
Tuesday: Hutchison (10-11) vs Jimenez (4-9)
Wednesday: Happ (9-10) vs Norris (13-8)