OK, now this is just getting stupid. J.A. Happ versus Justin Verlander, and the pitcher who ends up surrendering fewer hits, fewer walks, fewer runs, and comes away getting the 7-3 win is Happ. The guy that fans were mind-blowingly eager to run out of town a few weeks ago, because he’s “not a major league pitcher” or whatever hopelessly clouded things I saw certain people saying about him. Not that he’s even great! Not that he was even great today — his WPA for the afternoon was negative! And not that he didn’t benefit from a couple well timed double-plays and a typically improbable slice of amazingness from Chad Jenkins, who pitched and inexplicably clean 2.1 innings, allowing just one single before things started to come unraveled with two outs in the ninth. But after Jenkins allowed a single then a walk, John Gibbons just called in Casey Janssen, who took all of one pitch to lock it down. What. The. Fuck?
And double what the fuck?: The Jays have won five straight and are now 37-24, five games up on the second-place Orioles in the AL East — a club who, themselves, has a four game win streak going, during which they’ve gained precisely zero ground. Heading home to face the not-exactly-torrid Cardinals, the Jays are winners of 14 of their last 16, and 17 of their last 20. In the last month they’ve swept the other two current AL division leaders (A’s, Tigers), all four of last year’s AL playoff teams (A’s, Tigers, Rays, Red Sox) and took two of three from 2013′s play-in losers (Cleveland), and the always strong (except when injured as shit) Rangers, to boot!
And it’s not just the team! As Shi Davidi points out, “The list of starting pitchers the Toronto Blue Jays have beaten over the past month already included Cliff Lee, A.J. Burnett, C.J. Wilson, Justin Masterson, Yu Darvish, Clay Buchholz, Jon Lester, Scott Kazmir and Alex Cobb before Justin Verlander became their latest victim Thursday afternoon.”
It’s insane. And there’s even more that’s insane: Navarro with a two-out RBI single and Kratz with a two-run single after that (also later a runner thrown out at second) in an inning begun with Bautista reaching on a Torii Hunter error. Brett Lawrie with a home run — off Verlander! — and his typical defensive excellence. Juan Francisco, regressing to the mean though his numbers may be, still doing Juan Francisco-ish things.
It’s just… it’s absurd. Like I said, they were playing with house money, having already won the series as they sent Happ to face Verlander, and I guess sometimes when you’re winning things just keep on going your way. I’d say it’s all too much, but holy shit it so fucking isn’t. More of this! More of this! More!!