Now that was a fine game of mid-afternoon baseball for a… uh… a… what is this? A Wednesday?
Anyway, that’s more fucking like it, eh Jays? A right proper offensive outburst to distract from the August version of Jays pitching still giving up too many runs, and our learning about the franchise trying to force the Creighton Blue Jays to change their logo, and their history of being frivolously protecting their brand (trying, along with the Rays, to stop a pizza place called Ray Jay’s, and trademark filings against Jay-Z!), and the Enarnacion’s Parrot shirt stuff, and the club’s social media being apparently outsourced to some MLB drone (who accidentally updated the Rangers score on the Jays’ Twitter feed), to that thing some player said to Arash Madani yesterday, which I still haven’t written about, but probably will, even though it’s kinda dumb.
Yep, just a good ol’ solid win to end an abysmal road trip and set up a huge fight for playoff positioning on the upcoming home stand, with opportunities abound, even though it’s the Rays, Red Sox, and Yankees coming in. The Jays then go to Tampa, go to Boston, then host the Cubs and the Rays before beginning their two week push against the teams ahead of them (at Baltimore, at New York, vs. Seattle, vs. Baltimore) as the season comes to a close.
They’re still not licked yet. The names are scary and the teams are maybe better than their records show, but the Jays certainly have seven very winnable series coming up, with the three games against the Yankees being the only ones (barring a strong run from Tampa) in which they’ll see a team with a record above .500. It’s a small consolation, but if back in the spring you had told me this is where they’d be at this point (and… y’know… probably didn’t tell me the specific teams they were about to play, only their records) I would sure as fuck have taken it in a heartbeat.
Four games (the amount behind the Jays currently sit in the Wild Card race) can evaporate fast. Shit, so can the 8.5 they now trail the Orioles by.
Ask the Jays.
The window of time left in the season to make up for mounting losses is closing quickly for the Jays.
I’ll talk about what was said to Arash Madani in a separate post, and so, other than that first sentence, what more is there even to say?
August? More like the Ugh-est, amiright?
So the Jays lost again, and continued not doing themselves any favours. They wasted an excellent start from R.A. Dickey (season ERA: 3.95 now), failing again to get any semblance of offence going. They’re now 7.5 games behind the Baltimore Orioles in the AL East, and 3.0 games back of the two teams who now hold the second Wild Card spot, the Seattle Mariners and Detroit Tigers. They’re 3-9 since the calendar flipped to this month. Not a lot of folks would bet on this club being three games better than those two over forty games, or 7.5 better than the Orioles in that span — especially at this rate — and I couldn’t blame them for declining to do so, either. But as we’ve discussed ad nauseam around here of late, it certainly can happen, too.
Edwin coming back should help, and the White Sox and Brewers certainly ought to be better for what ails them than the Mariners were.
The longer they keep failing to get back to winning, though…
Another one for the loss column. And so reasonable people will be reasonable about it, and garbage clowns will be garbage clowns. Whatever.
I’m writing this at 3 AM, which — amazingly — is not all that much farther from the end of this afternoon’s game than the end of it was to the start of the game.
What an incredible game and an incredible series. We’ll all have heart attacks by the time we’re through this season if this is what it’s going to be like, but if we can step back and enjoy the baseball for what it is? Holy awesome! And as much as it hurts that the Jays didn’t sweep a series they could have swept, or that it took so achingly long to win a game when they needed to get to Seattle to get set for some more tough pitching matchups… um… holy fucking shitting fucking awesome! I might have had to leave the house before the end of it — watched it, though, amidst a big trivia win, FYI — but I couldn’t let myself not acknowledge on here what a game we all just took in.
Maybe it will ultimately fade into memory and become nothing more than a footnote, but it’s not crazy to think that it could go down in Jays lore, either — the time over two weekend days that, on the way to their first playoff berth in two decades, they kept the dream alive, despite all of Juan Francisco’s ineptitude, largely on the backs of Marcus Stroman and Chad Jenkins, and demonstrated that the big-rotation playoff contenders they may run into if they do make it aren’t nearly as unassailable as they may look on paper.
We can only be hopeful of all that for now, but this series sure could have gone a way where “hopeful” wouldn’t have had much of a place in our vocabulary. That it didn’t — that they clawed back a game from the Orioles and Yankees this evening, and showed that they can play with the Tigers if given the chance — is as fantastic as it is a reminder of how frayed our nerves will get when things really start to have meaning.
That maybe sounds painful and exhausting and every other emotion we’re fraught with, but it also sounds another thing: fucking awesome.
Now that is how you finish a ballgame.
Didn’t even get to see Adam Dunn pitch in this one or nothing!
Still, though, Buehrle is right:
On to tomorrow!