Well here’s something that probably should turn into a regular feature, and maybe is finally starting to: a collection of thoughts on what went on over the weekend that aren’t really about the weekend — especially when they’re delayed because… well… just because (and because Monday was an off-day, so as long as I can get these done before the first game of the new week, we’re golden, right?)…
I ranted enough about the Jays’ unfortunate bullpen meltdown on Thursday — and newsflash: if you weren’t being the kind of hyperventilating child that I was addressing, um… I wasn’t addressing you — that there didn’t really seem to be any sort of need to do so again following Friday’s near-meltdown and Sunday’s disaster. Yes, it’s an awful, frustrating, and awful frustrating way to watch the team lose a game and to have the three hours you’ve invested in go up in a puff of smoke (or, at least on Thursday, in a puff of dirt from three feet in front of the plate, where Santos kept bouncing pitches), but it happens.
I know that’s never a satisfying answer for everybody, but this here isn’t a satisfying game. The best of the supremely best of the very fucking best only get a hit a little more than three times out of ten. If a pitcher is allowing fewer than a run every three innings, he’s doing extremely well. The tricky thing is, I suppose, is reconciling that with the fact that our team’s failure means their opponents’ success. It’s maybe not quite so simple as saying, “get used to failure, for fuck sakes!” But… actually it’s pretty close.
That isn’t to suggest we can’t take anything from what happened in those two games, but in the overly emotional afterglow it seems that a lot of people have a really, really hard time not blowing things way out of proportion. That’s only natural, but I certainly feel like it serves me well to remember such things. I mean, someone in the comments was having a fit on Thursday that John Gibbons had only Steve Delabar, Sergio Santos, and J.A. Happ in the bullpen at the start of the eighth, and others, of course, felt he saved too many bullets by not removing Aaron “eleven unintentional walks over 100 innings prior to this season” Loup, even though a left-hander was coming up. Hard for him to win, eh?
Obviously, it’s not wrong to quibble with the decisions, but I can’t comprehend not giving a whole lot of rope to a manager on this stuff — just as I can’t comprehend being the kind of person who acts like he knows a move has to be made when there are obvious pros and cons all over the place, or who acts like strike-throwing is mostly a matter of effort, determination, force of will, and not the end product of a biomechanical action that is simultaneously both delicate — always on the brink of going awry — and violent as all fuck.
Baseball is hard.
Would have been nice if the club went 7-2 on the road trip, though, yes.