Nine games, nine losses. What a road trip! In fact, it was the worst road trip in Blue Jays history. After being swept by the Red Sox, the Braves and now the Orioles, today’s late inning collapse was just the cherry on top of the shit sundae.
At least one thing was different about this game; there were actually runs on the board for the Blue Jays, 10 of them to be exact. And yet, that wasn’t even enough to end the eight game losing streak. Kudos to the offense though for finally coming through and giving some run support for Roy Halladay.
The bullpen on the other hand, deserves all the blame for this game. The way this game was going, I don’t think there was any pitcher in the bullpen that could have stopped the bleeding. If it wasn’t Jesse Carlson, it would’ve been Brandon League. If it wasn’t Brian Wolfe, then it would’ve been Shawn Camp. I don’t necessarily agree with the sequence of relievers that was paraded out there, but I’m just disappointed at how it went down.
One interesting school of thought that has been brought up is that the Blue Jays have been playing over their head these first three months of the season, and now they’re starting to show their true colours. After being shot into the stratosphere above the American League East, some think that the Jays are finally coming back down to earth. I received an interesting email from a reader named Renaissance Man in which he offers his explanation for the current losing skid:
“Whether we are aware if it or not, every person for the most part, tends to operate within their “Comfort Zone,” which could also be more accurately be referred to as their “Familiar Zone,” and it’s within that zone where an individual will subconsciously strive to stay, because that is where they have spent the majority of their lives, and thus it is comfortable and familiar.
At the start of the 2009 season, the euphoria of the new management’s influences, spilled over from the end of the last season, and right out of the gate, the Jays were not only leading the tough AL East, but they were also unexpectedly leading the league in several offensive categories.
This was totally uncharted waters for the collective subconscious minds of the hitters specifically; they were way outside of their Comfort of Familiar Zone, so unwittingly, and unintentionally, they managed to sabotage their efforts to put runs on the board.”
You don’t necessarily have to agree with every point there, but it’s certainly something to think about. There is no doubt that there is a mental element to the game of baseball, but I also think that luck often plays a part in the outcome of a game. We have been very fortunate to see this early the kind of potential that the Toronto Blue Jays have. Their reign atop the American League East was no fluke, but their slide from the top has been tough to watch.
As far as an explanation for today’s game? The best answer I can offer is that the bullpen sucked. Just plain sucked. As you can see above, it was a rough day at the office for Jesse Carlson. Lately, he has coughed up a lot of runs and his stock in the bullpen is plummeting very quickly. I know that Cito is depending on Carlson as the lefty specialist, but Jason Frasor actually has better numbers this year against lefties limiting them to a .160 average. So is this a case of Carlson being misused in his role, or has he (just like the Blue Jays) come back down to earth? I think it’s a bit of both.
At least we can seek solace in that the worst road trip in club history is finally over. The Blue Jays are 16-6 at the Rogers Centre this season, and will be hungry to end this nine game losing streak. In the meantime, we’re all dealing with the streak in our own different ways. Like many, I have turned to the hooch to provide some comfort in these difficult times. Eyebleaf has also fallen off the wagon, LJ is drinking straight vodka, and Tao is enjoying the soothing flavour of nicotine once again.
Shots, anyone? Actually … just give me the whole bottle.