Baltimore at Toronto, August 15-17
Monday, August 15 2022 @ 07:00 AM EDT
Contributed by: Magpie
I warned you about these guys. Believe me now?
Every once in a while, I'm not wrong.
On the one hand, the Blue Jays are certainly scuffling, having lost 7 of their last 11 games. On the other hand, they're still ahead of the pack in the Wild Card hunt. They've actually gained ground on the AL East leader. You may look at this as a Missed Opportunity. You may look at this as a very pleasant lack of Bad Consequences for their indifferent play of late. Certainly, every team that doesn't play their home games at 1000 Vin Scully Avenue.generally comes up with stretches of play like this over the course of the long, long season. So you may look at it however you like. It probably says more about you than the team, anyway.
But that's not what's on my mind. The Blue Jays, as you might have noticed, had a fairly quiet deadline. They did bring in four players, three of them pitchers, and one could perhaps even make the point that improving the bullpen is more likely to help a team in post-season play than upgrading the fifth starter. But obviously none of the new Blue Jays even remotely resembled a game-changer. So I think we may safely assume that the price being asked, of the Blue Jays at least, for a Luis Castillo or Frankie Montas exceeded what Ross Atkins thought it prudent to pay.
But I'm also beginning to suspect that Atkins came to the same conclusion this summer that Alex Anthopoulos reached at the deadline in 2014.
This is not our year.
Even more, this is not the team. This team simply isn't as good as I, and many of you, thought it was going to be. Well, we were wrong, who cares. But this team is definitely not as good as Ross Atkins thought it was going to be. That's a bigger deal, and he'll have some explaining to do. This team isn't 61-52 because of bad luck in the close games. They're not 61-52 because they don't hit in the clutch, or because they've been crippled by injuries, or because Vlad is only the eighth best hitter in the league this year instead of the best. They're 61-52 because that's who they are. A good team, on pace to win about 87 games. In a landscape where Astros and Dodgers roam free, that's not likely to be good enough. Even though anything can happen in the post-season, and usually does.
It also means that this group might not be the group you make those kind of all-in, now-or-never moves for. It's going to be back to the drawing board, and see what can be done this winter. Obviously, you don't say that to the press. And you don't say it to the players. You do tell your boss, whether it's Paul Beeston or Mark Shapiro, what you're doing and why.
Every once in a while I'm not wrong, but I certainly could be wrong right now. Wouldn't that be nice? The glass isn't half-empty - it's half-full. Because after all, things do still have a chance to provide a happier ending for you and me and Ross Atkins this year than they did for Anthopoulos in 2014. That was a veteran team that understood immediately what the GM's lack of activity at the deadline really meant. They understood what it said about his opinion of them. They promptly lost 10 of their next 13 games, and went 9-17 that month. This year's team isn't as good as anyone expected it to be, but it still holds a ticket to the post-season dance. The team in front of them in the division has still lost 9 of its last 11 games and has now gone 16-22 since the beginning of July. This Jays team is still very much the same group that got really, really hot last September. We don't know yet how it's going to end. It's baseball. No one knows anything, and anything can still happen.
I suppose that's why we'll be watching.
Mon 15 Aug - Bradish (1-4, 6.42) vs Kikuchi (4-6, 5.13)
Tue 16 Aug - Kremer (4-4, 3.69) vs Manoah (12-5, 2.56)
Wed 17 Aug - Voth (3-1, 3.21) vs Stripling (5-3, 3.16)