Seattle at Toronto, April 8-10

Monday, April 08 2024 @ 01:00 PM EDT

Contributed by: Magpie

At last, at long last, the Blue Jays come home.

I looked at the schedule and immediately started muttering T.S. Eliot verses to myself. This was because long ago I acquired an expensive education and I have yet to get tired of Showing Off:

April is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.

That's for when one is feeling gloomy - I can also whip out some Chaucer on better days. But Eliot seemed prudent for this occasion. Ten games on the road, against two teams that had better records than last year's Blue Jays and winding up with a trip to the Bronx (now, as always, the true focus of Evil in the modern world.) Oh, and their two best relief pitchers are on the Injured List? And the particular role of Fifth Starter is giving me Spinal Tap drummer vibes? Expectations would need to be tempered. The curve I was grading on went something like this:

10-0 This is not the real life. This is definitely fantasy.
9-1 Should we start planning the parade?
8-2 This team is pretty good
7-3 This team might be pretty good
6-4 Outstanding. Who plays .600 ball on the road?
5-5 Solid. A job well done.
4-6 Acceptable, under the circumstances.
3-7 That's a little disappointing.
2-8 That's very disappointing.
1-9 Leafs are still playing, right?
0-10 Köpfe rollen!

The Jays came in at Acceptable Under the Circumstances and so did their next opponent. The Jays' expansion cousins, another team built around the strength of their starting rotation, another team with post-season ambitions despite the depressing presence of a couple of powerhouse outfits in their own division, also went 4-6 in their first ten games. Like the Jays, the Mariners have been allowing quite a few more runs than they anticipated (52 for Seattle, 53 for Toronto) while managing to score fewer than they need (just 31 for Seattle, 36 for Toronto.) And this off-season, the Mariners even traded one of their most hyped prospect to a National League team, presumably because it had worked so well for the Blue Jays the previous winter.

Cousins with so much in common!

Well, no one said it was going to be easy. For anyone.

A fair bit of the early season chatter about has been on the topic of pitchers and why they seem to be breaking even more frequently than usual. I refer you to Ben Lindbergh at The Ringer ("MLB’s Next Order of Business? Saving Pitchers"), Andy McCullough ("MLB insiders “pretty worried” by rise in arm injuries to top young starting pitchers") and Ken Rosenthal ("Pitching injury crisis has no easy fix, but baseball’s leaders better get to work on one") at The Athletic. And since we went to "press," Jeff Passan at ESPN ("Why MLB must act now on alarming rate of pitching injuries") has chimed in.Something probably needs to be done, if only people could figure out what that something should be.


Mon 8 April - Castillo (0-2, 6.75) vs Berrios (1-0, 2.25)
Tue 9 April - Kirby (1-1, 5.23) vs Bassitt (0-2, 7.71)
Wed 10 April - Gilbert (0-0, 3.55) vs Kikuchi (0-1, 2.79)