Sunday, 1 June 2008

Lookin' up!

What a month of dirty sexy baseball!

If I had told you guys on April 30 that you should not be so down because the Jays were gonna win 20 games in May you would have believed me, right? Fact is, when the Jays have a good team (as they have had all year this year) I always expect them to play .600 ball. Usually they don't, of course - but I'm an optimist. Looking back over May, I predicted one fewer win vs. Chicago and one more vs. TB. I kind of figured on 1-2 in Oakland but I would have predicted 18 wins or so because I had no delusion that the Jays were as bad as that Fortnight From Hell that was the second half of April.

Now, I admit, I'm an unrealistic optimist and I know it going in.

If the Jays won every game I thought they should on paper they would be over 100 wins a year. I know that's not going to happen. But I believe in this group of players (filler like Wilkerson aside). Just to put it in print here so I can be on the record, I'll predict at least 16 wins in June.

Rather than review the individual stats for the month of May which you can find on any stat site, I thought I'd show you the numbers accumulated in the 19 games since the freakish lack of offense ended. The natural assumption might be that the Jays are over-achieving or that the team is getting production from all corners which can't last, but it ain't so McGee.

Stewart -- .319 - .397 - .406 - 803 - 69
Hill ------- .283 - .358 - .317 - .675 - 60
Rios ------ .235 - .279 - ..284 - .563 - 81
Rolen ---- .309 - .382 - .441 - .823 - 68
Stairs ---- .220 - .319 - .317 - .636 - 41
Overbay - .290 - .397 - .532 - .929 - 62
Wilk'son - .246 - .303 - .377 - .680 - 61
Zaun ------ .219 - .306 - .344 - .650 - 32
Scutaro --- .313 - .378 - .403 - .781 - 67
Eckstein -- .429 - .556 - .571 - 1.127 - 14
Barajas --- .406 - .441 - .719 - 1.160 - 32
Mench ---- .280 - .308 - .320 - .618 - 25
Inglett ---- .227 - .227 - .409 - .636 - 22

(that last column is at bats)

As you can see, Barajas has rocked the joint in half the catching AB, Eckstien has returned on fire, Stewart has had a good run and Overbay has been carrying the club on his shoulders but on the flip side, Wilkerson brings his punch & judy bat most days, Rios took most of the month off, Zaun underachieved reasonable expectations and Hill was 100 points of OPS off of even his ordinary line. Matt Stairs, too, has had it rough even in the good times. Even the Difference Maker is easily capable of a 50 point higher OPS in most seasons.

The Jays, collectively, had 634 at bats and posted a good-but-not great line of .289 - .393 - .407 - .800 over that 19 games. they averaged less than one HR a game and about 2.5 SBH per game. And yet, in so doing, then averaged 4.74 runs per game over that stretch.

In short, they mounted good solid offensive outcome while STILL having hey members of the team quite capable of doing much better. Put another way, even though I will obviously confirm this is not a team that's gonna play over .700 ball most of the time, there is NO reason to suspect that they are achieving results here, as individuals, that can't be sustained. There's no reason to expect any more sub-.500 runs. The second half of April is pretty clearly a severe aberration from the norm for this team.

While I do have to acknowledge that the time is coming when we have to take the Rays as a serious contender for our playoff spot, the continued troubles in Detroit, Cleveland, and to a lesser extent New York tell me that this team, for the first time in a long time, is almost certainly gonna play some real important September baseball.

~WillRain

1 comment:

eyebleaf said...

meaningful baseball in september. that's all i've been asking for. what a month.