Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Ten! Ten Wonderful Wins!

Your hometown team was ballin' again today, as they are lately wont to do, picking up two more impressive victories as if they were drunken sluts in a Girls Gone Wild video. In the first game AJ Burnett threw seven innings of 1 hit ball (he had a no-hitter through five) and struck out 7 "good guys." In the second, three Blue Jays homered (Scutaro, Rolen, and Wells) and the Jays cruised to the 8-2 win.


Also noted in passing, Alex Rios was the AL player of the week last week after hitting .414 in the first week of September. Continuing the running report on the progress he has made under Cito, Alex is now hitting .324 - .353 - .568 - .923 in 67 games played. Pro-rated to 162 games, Rios would have an incredible 104 XBH.

By the way, the Jays as a team are now 43-27 since Cito took over, which is a .614 winning percentage. That pace over a full season will get you 100 wins - only one AL team (the Angels) have more wins in that period of time. In case it escaped your notice, something similar is happening in Houston. The difference is, though, that the Astros are overachieving (they have an overall run deferential of -16, while the Jays have an RD of +96 (third best in the majors). And all this almost entirely without Dustin McGowan, with Marcum ineffective in half of his starts since the switch, without Aaron Hill ever having swung a bat under Cito, with Scott Rolen being a non-factor and Greg Zaun almost entirely out of gas.

THIS is what I was talking about back in March when I said this was a very good team. It's obviously not what I envisioned, but you never know how the details are going to play out. I'm NOT and never have been in the "Gibbons is a moron" crowd...I still tend to think he's going to get another job at some point (probably in the NL) and have a fine little career. And I was very adamant in April and June that this group of players could not continue to lose in such an aberrational way. BUT, I don't have a factual way to argue with the folks who will argue that Cito made the difference and JP blundered badly in not making the switch sooner EXCEPT to say this:

The Jays went 20-10 in May and were five games over and were 4 games out and well positioned to have had an excellent year. They had hit poorly in key situations (freakishly so) but had every reason to expect that to regress to the mean and to look ahead with optimism. Nineteen days later the Jays had played their manager out of a job. I, for one, do NOT consider three weeks "waiting too long" - even if the math knocks us out of the post season (7 games out with 18 to play!). If the Jays had played mediocre ball the whole time under Gibby, then yeah, but a 20-10 month rightfully buys a man some time.

Meanwhile, if we sweep the White Sox it will be, I believe, the longest winning streak in club history.



dave said...

I don't care if the Jays are teasing me, it's an amazing feeling tease.

(and with Doc going next? 11 in a row is not a long shot)

ari said...

Gregg Zaun out of gas? Ridiculous. Just because Cito chooses not to play him...

Solid post though.

Jays2010 said...

If the Jays just gain a half game before the series on Friday vs Boston I'd be satisfied...followed by a 3-1 weekend in Boston...we'd be 4.5 games out of the WC with a 3game home series vs the BoSox. At the least, it is a meaningful race and I'll take it!

Great post!

Gil Fisher said...

I concur with Ari, in fact, it's been quite useful having Rolen, Snider and sometimes Zaun at the bottom of the lineup.

It's also nice when Wells, Rios, Lind and Overbay are mashing. Barajas should probably only play against lefties and in late innings.

The Southpaw said...

I'm not a Zaun-basher, but the results when he does get to play, since the change, have not been good. What he's capable of doing if he played might be quite different but this run has come without much help from Zaun for whatever reason.

ari said...

Except that what you said was exactly bashing Zaun. You didn't acknowledge that Cito has given him a total of 89 PA in the 70 games he has been here. I'd say the fact that in those meager PA he has a higher OBP than Barajas does under Cito's watch is more indicative of the stats we might be receiving from him than what the AVG/SLG say. It's mighty hard to get into a groove playing so sporadically, but the one thing he seems to never lose is an incredible eye at the plate.

And for the record, I don't like Gregg Zaun AT ALL. I was the one yelling and screaming all the time for Barajas to get more playing time, but Cito has taken it to levels of ridiculosity.