Thursday, 26 August 2010

Great 38?

At the close of play on August 1, the Toronto Blue Jays were 3 games over .500 and the widely held view was that they had accumulated those wins against a soft back-loaded schedule amd the day of reckoning was at hand.

The bromide is that a good team plays .500 or a little better against the good teams and runs up their record against teams they are supposed to beat and for several years, it has been an Achilles' Heel of the Jays that they managed to lose too many against teams which were clearly worse than they. One thing that could be said of the Jays season as of August 1 was that, for the most part (Cito giving away outs in the 9th notwithstanding) they had not been guilty of that very often in 2010. But the soft days were over, so the argument went (and it was a good argument) - beginning August 2, the Jays faced 38 games, 24 of which were against Boston, Tampa, and New York; four more against the division leading Rangers, and six of the remaining 10 were on the West coast. Even the softest spot in that gauntlet was against the Tigers who were, at that point, a .500 team.

The thing is, as good as that argument was, so far it's been all wrong. We're now 21 games into that 38 and the Jays boast a 12-9 record.

That's why they play the games, right? if they were to keep up this quality of play, they have a shot at challenging the high-water mark for most wins by a Jays team in the post-series era (which, by the way, is 88). Obviously, teams can take unexpected and inexplicable turns for no reason, but they have certainly made a statement this year, despite the disappointment of some players.

Related to that, it's no secret that Jose Bautista has a good shot at setting the jays single season home run record. But id you know he also holds the third best single season slugging percentage in Jays history? He's only .005 behind George Bell for second place on that list (though Delgado's .664 is in no danger of being challenged). His OPS is fifth (and close to being 4th).

Moving on from Bautista, Vernon Wells' season pace (albeit, his season took a radical turn for the worse after June 25) would get him very close to tying his career high in doubles (a total which is third on the Jays all time single season list). Oh, and that would be JUST enough to tie Delgado for the all time team record for career doubles.

There are other wonderful things, as always, lurking on the jays pages at Baseball Reference - check out where Shaun Marcum is turning up on the career pitching lists for instance, you might be surprised. Or take a look at Brandon Morrow's last 17 starts (i.e. about half a season for an ace).

Folks, these are often called the dog days of the season for players, they seem to be the dog days for me as well. The team is doing well and the games are (reportedly) fun to watch but there's only so many times you can comment on how many games snider is or isn't sitting and so forth. My attention increasingly turns to the future, what's going on in the minors and what potential roster manipulations lie ahead. when the minor league seasons end, I'll be free to begin to get into some hopefully interesting posts on those subjects. for now I'll just say that there is a lot to be excited about on the farm, noticeably in recent weeks Eric Thames hitting his way towards the Top 10 list, Kevin Ahrens re-inventing himself successfully, not a few 2010 draftees doing quite well.

The future is bright, it seems. I must remind myself to not forget to enjoy the ongoing season though. That's pretty bright too, given the expectations in many quarters (may I remind you, I myself predicted 83 wins...). You can see both at once (the present and the future) taking the mound at the start of most every game the Jays play lately. I'm rambling at this point...I'm too lazy to clean that up, so, ya know, go Jays and stuff.

1 comment:

Mylegacy said...

The future is bright - no question.

I count about 35 to 40 Jays prospects worthy of note - with a SOLID 30 SERIOUS Prospects. I can't EVER remember the Jays having 30 ACTUAL prospects who look like each of them will get at least a look in the bigs.