Saturday, April 25, 2009

What's the Deal With the Toronto Blue Jays

Tonight the Jays laid a beatdown on the Chicago White Sox as they blasted 21 for 14 runs in a 14-0 skunking.  The Jays got to Chicago early and often as in the early innings they had White Sox starter "Fat" Gavin Floyd in trouble never letting him go three up and three down.  Floyd allowed 6 runs in just 4.1 innings ruining both the White Sox night and mine as I watched my fantasy ERA balloon. 

The Sox on the other hand could do nothing against Hays starter Brian Tallet who was replacing Jesse Litsch in the rotation.  Tallet allowed only four hits in 5.2 innings and seemed to have the potent White Sox lineup figured out.  

The crazy thing about this game is that it is not unusual as this season the Jays have been dominant and have been feeding it to teams on a consitent basis.  This has fans in Toronto excited as currently the Jays sit atop the AL East with a 13-5 record and lead the league in runs.

So far this season the Jays are yet to lose a series and with their over the Texas Rangers on thursday night became the first team since 2004 to start a season by winning 5 series in a row. Butlooking at the teams that they have beaten in order to accomplish this feat it takes away from the luster of the stat.

So far this year the Jays have beaten the Tigers (8-8) Indians (6-11) Rangers (7-9) Twins (8-9) and the A's (5-9).  This is hardly the cream of the crop as all of these teams have gotten off to bad starts and really probably won't be competetive this year.  This isn't neccesarily bad however as over the past few seasons the Jays always had problems beating weaker teams so it seems that is no longer an issue.

That is the only glaring hole in the Jays success so far this season though as other than the lack of elite competition the Jays have been nearly flawless.  If they hadn't trotted out the cropse of BJ Ryan so many times their record would be even better as would some of their stats.

This season the Jays have been doing everything right and fixing a lot of the problems that cost them a lot of games last year.  They have been getting hits with 2 outs, not stranding as many runners on base, and giving their pitchers run support when they have good games.  Last year it always seemed like either the pitching or the hitting was on but never together.  If a pitcher had a good game then he would get no offense and likewise if the offense showed up the pitching staff would take the night off.

The turn around seems to have occurred once the Jays brought back fan favorite Cito Gaston as manager.  Gaston lead the Jays to back to back World Series titles in 92 and 93 and seems to have not lost a step in his managerial skill.  Since taking over the Jays mid-season last year the Jays have been the best team in the AL East. 

Hopefully this trend can continue and the Jays can prove that they are no fluke and don't just beat up on crappy teams.  Only time will tell if Adam Lind can continue to be an offensive force and if Scott Rolen has risen from the dead and remembered how to hit a baseball.  The Jays had very low expectations coming into this season but they have put the rest of the AL on notice that they don't suck anymore.

You have been warned.

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