May 20, 2011 (pregame)
It’s still early. Competition is fierce. But the Blue Jays sit just one game out of the wild card spot. When the extent of its injuries and slumps are measured, this club is exceeding expectations overall.
The Yankees reeling over the Jorge Posada soap opera, their core talent aging well out of its prime, such things could develop into real liabilities. An average age of 25.6, the Jays starting rotation, with all its depth and talent, matches up favourably against those of all division rivals, especially that of the grey-beards in pin-stripes. See average age of 32. Each Yankee starter exceeds 30, apart from the 23-year-old Ivan Nova. The match up bodes well for our rivalry levelling out in the future. How close to now is that future?
This could really be the year, the first since 1993, the Jays finish above the Yankees.
The Jays will show marked improvement, if they break even in interleague play this year.
All time- 115-132, 2008- 8-10, 2009- 7-11, and 2010- 7-11
In the world of WHAT IFs, a mere four-game swing last season to 11-7, all (other) things being equal, would have kept the Blue Jays in the fight for the wild last September.
May 20, 2011 (postgame)
Astros 5, Jays 2
UGH. Almost-wins are a tough pill to swallow. Frank Francisco appears to be suffering from the K-Gregg Syndrome, an inability to pitch well in back-to-back games. Rookie manager and de-facto team psychologist (Dr.) John Farrell misdiagnosed his team’s symptoms and did not follow procedure when he brought in the would-be closer in a non-save situation. The powerful yet thus far unreliable Francisco promptly allowed the Astros three runs. Mark Rzepcynski or Sean Camp might have been the more logical choice with the game tied 2-2.
Blue Jay hitting continues to suffer its Achilles Heel with runners in scoring position. While hard luck starter Jo Jo Reyes stepped up, shutting down the Astros over 7 innings and giving his team a chance to win, John Rauch blew the save and a 2-0 lead in the 8th inning. Interleague woes still pain us. Reyes appear infected by chronic winlessitis. Mr. Rauch came into the game with a 2.70 ERA, took a beating, and left it with a 3.57. Ouch.