July 27, 2008

What Happened To Mashing Lefties?

Mere hours after I sang the praises of our beloved Blue Jays, they delivered a serious stinker. I can't say I'm surprised. We were up against a southpaw after all.

I guess we were due for a loss. Hell, I probably jinxed the boys. Sometimes, actually more often than not, I need to just shut the fuck up and enjoy the good times.

Seattle's Jarrod Washburn turned the Jays hitters into his personal bitches. Again. It was his second win against Toronto in three starts this season. He's held the Jays to only four earned runs in 20 innings. That's, uh, pretty good.

Washburn was on point this afternoon. He went eight innings strong, and gave up only four hits. The only hit of significance the Jays could muster off of him was a solo shot by the home run hitting machine known as John McDonald. It was Mac's first home run of the season. Hey, he's only five behind Scott Rolen!

Rolen has six home runs. In 80 games. Oh my, that is depressing.

So, what happened to that lefty-mashing lineup the Jays were supposed to have? Their record dropped to 10-18 against left-handed starters and it's one of the main reasons they keep scuffling around the .500 mark. With a predominantly right-handed hitting lineup, the Jays were supposed to dominate lefties. I mean, baseball is all percentages, right? I shouldn't be surprised. Nothing ever goes the way it's supposed to. But still, I'm surprised.

In contrast, the Jays have a more than respectable 43-34 record against righties. If they were 18-10 against lefties, which they should be, the Jays would be right where we all think they should be: in the heat of the race. Tampa Bay, the Massholes down in Boston, and the douchebags in New York all own better than .500 records against lefties.

It's frustrating, and extremely disappointing.

Back to Scott Rolen, and some happy thoughts, for a second. Yeah, the guy has forgotten how to hit, but he's marvelous over at the hot corner, isn't he? Sportsnet's Jamie Campbell commented today that he can't recall Rolen making one bad throw over to first base this season. I would have to agree with him. I really can't recall one. What about you? If it has happened, I wasn't tuning in that night.

It's only a formality that Rolen will win another gold glove award come season's end. His fielding percentage and zone rating are both tops amongst third basemen in the American League.

It doesn't matter whether Rolen is bare-handing a slow ground ball or a bunt, making a sweet grab on a hard hit ground ball down the line, or ranging deep to his left or right, his throw is always right on the money. Lyle Overbay must love Scotty Rolen. In all my years of Blue Jays fandom, I don't recall ever seeing a more prolific fielding third baseman than Rolen. And he's only been here a few months. The guy is a machine, and a pure joy to watch. Now, about his hitting...

If the Jays really wanted to convince me and others that they were ready to make the leap to contender from pretender, they would have came out today and torched Washburn. I mean really torched him. Enough to make the Yankees think twice about acquiring him.

Here come the Rays for a huge three game set, beginning tomorrow night. I think I might have to make my way down to the SkyDome, sit in right field, and heckle the living shit out of Eric Hinske. A.J. Burnett will be on the mound tomorrow, and Doc takes the hill on Tuesday. Anything less than two out of three against Tampa might just have me reaching, officially, for the white flag.

I hope the Jays were pumping "It's Not My Time" in the clubhouse after the game because from here on out, the losses have to be few and far between.

Come on boys. Stay alive.