Thursday, May 3, 2012

Yu Hoo! The Jays Win 2

It has been a big series for the Jays. With the table set pretty much for 2012, it was time to finally play the best team in baseball and see how this Jays team settled in. Well, Yu Darvish did exactly as predicted, beating the Jays with five different pitches thrown at will, causing big and bad swings from the Jays lumber yard. It is great that Edwin Encarnacion tagged the Whirling Darvish and went yard. It was the first time in Darvish’s budding MLB career.
Over the next two games the Jays’ very dead bats came alive and cashed in 19 runs to the Rangers 13. Whew, just enough. When you play the Rangers you need all the runs you can get. As of today they still have the best record in baseball. Kelly Johnson and Edwin Encarnacion have really been the highlights of, not only this series, but the year so far. Johnson, who came here as an Aaron Hill look-a-like, has really blossomed at lead off. And of course, my favorite position player, Encarnacion, is not playing in the field and has found his niche at DH – 9hr and 24 RBI. I am glad he did. With no throwing and no catching the big E has come alive. He is starting this year where he finished up last year. The starting pitching has been excellent so far, with a combined 10 wins of the 14 recorded.
The other hits were very timely in this series. Brett Lawrie’s walk-off HR is a harbinger of things, we hope, to come. Even Jose Bautista is slowly picking up the pace. His frustration at himself is evident to even the most casual observer and I am sure it will soon pass. I am excited for this rally. It feels very good to beat the best. Well, the job is far from done. Look at the standings in the AL East. It is completely jammed up. The current top four are within 3.5 games. Even the Red Sox might possibly come alive and really complicate the division. They are only 5.5 back, and it’s early.
The AL East will remain as close as this for the entire season. Different teams will lead for a while, a real dog’s breakfast. The Jays will have to be consistent, like they have not been recently. When one player breaks down another will have to step up. They have. As I have said before, this is a scrappy bunch. I like John Farrell’s handling of this team. They are responding. Do we have enough? I don’t think so. Alex Anthopoulos will have to correct some of the weaknesses and it will be a painful task. We need another strong arm and another bat. Where to get them and what do you trade away? Are we ready to make those moves this year? I think every year is the year to go for it. I understand that a tremendous cost goes with that concept. But I remember “Stand” Pat, who made the biggest trade in – maybe – baseball history on December 5,1990. Will Anthopoulos surprise us this year? Will he become “Angling” Alex? Probably not. Next year, always next year!

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