BY LEN NUNES – FAN FUEL BLOGGER
Logic dictates that with 130 games remaining in the season, being a mere 9.5 games back of first place is not a cause for panic. Logic works wonderfully in textbook situations but 32 games into the Toronto Blue Jays season and “textbook” would be the last adjective to describe the way the games have played themselves out thus far. Honestly, who would have predicted ALL of the winter acquisitions would fail to impress or be injured going into the second week of May.
Yes, it is very easy to hit the panic button but logic dictates that the law of averages will come into play and that’s why for this edition of Cheers and Jeers, I am simply going to look at the Cheers.
1. Casey Janssen: In eight games, opponents are batting .077 against Casey. Thirteen games into Mariano Rivera’s farewell tour, Mo’s opponents are batting .234 against him. Yep, I just compared CJ to Mo!
2. Jose Bautista: Over the past ten games, the leader of the Blue Jays has raised his batting average by 23 points and the raise should continue. In those same past ten games, Bautista has walked more than he has struck out, notable aspect since he started the season striking out twice for every walk. Looking ahead to the Tampa Bay series, Bautista has a .326 lifetime average versus the Rays pitching staff including a .355 average versus David Price.
3. Facing the Right Opponent: A) Blue Jays send Mark Buerhle to the mound for the series opener against the Rays. Buerhle has struggled with the long ball this season, in 85 career at-bats versus the Rays he has only given up one home run. B) The Jays have batted a very impressive .390 lifetime versus Rays starter Roberto Hernandez who is scheduled to pitch game two of the series. C) For the series finale, R.A. Dickey is scheduled to take the mound for the Jays against a Rays team that collectively only has 52 at-bats against him and has a .115 batting average to show for it. Knock on wood the knuckleball continues to confuse the Rays batters.
Honourable Mention — Record in must win games: The Blue Jays are 4-1 in games when they are trying to avoid the series sweep. Sure it sucks the Jays have played five of these kind of games but it does go to show you there is some pride in that clubhouse. Where there is pride, there is fight! Those who keep fighting, start winning!