Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Strictly by the Numbers (Almost)


The first month of the baseball season (plus one game) is in the books.  The Blue Jays ended April at 12-11, with a 4-1 loss to the Texas Rangers and their Japanese-Iranian (how often do you get to say that?) phenom Yu Darvish.  The Rangers paid more than one hundred million dollars to get Yu, who has thus far impressed.  Toronto had been in the running for his services, but as it turned out, nine figures, US, was a bit too spendy.

Anyhow, the Jays are now 13-11 after last night's improbable come-from-behind win that featured another blown save by Francisco Cordero, three home runs - of which two hit the top of the wall before exiting the SkyDome, and four (4) GIDPs.

The Jays have muddled through 24 games, a couple of games ahead of where they were last year, (11-13) at this stage.

With the four double plays (and it could have been five had the Rangers brought any semblance of a defence to the game), Toronto now leads the majors in GIDPs, with 27 in 24 games.  Only two other teams (KC and Florida, er, Miami) have more than one GIDP per game.

The bullpen has converted only four saves in 10 opportunities.  Only one other team - Anaheim - has as many games wasted by the bullpen.  I wonder if the GM has Tom Henke's number?  Can The Terminator still pitch despite pushing 60?

For those un-initiated in the confluence of small sample sizes and high variance, the Jays have at this point largely done a 180 degree turn from last season.  In the first week of May 2011, the team could not win a day game, playing 3-13 under the natural light of the sun.  This year, they are 8-2.  Under the lights, in May 2011, Toronto was 12-6.  With last night's win, they are now 5-9.  Pretty close to a total reversal.

It's a long season, and with the Yankees starting to show some age, Boston appearing close to a civil war in the clubhouse, and the addition of an extra playoff spot, who knows?

If the 3-4 hitters (Bautista and Lind) can get their collective batting average above the Mendoza line, and the bullpen can be convinced that they are not out there to throw BP, this may be the year.


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