Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Three Weeks In

Blue Jays are now about three weeks into the 2013 season, with 22 games under their collective belts.  The season started with high expectations - a blockbuster, multi-team trade that brought Mark Buehrle, Jose Reyes, and Josh Johnson in from Miami, and another big trade that send prospect Travis D'Arnaud to the Mets for reigning Cy Young pitcher R.A. Dickey.

The Yankees, aging to begin with, started the campaign with a host of injuries and looked vulnerable, and the Red Sox are rebuilding, so there was hope that this year, Toronto might finally, finally contend after two decades of futility.

Hasn't exactly worked out.

Dickey has had some control issues (not shocking for a knuckle ball pitcher), Brandon Morrow has looked less than spectacular - is he maybe the next Melido Perez?  The defenders have been awful.

Put it all together (second worst batting average in the American League, spotty pitching), and the team is 9-13 to start.  That includes an extra-innings win today in Baltimore, courtesy of a bases loaded walk to Maicer Izturis, who was hitting all of a buck sixty nine.

The game ended the Orioles' 17-game extra innings win streak, which is apparently the longest such streak in 54 years.

The Blue Jays have played now in seven series, winning one (against Kansas City), losing five, and splitting a four-gamer versus the White Sox.

They're actually lucky to be 9-13, if one looks over the wreckage of April.

In the 22 games thus far played, Toronto's opponents have scored first in 16 of the games.  Historically, the team scoring first wins about two-thirds of the games.  On that number, Toronto would project to be about a game or two worse than they stand.

Even better, in the 22 games, the Blue Jays have trailed at one point or another in all but three.  Only three times have they scored first AND not at some point relinquished the lead.

Put another way, in 19 of 22 games, the Jays have found themselves behind.

More, the Blue Jays have allowed 30 runs more than they have scored.  The SABREmetric "Pythagorean" rule (ratio of square of runs scored to sum of squares of runs scored and runs allowed) projects the Jays to be a game worse at 8-14.

They are simply going to have to do a lot better than this.

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