Cough, cough, choke... - Macleans.ca

Cough, cough, choke…

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You know what’s fun? Watching the Jays strand six, count ’em SIX, runners in the final two innings last night and coming away without a single run. Any old team can just fail to hit, but the Jays are unparalleled at generating just enough offense to seem perennially dangerous, without ever actually doing any damage. All bark, no bite. How thrilling!

Last night, with the Angels closer sweating so profusely in the climate-controlled comfort of Skydome that he looked like eight St. Bernards had just given him a tongue bath, they still couldn’t get so much as a flyball. Rodriguez could not throw a breaking ball for a strike if his life depended on it, and still the Jays looked jittery and confused.   Sit on a heater, for the love of God!!! Rodriguez can’t throw strike, his pitch count is soaring, but Aaron Hill pops up the second pitch he sees.  Lord give me strength!  Both matt Stairs and Alex Rios strike out looking on low fastballs?  C’mon!

But, true Jays fan that I am, I see the silver lining in all this.  The Jays, despite being one of the worst hitting teams in baseball so far, are just one game below .500. They remain in the thick of the divisional and wildcard races, despite losing Wells, Eckstein, McDonald, Janssen, Wolfe and Accardo to significant injuries.

We’re almost 1/3 of the way through the season, and despite the troubles, there is no hints of trouble in the clubhouse (yet).  All things considered, the situation could be a lot worse. But this team has GOT to start hitting, or the infighting and resentment will start, and that delicate chemistry that has always, throughout the club’s history, been a weak spot for the Blue Jays.

To me, the big question upon which the entire season hinges is this:  Can the bats wake up before somebody pulls a Shae Hillenbrand and writes “This ship is sinking” on the clubhouse whiteboard?