The Blue Jays played their 162nd game of the season yesterday.
There won’t be any more this year.
I think that was the most fun I’ve had at a game all year, aside from the tenth win of the streak. Yes, even though the Blue Jays lost by six runs and Mark Buehrle couldn’t get out of the fifth. It’s liberating to go to a game with absolutely no expectations—for the season, the game, the players, anything.
Mike Trout was the DH, which was dumb.
Mark Trumbo went 5-5 with (wait for it) three doubles and a homer. He scored five runs. It was incredible and my mind was blown—when he hit his last double I yelled “Good God” really loud before realizing it—and I honestly don’t know why more people aren’t talking about it. It’s probably the best performance I’ve scored. (I originally wrote him down as having had four doubles, but in the eighth it was a single and a one-base error. Still amazing.)
The Blue Jays are 67-77 and playing out the string; nice things are few and far between, but that makes them feel just that much better when they appear. And there were a few pretty cool things:
Anthony Gose hit a grand slam. Anthony Gose hit a grand slam. I can’t believe it happened.
Ricky Romero pitched two innings, and his first (two groundouts and a strikeout) was just perfect, exactly what he needed. He allowed a few hits and a run in the second, but it was really nice to see him pull it together, and the sparse Rogers Centre crowd was surprisingly supportive. It’s heartening to know that Blue Jays fans are still pulling for him, especially when there is nothing left.
Rajai Davis hit a homer! Luis Perez pitched! Things are still happening and some of them are good.
This is the last series against a non-AL East team, so we’d better sharpen our season-spoiling skills because there could be some chaos ahead. Ladies and gentlemen, let’s welcome Team Entropy back into our lives, shall we?
Mark Buehrle tonight against the Houston Astros:
9 IP, 2H, 2BB, 9K, 0R, 108 P.
We needed every bit of that. Thanks, pal.
It’s not often I’m this sad about the result of a baseball game. But then, it’s not often your team comes into a season with colossal expectations, falls unbelievably flat, picks themself up with a franchise-record-tying winning streak, and then finds new and creative ways to dig that hole once again.
The Dodgers were down to their last strike tonight. Those are five of my least favourite words in all of baseball. Down to their last strike. They factor into some of the most heart-wrenching games I’ve seen (or best, if you’re a Cardinals fan)—the Rangers in the World Series, the Nationals in the NLDS. The Blue Jays have some happy ones, like the two-out, two-strike home run by Jose Bautista in Chicago to start the winning streak, but tonight … this one stung.
It’s the kind of game that makes me not want to talk about baseball. I don’t want to analyze the injuries or mediocre performances. I don’t want to talk about the bullpen construction. I don’t want to talk about what the hell Colby Rasmus did in center field to blow the save and force an absolutely gut-wrenching tenth inning. I don’t care what you think. Everything just hurts, like i’ve fallen down three sets of stairs and am lying in a daze on the floor.
Earlier this evening, the Blue Jays were getting merrily no-hit by Ricky Nolasco for almost five innings until Brett Lawrie doubled in the tying runs (Nolasco issued a few free passes before allowing a hit). Then, with a one-run lead, Casey Janssen came in for the ninth to try for the save. It didn’t go as planned.
What else is there to say? Everything sucks. The Jays haven’t won since the All-Star Break. That’s six games, plus one loss before the break, too. Everyone has their scapegoat, founded or otherwise, but the whole team is underperforming together, everyone pitching in to snap each bit of hope. The close losses are the worst ones—so many games where the winning run’s in scoring position, or a blooper could tie it, or (in this case) one last strike would do it. Down to their last strike. One swing. Toast.
Sometimes baseball isn’t the escape we wish for.