By: Emily (@JaysGirlEmily)
Canadian Baseball Network
Due to a few tight losses, some folks might be pessimistic about the Blue Jays' record and their chances for the rest of the year. I'm here to tell you: don't do that. Have some optimism. What follows is my conversation with an imaginary hysterical person.
The Jays are at .500! They've lost half of their games!
The Jays are at .500! They've won half of their games! (I got an A in high school math)
The umpiring is terrible! We keep getting screwed over by the strike zone!
This happens every year. All we can do is hope that the umpiring is equally bad across the entire league and eventually it'll even itself out. Or we can just ask them to hit home runs on the first pitch every single at-bat, and then the strike zone won't really matter. But I feel like the first one's more likely.
Dickey's really bad! He's so unpredictable!
It is the nature of the knuckleball to be unpredictable. It's also April. Next question.
Josh Thole keeps allowing passed balls!
His job is really hard! The upside is, if knuckleballs are that confusing to the guy who's literally trained to handle them, imagine how confusing they must be to hitters. As for that passed ball on a non-knuckleball pitch from Joe Biagini... I got nothing.
Troy Tulowitzki is overrated! He's struggling at the plate!
I think you're overlooking the bigger picture here: Troy Tulowitzki is a Blue Jay. I will concede that his current .161 batting average is less than stellar. But he's also walked plenty, has the 4th-most RBI on the team, and 2 of his 9 hits have been home runs. I think he'll be OK. Plus, isn't his defense more than we deserve, anyways? I almost feel like asking him for offensive production as well is greedy.
Russell Martin is bad! He's struggling at the plate!
At it, yes, behind it, no. Would you rather have Thole out there every day? At least with Russell there's a track record of improvement after early-season struggles.
Chris Colabello is strugg-
Hold up, imaginary hysterical person. Are you going to just list everyone not batting 2nd-3rd-4th and say they're struggling?
Let's save some time, shall we? Everyone has streaks where they're off their game for a week or even two. It just seems that, for the majority of this team, those streaks have all overlapped at the beginning of the year.
Look who you're asking a lot from, here. Darwin Barney is a glove-first guy, everyone knows that. Thole and even Carrera, to some extent, are the same way. Historically speaking, Justin Smoak is streaky as all get-out - but let's not neglect the fact that he's been walking at near-Jose Bautista-levels lately. His OBP is actually above Bautista's at the moment. As for Ryan Goins, before he went 0-for-3 on Wednesday, he was actually hitting at above his career average. Plus he's shown more of the same plate discipline that worked so well for him in the second half of last season, so that comparative success is likely to continue.
And no matter how bad their stats are now (I'm thinking of Colabello here), there's nowhere to go but up!
But the bottom of the order haven't hit any home runs yet!
Josh Thole would beg to differ. But let's not talk about him. Statistically speaking, that makes sense, because they hit fewer home runs total over the course of a season, and therefore there will be longer periods in between where they don't.
Time to bring out the math again! Here's an example: last year, Kevin Pillar hit 12 HR total. He played in 159 games. That works out to 1 home run per 13.25 games played. So if the home runs were evenly spaced over the whole season, he'd go almost two weeks before hitting another one.
Basically, don't expect the infrequently-occurring things to all happen immediately. It will come in time. If Bautista or Donaldson hadn't hit a home run yet, then I'd tell you to be worried. But Donaldson has hit six already, more than anyone in the American League. He's fine. They're all fine. We're fine.
Kevin Pillar was a bad leadoff hitter!
That's probably why he isn't leading off anymore.
They can't drive runners in when they're on base!
This is genuinely frustrating, isn't it? I really don't know what to say to this one. So how about instead we make ourselves feel better by laughing at the misfortunes of others - specifically, the Yankees
Hahaha. See? It's all about perspective.
What the heck is wrong with the rotation?!
- is looking better than expected.
Oh. Well, yeah. They are. Stroman & Sanchez have exceeded the high expectations set for them. J.A. Happ was expected to be kind of bad, and he hasn't been. Marco Estradahad one rough outing (actually more like one rough inning) but he also had one where he pitched a 7-inning shutout. Everyone has lasted at least 6 innings per start so far. These are good things!
And the bullpen isn't a complete dumpster fire, either. Cecil's gone 4 outings without allowing a run. Biagini still has a 0.0 ERA. Osuna's incredible as ever. Leon isn't here anymore. PAT VENDITTE THROWS WITH BOTH HANDS. If they all keep this up, the pitching will be OK. They're just not getting enough run support.
They're not getting enough run support!
I think we're done here.
Watching baseball is supposed to be fun, right? How can you have fun if everything stresses you out so much? Just sit back, crack a beer and enjoy the chaos. For your own sake.