That was a horrible week of games. Not only were wins a scarcity, but runs and shut down innings seemed equally hard to find. They were swept in New York, after Ichiro decided to single-handedly remind the world just who the man is. (You are, Ichiro. Without a shadow of a doubt.) They were then swept by Tampa Bay over the weekend, but that was mostly expected because Tropicana Field, a place where high fly outs become homers, has long been a place where Blue Jay dreams go to die. Plus the Rays have that pitching staff.
The Jays, continuing their journey of through the AL East's Houses of Horrors, rolled into Camden Yards. The first game was more of the same, which consisted of what seemed like an insurmountable lead of two runs to overcome. Then it was four runs, and it was all over.
The second game of the double header really felt like some demons were slayed. The crowd was loud, and Romero, staring down a franchise worst string of losses, loved the noise. “It was loud. Those Oriole fans, you can tell that the team definitely feeds off of them," he said. "In some of those innings where they had the bases loaded [or] runners on, you almost felt like the ground was shaking. That’s how loud they were.”
And they got really loud because Romero had the bases loaded three times in the six innings he pitched. Romero was shaky, and not as sharp as he might be, but he got the win, helped in no small part by Arencibia. With 3 hits including a grand slam, Arencibia had his biggest offensive contribution since coming off the DL. The grand slam really sucked the air out of the place. Anthony Gose had the defensive play of the game when he launched a rocket to throw out Taylor Teagarden at the plate to preserve the lead for Romero. Like, check the skills.
I'm just going to ignore the fact that Teagarden's running is molasses like in its consistency.
Omar Vizquel had two more hits in the second game of the double header, this time tying Mel Ott on the all time hits list. He tied and then passed Babe Ruth while the Jays were playing the Yankees. Some are arguing that all the talk Vizquel in the Hall of Fame is off base and just wrong. Some like to tweet stats every time Vizquel does something cool to remind people that however cool it seems, it is only the illusion of cool (so don't even think about getting excited.) I'm not going to argue about whether or not Vizquel should be in the Hall of Fame. But I will say that every time I was at the Dome this season, Vizquel was usually out signing stuff for people and the crowd was never small. Vizquel has had a pretty amazing career and he is a player people just like, likely because he always seems to understand the showmanship part of the game. So ¡Enhorabuena, Omar! etc.
Ken Rosenthal wrote a column on the "immaturity" of the Blue Jays. I don't think he's wrong in all of his points. Veteran leadership is important, but he doesn't mention that a main element in that veteran leadership is missing with Jose Bautista out of that dugout with injury. Some have even suggested that the whole "Eye Black of Shame" incident might not have happened had Bautista been there. There is no way of knowing that for sure, obviously, but he is a presence. A presence who chirps to excess in the view of some, but presence all the same. Lumping JP Arencibia in with Brett Lawrie (who for sure needs some big boy pants) is a bit strange. Arencibia's numbers are lacking, not helped by that hand injury, but he has made defensive improvements and tends to take responsibility for his mistakes.
I'm sure a lot of baseball writers are looking around reasons for how this season came to be. And "decimated by injuries" makes for a very boring autopsy report. Also, "the club’s decision to give youngsters at-bats rather than acquire veteran stopgaps such as DeWayne Wise and Scott Podsednik." Well, why not give the kids at bats if those are the options? And as for the passive aggressive dis of sabermetricians? Never change, Kenny Ken.
Oh, and Big Baby Brett Lawrie got a golden retriever (which I also have) and quit Twitter last night.
Also, according to an interview on Blue Jays This Week, Darren Oliver calls himself "Black Magic." How is this only coming out now when we should've been calling him this all season?