I had some issues with some of the press prior to this Angels series saying that the Jays needed to take advantage of this "soft" schedule. Not because they didn't need to do that, but because it didn't take into account some of the essential characteristics of baseball. These characteristics include : on any given day, a terrible team can beat a good team; baseball is evil and mean; Mike Trout is very, very good. This expectation primed the frothing masses to start getting belligerent when things went south.
Now, that is not to excuse the Jays. Losing two of three to another first place team is one thing, but the Angels are 20 games under .500.
Yes, Michael Nelson Trout, who collected four hits in the final game, is the best player on Earth. However, he is but one man. I don't know the number of times Trout was at the plate with the bases loaded in last night's game, but it felt close to 50. Every ball the Angels hit found green and every ball the Jays hit found glove.
Do not walk the chumps that hit around Trout. If you decide to IBB Trout and do not then serve one up to the corpse of Albert Pujols.
However, more than the pitching or the defence or the Angels, it was the hitting that once again came up short. There was no decisive blow that either pulled them closer if they were down or sealed the deal when they were up. They put no pressure on the opposing pitcher, which in turn put tonnes of pressure on their own pitchers to be perfect. Watching J.A. Happ unravel in the sixth was alarming, but mostly due to the fact it felt near impossible that the offence would bail him out.
As Happ himself said,
José Bautista, along with his mad face and his glorious quads, returned to the lineup last night. He hit a sac fly to open the scoring and a double in the ninth to score Melvin Upton Jr. Seeing him sting the baseball in the ninth is a good thing and his presence in that lineup might, as Happ put it, help pick the energy level back up.
Though I've always appreciated their quirkiness and Downie's lyricism, I'm not a huge fan. I don't own any of the albums and never seen them in concert. (Though I did once see Rob Baker browsing magazines at Indigo when I was living in Kingston. His hair is magnificent. I quite literally thought "Wow, that man has magnificent hair.....is that? Hip?")
Watching the farewell concert, a realised just how much this band had been a soundtrack to my life. While I didn't know the names of all the songs, I had heard most of them and knew a good deal of lyrics just because for the last 25 years or so, they have always been around. Seems that was true for Baseball Canada, too.
It just got us going, man. You tell it, Coltrane.
This is my favourite Hip song. The French New Wave video is great, too.
"New York Herald Tribune!"