image courtesy of There Will Be Bourbon
There is little doubt in my mind that the Jays sweep in Seattle might have saved the season. Our perspective of the season, that is. If they laid an egg after a three-day gestation period in the Eastern Time Zone, the knives are out to a much greater degree than today.
Let there be no doubt, going down in such a timid manner at the hands of the Mariners is bad news for 2014 chances. But it's hard to maintain radio call-in ire when you're drifting off to sleep during the fifth inning. There's a certain kind of malaise that sets in when the team is reeling and playing late at night here on Earth, the gentle caress of "what great travelling support from West Coast Jays fans!" soothing your troubled soul. A nation united makes for more pleasant dreams than burning angst directed towards Juan Francsico.
Plus, when R.A. Dickey gives up two runs in the first inning, it feels like the game is already over. You're fast asleep before you realize how right you were, blissfully unaware of the five dece innings that followed.
It adds up to a whole lot of air let out of the Jays balloon. The circumstances allow it to leak out slowly and silently, rather than a whoopee cushion effect when they fall flat under the CN Tower's long shadow.
The season is far from over and, as the King says, the rush to declare it otherwise is tiresome and serves no real purpose. But the Jays are in a tough spot, as the pursuit of the Wild Card is not for the faint of heart and the Orioles, Royals, and even the Mariners appear determined to never lose again.
Which brings us back to where we were one week ago, unsure of the future but looking hopefully ahead to another Marcus Stroman start. The Jays face the White Sox, a bad team (unless you happen to be the San Francisco Giants) that they should beat. The Jays need some wins and they need the sort of blood transfusion a Stroman start provides.
But the Jays problems, such as they are, extend beyond the rotation. Frankly, the rotation's been better than fine. They need to score runs. Enter Edwin Encarnacion.
For an offense in need of rescue, there is no better life preserver than Encarnacion. His evolution has been as swift as it was unexpected. The dormant period of this web page missed out on a period of time in which EE went from afterthought to heaven-sent season savior.
The last thing I wrote about him before this place went dark read as follows:
As for our friend Edwin...I think we can graduate him from DFA candidate to guy holding onto a job for until the end of the year. Lots of starts at DH and maybe a couple at first.That was on July 4th, 2011 and I was, as per usual, hilariously pessimistic about a proven MLB commodity. Since then he became one of the more prolific sluggers in baseball and a contract bargain without equal. He was a risk but the Blue Jays front office put their faith in his pop and he repaid it with hard work and a discipline, developing away from the club's prying eyes.
That is not nothing. It's not common and as Blue Jays fans we must remember this often. One guy like Jose Bautista is rare, but two? That's fucked up.
Friday, August the 15th is not the time and Chicago's South Side is not the place for celebrating two winning lottery tickets. The Jays just need to win a game. Maybe two. Make it a series if we're getting greedy. But as the formerly potent offense slowly regains its key pieces and, with any luck, it's bite, the Jays must look at every game as a chance to re-inflate that flaccid balloon. Those things are choking hazards for bird life, you know.