This is not the start to the season any of us imagined for the Blue Jays offense. For the ninth time in the first eleven games of the season, Toronto failed to score more than five five runs (It's also worth noting that they're only 1-1 in the two games they scored more than five runs). The Yankee game on Wednesday night, where the Jays piled four runs onto a 3-2 eighth inning lead, is the only game so far that you might have walked away completely satisfied with the lineup as a collective unit.
What I'm getting at is that there hasn't been a game yet where the Blue Jay bats hit early and often and buried a team on their way to a rocking chair victory, and that was supposed to be the calling card of this team. (They came close in the home opener last Friday, but just like tonight, they didn't score a single run against the Boston bullpen.) It's still early, and the smart money says they'll turn it around soon, but the frustration mounts with each game that goes by where that doesn't happen, especially against divisional opponents.
In some ways, tonight was the most disappointing game yet. Edwin Encarnacion's two home runs, a solo shot in the second and a two run jack in the seventh provided all the offense for Toronto. In fact, no other Blue Jay even recorded a hit.
What makes this even more frustrating is that Rick Porcello started the game for Boston. In 13 career games against the Blue Jays entering tonight, he had an unimpressive 5.35 ERA. While he did throw the ball better in this one, these hitters should be able to rack up more than two knocks against the Rick Porcello's of the world.
Justin Smoak had a particularly bad night, striking out four times for the golden sombrero, including one in the ninth to end the game with the tying runs on base. This performance now drops the OPS of Jays first basemen this season to a dreadful .341. This is going to become a big story soon if that figure doesn't improve.
On the mound, R.A. Dickey struggled again. He allowed three runs in the first, another in the second, and couldn't get through the fifth. It's the third straight start in which Dickey hasn't gotten through more than five innings, and with the Jays now in a stretch where they don't have an off day for 16 straight games, his inefficiency threatens to stress the pen.
For now, it's hard to tell how worried we should be about Dickey. Last year he had a 5.77 ERA over his first ten starts only to turn it around and post a 3.11 ERA over his final 23. However, he's also 41 and off to a terrible start.
Tomorrow we get a highly juicy pitching match up as Marco Estrada, coming off seven shutout innings in his last start Sunday against Boston, takes on David Price for the first time since he signed his mega-deal with Boston. On paper, Price doesn't seem like a good guy for the bats to break out against, but this is baseball, so you never know. Game time is 4:00 p.m. ET as each game in this series starts earlier than the previous.
Jays of the Day: Encarnacion obviously (.194 WPA).
Jays Suckage: R.A. Dickey (-.217 WPA), Justin Smoak (-.150 WPA), and Josh Donaldson (-.101 WPA, and he also had an ugly throwing error).
Here's the game graph; boring and ugly:
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