"Seems like every time you turn around there's another hard-luck story that you're gonna hear"
- Bob Dylan
As I was trudging home from the Dome in a suicidal funk last night, this line came on my Ipod, and it struck me as an appropriate epitaph to our season thus far. Of course epitaph isn't the right word because we're far from dead (or, in Dylanese, "it's not dark yet ... but it's gettin' there"), but you know what I mean.
Last week Razzer or Canate made the point that we seemingly haven't won any of those games that by rights we should lose, whereas we've lost a bunch that by rights we should have won. We're a decent team battling it out with a number of other decent teams for a spot atop the division and a wild-card place. The difference between all these teams at the end of the long slog will likely be based on which teams won more of those games they had no business winning. By this metric, we're a miserable failure.
Yesterday's game, of course, managed to fall into both categories at once. Heading to the bottom of 9 down three runs and facing a pitcher with a 0.27 WHIP and 0 runs allowed on the season is not a situation from which you expect to emerge victorious. I turned to my buddy at the start of the half-inning and asked what he thought our percentage chance of winning was. He said 10%. I countered with 5%. But once we rallied quite brilliantly for three runs to tie the game, things looked promising, and when Rios led off the bottom of ten with a triple (!!), surely our odds of victory were the exact mirror image of those above - that is to say, we should win a game from that situation at least 90-95% of the time. Not this time, junior.
We need to start winning a few of these, pronto.
A couple of thoughts:
- Stewart, to nobody's surprise, struck out when a simple fly ball would have won the game in the 10th (so did Stairs, but he's been good enough so far that he deserves a bit of slack). Every time Stewart comes up to bat, we're faced with the reality that Reed Johnson is in Chicago, Adam Lind is in Syracuse, Frank Thomas is in Oakland, Barry Bonds is in purgatory, and we have a massive sink-hole in the 2-spot. I hate the fact that JP is forcing me to resent a guy I used to like quite a bit.
- anyone who thinks we'd be a better team without VW (did anyone catch Jamie Campbell the other night, in a fit of overwhelming whiteness, call him "Vee-Double-U" instead of "Vee-Dub"?) is out to lunch.
- at the game last night I kept looking at our lineup on the big screen and checking out the OBPs and SLGs by the names. The OBPs, on the whole, are not atrocious. The slugging, on the other hand, is off the charts pathetic. There it was, in stark quantitative ugliness - all we are fucking capable of doing is walking and singling. And you know, if station-to-station is your bread and butter, you'd better get a goddamn hit with runners in scoring position once in a while, or you might end up going 20 straight games without ever scoring 6 runs.
- the guys over at Drunk Jays Fans had a nice bit the other day discussing the booing of Hinske. They're right, of course, that the booing stems mostly from the fact that the fat bastard sucked like a thousand hoovers, but there's a part of me that always feels guilty booing a guy simply because he sucks. If he tries his best, plays for the team, etc., it's hard to justify the booing (not that it's stopped me in Hinske's case). Ideally, a guy should be booed when he's a massive twat, not a bad player - see, e.g., Vince Carter. Well, good news. I have a story from a reputable source about Hinske, as a Jay, bitching about having to do some charitable appearances and insisting to his teammates that they should be paid for showing up to such events. At this point I don't care a great deal if this story is true (although I believe it is) - I'm just glad I can now boo the uncharitable, cancer-kid-hating, douche with a clear conscience.
- congrats to Razzer who, if I'm not mistaken, finished up his last exam yesterday. Raz, hope you enjoyed the giant kick in the nads the Jays got you as a graduation gift.