I can be pretty negative at times when it comes to the Toronto Blue Jays.
This can be seen in my post yesterday and it has to do with the utter sense of disappointment they constantly produce in me.
At times, it feels like I’ve wasted an entire night (or summer) watching the Jays struggle to put hits together, which also produces resentment in me. If I wasn’t already hooked on the Jays’ bad brand of baseball, my attention and devotion would certainly be directed to more worthy teams.
In any case, to show that I’m not completely dejected with the Jays, let’s quickly look at one of the team’s “positive” stories this season: Mark Buehrle.
Playing in his 15th season as a pro, Buehrle is posed to challenge or set several personal records. For a 35-year old veteran, this is pretty impressive. A lot of people would characterize Buehrle as reliable and effective, but they wouldn’t venture far enough to label him a staff ace. Based on his performance so far this season, however, it might be time to grant him this label.
Through 17 starts, Buehrle has already recorded ten wins and posts an ERA of 2.50. He didn’t hit ten wins until late August last season and he’s never finished a season with an ERA below 3.12 (2005). That could change this year as there’s little indication Buehrle is slowing down, having allowed just 13 earned runs through six starts in June. At the very least, if he continues pitching like this, he’ll easily set a new career high in ERA.
Buehrle’s career high in wins came in 2002 at 19 while pitching for the Chicago White Sox. He accomplished this feat in 34 starts so there’s also a chance he can tie or even best that record this season. Unfortunately, the Jays’ bats haven’t been kind to Buehrle lately, which hinders his pursuit of a new career high in wins.
It’s easy to gauge Buehrle’s importance to the Jays this season. He’s been their most consistent starter and accounts for roughly a fifth of Toronto’s 47 wins to date. If he was subtracted from the roster, the Jays wouldn’t be close to contending for first place in the American League East.
The Jays will be looking for more magic from Buehrle today when they take on the ultra tough Oakland Athletics.
I know he’ll be up to the task, but can we say the same about the rest of the team?
(The negativity returns.)