How are you feeling right about now? Let me tell you how the Toronto Blue Jays are feeling right about now.
The title may have given it away. Speechless is right.
They can’t explain it. Well, sure they can– maybe the best they can do is half-justify it. Not that anyone wants to hear excuses, but they are beat up.
Brett Lawrie went down last week in Cincinnati (right) after being hit on the hand with a pitch (again). Jose Bautista is playing again, but at what power? He’s like a flag flying at half-mast, not even playing his customary right field so he doesn’t have to run as much. Who’s normally at first? Edwin Encarnacion. He left Saturday night’s contest against the Oakland A’s after tripping awkwardly over first base, legging out a ground ball. He was safe on the play (yay?), but who cares when he was the lone bright spot on the team and the play lost him for what some are saying will be two weeks; what others fear will be a month with lingering effects.
Now Bautista is playing first base in place of Adam Lind. Lind has turned into a one-trick pony, and that is with his bat, against only one type of pitcher. He’s been so inept at hitting lefties that manager John Gibbons has opted to use some guys named Darin Mastroianni and Brad Glenn in his hitting spot.
General manager Alex Anthopoulous has resorted to the waiver wire (where very little of relevance occurs), to pick up a few players who may provide a band-aid solution when his real players rehab their injuries. Nolan Reimold was added from the Orioles, who overtook the Jays for first place, and Cole Gillespie: two outfielders who are hopefully capable for the time being.
The All-Star break couldn’t come at a better time for the Jays (well, maybe a week earlier would’ve done better as they’re losers of five in a row amidst this West Coast swing).
What are Jays’ fans feeling? Speechless is a good thought, but they’re not tongue-tied. They’re used to it. Same old Jays, they’re thinking. Typical/redundant, they’re humming and hawing. “Here we go again,” they’re singing Whitesnake. But something had fans feeling this year was different. However, perhaps May was a premonition and the Jays were tricking fans, yet again. Jays fans… they’re feeling fooled right now.
Blaming the injuries only goes so far. The starting pitching is holding up their bargain actually– it’s the once invincible hitting machine that the Jays were in May that has been bleeding out. Hopefully for this team and their fans, secondary players and these band-aids can step up and begin to stop the bleeding for the team’s real skin to regenerate. Praying for a scab never sounded so vital.