Did anyone catch my rant on Twitter last week about “patio drinks”? That was gold. I don’t know if everyone, or even anyone felt that way, but I know it was. You know why I know that? Because it was spot on. It isn’t a thing to do, it’s a location to drink. You enjoy patio drinks? Awesome. So you don’t drink ANYWHERE else? I bet you do! I bet you enjoy restaurant drinks, or house drinks, or arena drinks, or out of town drinks, or bar drinks, or tailgate at a bush party drinks.
Hey speaking of bush parties, how bout them Jays?! (nice segway hey?) A dream season for most Jays fans. A pretty standard season for Cards, Dodgers, Yankees, or Tigers fans, but when you haven’t seen the playoffs in 22 years, it’s a pretty big deal.
Now I wasn’t going to write this piece the way I’m going to. I started on Sunday night and it was going to be on the bullpen and how vital it is to teams in the playoffs. And I will get to that. But I’m pretty good at looking at things objectively. Not great, I’ve way overshot the Oilers in my preseason predictions the last few seasons, but pretty good.
The Jays are the odds on favourite (Canadian spelling for Canada’s team) to win the World Series. I don’t think this is the best team in baseball. The Cards and the Pirates are pretty loaded. But the Jays road to the World Series is a lot more clear. The Jays SHOULD win the AL.
The Texas Rangers aren’t better than the Jays in any area, and their LH starting pitchers are perfect for the Jays big RH bats. Now I’ll stress, this is the MLB postseason which is the most unpredictable postseason of them all. Cole Hammels isn’t your average LH pitcher. But looking at it objectively, the Jays should win this series, I’ll say in 4.
The team that scares me the most as a Jays fan is the Yankees. Yes, the Yanks who the Jays went 13-6 against this season. But the Yanks have a dominant bullpen, and Tanaka owns the Jays. In fact, their RH pitchers have mostly shutdown the Jays bats this season. But I honestly don’t like the Yanks chances against Houston or KC should get beat the Astros.
That leaves the Jays with the Royals in my opinion. Now the Royals lived off the best bullpen in the Majors last October and much of this season. But with Greg Holland out, the bullpen has become a question mark. Couple that with an average lineup and a good but not great starting staff and the Royals are pretty vulnerable. And even though it was at the start of their run, the Jays were FAR better than the Royals in the 4 game set in Toronto in late July/early August. Think about this too: if the Jays were in anyway worried about playing the Royals, why didn’t they care about having home field? I would suggest that they have home field over all the teams they’re worried about.
So taking the fan goggles off and looking at things objectively, as much as I hesitate to say it since I am a big time Jays fan, the Jays should get to the World Series.
But to win the World Series, that’ll be pretty difficult. They don’t matchup great with any of the teams in the NL. Maybe the Dodgers are the best matchup, with a suspect bullpen, they are built a lot like the Jays. But the Mets have a deeper staff, the Cards have a deeper staff and much better pen, the Pirates have a much better pen, and the Cubs staff is deeper.
Getting back to the pen for a minute, it is without a doubt the weakness of the team. Osuna didn’t look good the last 3 weeks, nor did Sanchez. Osuna simply stopped hitting the strike zone Saturday night, which made me start to wonder if his confidence has eroded. He’s not a nibbler, especially against a weak Rays lineup. And Sanchez is leaving everything up in the zone and getting rocked in a lot of his outings of late. The team REALLY needs these 2 to get back to form like they were in August. Was the pressure starting to get to them, or has it just been a poor stretch? Obviously you hope it’s the latter.
Enjoy this Jays fans. I’m a guy who believes Rogers will step up and sign David Price because of how much money they’ll of undoubtedly made on this season (and how much money is coming off the books) so I do believe this is the start of a 3-4 year window for them, but you just never know. The Washington Nationals sat Stephen Strasburg out for the 2012 playoffs believing they were about to be perennial National League champs. So don’t take this for granted. It could be something pretty special.
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