Monday, June 15, 2015

As We Had Anticipated, The Blue Jays Have Won Eleven In A Row

ride the lightning, Jose Reyes; you *ride* it
As I got in the car after judo, and put the game on the radio, as is my wont in such circumstances, Jose Reyes was just bringing to a close a six-run, bat-around fourth inning against the (admittedly pretty lowly) Boston Red Sox, and Mike Wilner, relieving an ailing Jerry Howarth (don't worry, it's not serious) on commentary, kind of couldn't believe it. Nor should he have: because, I mean, what is even happening? A team-best (don't say "franchise," just listen to yourself when you say things like that) eleven straight wins, including some pretty choicely massive rallies and walk-offs, to vault the Blue Jays all the way from the AL East basement to . . . ok just to third but still this is really something would you not agree that it is something. Imagine if this had happened once the hockey playoffs had ended! All kinds of extra people would have noticed! And actually the Blackhawks could end it tonight, and Jose Bautista has homered off the Mets' Noah Snydergaard (remember him?), so if these trends continue this could prove to be one HECK of a summer of Blue Jays baseball, friends. 

(Again please note the Blue Jays are only at third still.)


Monday, June 1, 2015

The Toronto Blue Jays Have Gone 7-13 Since I Declared Them To Be "just as .500 as it gets" So Definitely Keep Listening To Things I Think And Say

look how sad Ezequiel Carrera looks here even though he has just scored; it is because he has been blessed/cursed with the second sight and knows the bullpen will fail him
Were I inclined to optimism regarding this 2015 Toronto Blue Jays baseball season, which I extremely am not, I would be sure to point out that although the Blue Jays are bad, so too is the rest of the once-not-even-a-little-bad American League East: see, for example, the division leading Yankees and Rays, who, both at 26-25, are not exactly tearing it up. The Orioles are, like the Blue Jays, below .500, too, and the Red Sox are even worse. So, one could totally be like "it's all still winnable! and they're only like 3.5 out of the wild card!" and that would be mathematically true, but it would not reflect the lived emotional reality of putting games on the radio and knowing nothing but misery and blight. It is remarkable that Jerry Howarth is able to keep his spirits up as much as he does. Or maybe not: I heard Jerry Howarth be a little bit cutting one time, years ago, in an interview on the Sunday morning CBC radio show with Micheal Enright, when he spoke about J.P. Ricciardi (who should probably never be forgiven), but other than that I am not sure he has given voice to a dark thought in decades, at least not publicly. And that certainly continues this season, but rather than be buoyed by his joy, I have felt instead that it only reveals my own utter lack of it (as it relates to baseball, please don't worry, I am very well); indeed, it draws an ever-starker contrast between our baseball Weltanschauungs, which have perhaps never been so far apart. 

Anyway, the Washington Nationals are up next (hey Raven), which should be about enjoying Bryce Harper, but will instead, for me, be about how there aren't Expos and haven't been for years and so while this should be about presence it will inevitably be about absence, as I am baseball forlorn a little bit.  



(lolol look at this fucking thing, it is an anthropomorphic
baseball with a weird hipster mustache, wtf?)

Tanner Roark did well enough in spot start which I guess may become more regular with Strasburg out, but left the game after 6 innings to hand it off to the bullpen as game was 2-2, and Matt Williams was like, "Bullpen's been good, so fuck it, let's do this." Here is where things perhaps went wrong though:
Aaron Barrett faced 3 batters. gave up 2 hits, and was eventually charged with 2 runs. He was pulled.
Matt Grace (remember like last week when I was like, "hey, Grace is doing okay"?) faced 5 batters, gave up 3 hits plus 2 walks, and was eventually charged with 4 runs.
Taylor Hill stopped the bleeding at that point and took this shit home at least, but all the Nats could muster in terms of offense was the 2 runs at top 7th, which gave Williams the hope to pull Roark in the first place. (Those 2 runs knocked in by Michael Taylor single - stepping into his new daily role nicely.)
Thus, the Nats - who had been the hottest thing in baseball - were sweeped by the Cincinnati Reds. But today is a new day, and Nationals have come home to open June against the most un-American team in all of Major League Baseball - the Blue Jays of Canadia. I am hopeful that there is a rebound, and also that Yunel Escobar makes Blue Jays fans cry.
Nats are 28-22.

NATS RISE TO GLORY game forty-nine

(the original Charlie Hustle)

Gio Gonzalez was in off-mode on Saturday in his on/off style of pitching. It's hard not to feel like he is psychically attached to Stephen Strasburg somewhat, being they were ONE-TWO there for a spell early on in Nationals franchise hope for the future, so you have to imagine Strasburg getting DL-ed that morning weighed heavily on Gio's psyche. Nonetheless, even after giving up 4 runs and coming out the game in the 6th, Gio was still on track to get the W. But the Reds bombadiered their way to 4 runs in the bottom of the 8th, and secured a victory, which also secured a series win, which also I'm not sure I remember the last time the Nats not winning a series with a team, like seriously it might be since the first month but I'm not gonna go double-check because I'm not Elias Stats Bureau, just some dude sitting at his desk at work BLOGGING about BASEBALL.
Bryce Harper has been homerless in this series thus far, and I think my brain had planned comparisons between Harper and Pete Rose, not because I think Harper will be the greatest hitter in history but ultimately shamed from the game and shunned forever, but because Harper also has that weird super-competitive perhaps slightly-weird Charlie Hustle mentality where he perhaps overdoes certain things most baseball players would be like, "bro, take it easy." Personally, I feel this is a good nonsense mentality to instill on a baseball team, even though vets might be haters, the dudes that come up under such a nonsense Charlie Hustle mentality take to that as to what is right. For example, Michael Taylor gets full-time gig while Caveman Werth is out (on the DL, again), and Taylor busted a HR in this game. Taylor has been busting homers. Taylor has looked solid as fuck at times, like the type of solid you can think, "wow, there's a lot of young dudes who are potentially awesome on this team" and it makes you feel like there's an actual hope for not just now but forever (lolol).
I don't think you could be Pete Rose level Charlie Hustle in today's game though. People are weakened by their over-education of mind, which tells wild heart to "shut the fuck up, you don't *know* what you're suggesting" all too often. Though Bryce Harper probably doesn't read these words, I put it out there as universal intention of words spoken as if they meant something & would be received by subject - STAY WILD YOUNG BRYCE HARPER, MAINTAIN YOUR FEROCITY OF SPIRIT, DON'T LET THESE EGGHEAD BITCHES SLOW YOU DOWN, BE A TRUE DIAMOND KING.
Anyways, Nats were 28-21.

NATS RISE TO GLORY game forty-eight

(remember after last Strasborg start when I said "I bet he goes
another week or two then is put on the DL"?
well I should've wrote "I bet he pitches
19 no-hitters in a row")

Stephon Strasborg only lasted 16 pitches on Friday night's opener of 3-game series in Cincinnati. He left game after walking a dude, shrugging to the dugout, then the trainer came out and ushered him off the field, with "neck tightness". Next morning, Strasborg went on the DL (again), and man, this dude is starting to become a DL master.
The Reds ended up winning the game, even though they'd lost 10 of 11 heading into it, but being it's 48 games, rather than expound upon the game in particular, let's revisit our 10% incremental check-ins with season, as we are now 30% done with this long ass endless perhaps painful even baseball season of Roman calendar year 2015. Nats got hot as fuck this 10% of the season, and hopefully it is a sign of more to come and not just an early season spurt that gives us false hopes for dominance after earlier false worries of failure, which all sort of speaks to just how long and fucking goddamn a baseball season is because you can worry and get excited about a lot of ultimately completely meaningless bullshit along the way. But Nats moved to first in the NL East during this increment of the season, so now it becomes an incremental task of maintaining that position. Slowly. Through humid ass DC summers. Go-go music. Chubby chicks in sundresses, shoulder tattoos faded but suggesting a reckless outlaw personality that just does not give a fuck, which perhaps suggests fuck. I don't know. I am more concerned with the beauty of the feminine than the particulars of the baseballs to be honest. This happens.
Nats were 28-20.