The Toronto Blue Jays are officially done. Saturday’s 7-2 loss to the New York Yankees dropped the Blue Jays to 10 games back in the American League East, and was a microcosm of their entire season. Too many missed opportunities, a slew of mental mistakes, and a listless performance at the plate cost them the game. At this point, it’s safe to assume the Blue Jays won’t be able to correct the ship.
Every team is going to lose games; it’s the nature of the Major Leagues. However, it’s the manner in which the Blue Jays are losing games that is the most disturbing. It all started in the top of the first inning. After Yankees starting-pitcher David Phelps got himself into trouble with two walks, Adam Lind worked a 3-1 count with runners on first and second. Although it was early in the game, it was a big moment for a Jays team coming off a poor performance Friday night. Lind never got a chance to see that 3-1 pitch, as the Blue Jays best player, Jose Bautista, got picked off second base. It was a deflating way to start a game for a team in dire need of a win against the Yankees (they are now 1-8 against the Yankees this season).
In wasn’t just mental lapses on the bases that hurt the Blue Jays on this day. Their defense cost them multiple runs in both the third and eighth innings. In the third, starting pitcher Brandon Morrow bobbled a would-be 1-4-3 double play ball and had to settle for only the out at first. After an out was made, Yankees center fielder Brett Gardner made them pay with an RBI single to left-center. To make matters worse, Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano followed with a true Yankee Stadium home run, barely clearing the wall in right field to make it 3-0.
Finally, with the game still close in the eighth, Blue Jays shortstop Maicer Izturis bobbled a grounder to his right and airmailed the throw to first, allowing Vernon Wells to reach on the error. Travis Hafner then put the game away by roping a two-run home run just around the foul pole in right field.
It’s one thing to lose when you are out-pitched or out-hit. It’s something altogether different to lose as a result of miscues on the base paths and in the field. It’s not what good baseball teams do, and it appears that despite all the hype, the Blue Jays are not a good baseball team.