Whether you want to call them a bunch of overrated talent or a group of athletes who just continue to underachieve, the Toronto Blue Jays‘ pitching staff can be characterized by one word and one word only — pathetic.
On a night where the Jays’ offense exploded for 16 hits, resulting in a total of eight runs, the Baltimore Orioles were able to exploit the terrible pitching staff that has been constructed by Major League Baseball‘s laughing stock of a GM, Alex Anthopoulos. The O’s were able to scrap out a 10-8 victory on the road after trailing 6-1 as early as the third inning. No team in baseball should lose a game after scoring that many runs on so many hits. That is unless something is terribly wrong with your team in another facet of the game.
Heading into 2014, the Jays’ pitching staff was gong to be anything but spectacular. However, given Anthopoulos’ lack of knowledge on how to create an effective and dominant pitching staff, the group of players taking the mound on a daily basis for Toronto has given the club’s opponents a chance not only to win, but win big on any given night.
Dustin McGowan, an injury riddled pitcher who hasn’t been a full-time major league starter since 2008, took the mound against the O’s on Wednesday night and couldn’t even come close to showing any sort of confidence in the 6-1 lead his offense provided for him. Todd Redmond, a guy who is notorious for leaving fastballs up in the zone served on a silver platter, did just that to a hitter in Nelson Cruz who loves nothing more than to hit for power against the Blue Jays. Just like that, the lead was gone for good.
All of the blame can’t only be placed on the pitchers themselves. They are who they are. They’re not great, and some of them shouldn’t even be classified as good either. It’s the lack of baseball knowledge that Anthopoulos has that has set this team back a number of years in regards to their lack of solid pitching.
The easy rebuttal to all of this will most definitely be the performance of Mark Buehrle so far this season. If it wasn’t for him being able to have great command in his pitching and his ability to get a ground ball whenever he seems to need it, the Jays would no doubt be in the basement of the AL East. However, if one expects Buehrle to continue this hot streak all the way through the season, they themselves can be classified as nothing short of naive. The 35-year-old is bound to begin to struggle, and with that the Jays will no longer have anyone to turn to. This is going to get ugly very quickly.