Monday, August 9, 2010

The weekend in Blue Jays

Or, how I learned to stop worrying and love the trade

Toronto somehow managed to sweep the American League Wild Card leading Tampa Bay Rays this week, pulling themselves to within a not insurmountable, yet distant, eight games out of a playoff berth.

That doesn't really matter anymore. The Jays have won consecutive games on the backs of two dominant individual performances.

It started Saturday with the call-up J.P. Arencibia. It's a tough name to spell, but he had one of those debuts that would have found its way into a movie script if Apollo Creed pitched for the Rays. Arencibia went 4-for-5, with two home runs, including one on his first big-league pitch.

Arencibia didn't just explode onto the scene. As Dustin Parkes of DrunkJaysFans mentioned via Twitter on Wednesday after John Buck's injury, "Trying to imagine what Twitter would look like if the Yankees had just called up a catcher hitting .303/.360/.639/.998 with 31 bombs in AAA."

Call To The Pen has a great breakdown of where Arencibia came from, what his numbers look like and where he can go from here.

Anybody who made the trip down to Toronto to catch a couple of ball games certainly got their money's worth, because Arencibia's debut probably wasn't even the best performances of the weekend.

Brandon Morrow (also known as the guy traded for Brandon League as part of the elaborate Roy Halladay trade) came within one batter of a no-hitter on Sunday, with Joe Carter in attendance.

The Jays knocked off the Rays 1-0. It was admirable (for lack of better adjective in this instance) of manager Cito Gaston to keep Morrow in with two runners on in the ninth up by just one, to allow Morrow to finish off his first complete game, and his first complete game shutout.

More amazing than the no-hit bid were the 17 strikeouts, which is the most by a Blue Jay in history not named Roger Clemens. Many people have, thus, been talking about Morrow's trade from Seattle, in an, 'oh, you shouldn't have done that,' sort of fashion. Most notably of these, Bill Simmons.

So can we evaluate where the Blue Jays stand with 'The Doc Deal' looming less than a year behind us? No, but just for a weekend, it became cool to talk about the Blue Jays and not get all teary-eyed about Doc at the same time.

1 comment:

  1. I think that for the young pitching staff, the Doc trade might have been the best possible thing that could have happened.

    They're growing up together; having fun, and to a man, "pitching like a man."

    Marcum, Romero, Cecil and Morrow. I'd love to see that four-man rotation in the playoffs.