It’s probably not in good taste to make a pun about an earthquake, is it? Anyway, taking two of three games in San Diego took some of the sting out of a 3-6 road trip for the Blue Jays (36-31). Shaun Marcum and Ricky Romero earned series-bookending wins for the Jays (the sixth of the season for each man), while Brett Cecil allowed a second inning grand slam en route to taking the loss in Tuesday’s 8-2 setback.
It’s been more of a gentle, gradual fade back to reality more so than a crash. But any way you slice it, whatever hope sprung out of a hot start for the team has now been at least tempered and at worst, altogether snuffed out. It isn’t even that the Jays have struggled that mightily, but a 3-6 road trip simply doesn’t fly when you’re in the AL East. At least for now, Toronto’s success can only be measured against pre-season expectations rather than against their division rivals, which could be a positive for a team looking past 2010 and towards future development.
Those pesky NL’ers
While the Jays’ historic interleague struggles have been a bit overblown (they are 111-127 in 14 seasons of interleague play, which is roughly consistent with their 1163-1171 overall record over that period), it remains hard to figure on why they have trouble with teams boasting weaker records in an inferior league. Before taking two of three against the Padres, the Jays had gone just 1-5 against Arizona and Colorado, teams they lead in the standings. Some have speculated that Cito Gaston’s laid back managerial style doesn’t fly in the more strategically-oriented NL, but it’s an issue that pre-dates Gaston’s return to the club. It will be interesting to see what happens during the coming homestand, when the Jays have AL rules on their side but welcome a pair of tougher opponents in San Francisco and St. Louis.
Strong as a Buck
Just as the Jays’ home run power seems to finally be waning, John Buck appears intent to single-handedly keep the surge going. The catcher was responsible for three of the team’s four long balls against San Diego. He now has 12 on the season, already the second-highest single season total of his career.
The Jays recently issues a pair of press releases trumpeting the signing of 15 of their draft selections from the 2010 First Year Player Draft, including three of their first four choices. But the omission of No. 11 over-all pick Deck McGuire is a particularly notable one, especially in light of reports that he isn’t thrilled to be property of Toronto. McGuire declined to participate in the post-Draft media conference call and has since rejected interview requests with local media and as, the Star’s Richard Griffin reports, has “cast off bad vibes” about being selected by the Jays. Of course, much can change between now and the August 16 deadline to sign draftees but the situation bears watching. Until then, it’s worth commending Alex Anthopoulos for getting guys like Aaron Sanchez and Noah Syndergaard under contract quickly.
The Jays avoid Tim Lincecum but will still find themselves in tough against Barry Zito, Matt Cain and Jonathan Sanchez when the Giants come to town for a three-game weekend set.
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Written by Ben Fisher