Like any statistic in baseball, winning percentage isn’t always the full picture of a team or truly indicative of what they will do. The Blue Jays entered 2012 with higher expectations set by themselves (and by the fans and media) than in any other recent season. To say that making it to the All-Star Break at .500 is a let-down, doesn’t really take into account how well the Jays played amidst major injuries to their pitching.
The Jays’ 11-9 win over the White Sox on Sunday offered a good and exciting glimpse of what we can expect from the team going into the second part of the season.
Colby Rasmus got the hitting started early on Sunday, going deep to drive in himself and Rajai Davis, who walked to lead off the game. Edwin Encarnacion drove-in himself and Jose Bautista, who also walked, home on a beautiful homerun to centre, giving the Jays a 4-0 lead. Chicago got three runs back in the bottom of the first on a homerun by right-fielder Alex Rios. Although the scoring ratcheted up throughout game, the Jays held onto the lead until the end.
Being realistic, the Jays knew it would be a tough climb getting to the post season, even with the added wild card. Even if they had stayed healthy, the team knew they would greatly benefit from another front-end starter and possibly another power bat, although the power bat might have come in the form of a resurging Adam Lind.
Sunday’s win was a good kind to head to the break with. The offense and defense were good, and the pitching was good enough to get them through. Starter Brett Cecil left one out into the fifth and was responsible for seven runs, six of them earned, that Chicago scored. Jesse Chavez and Luis Perez both pitched well, but it was the veteran combo of Jason Frasor, Darren Oliver and Casey Janssen that really brought the win home for the team. Janssen came into the eighth inning and got all five outs he needed to convert his 12th save.
The win didn’t come without a cost. Luis Perez was removed during the seventh inning after throwing a pitch to Alexei Ramirez. He was placed on the 15-day DL after the game with left elbow tightness, to be further evaluated this week in Florida.
For those who follow the Jays, they know the team can play better than .500. But it’s necessary to take into consideration the late offensive start and the necessitated over-taxing of the bullpen. The extended break for the All-Star Game couldn’t have come at a better time.
The second half won’t be any easier for Toronto. Their schedule is AL East heavy, but they’ll also (hopefully) be getting Brandon Morrow and Drew Hutchinson back to help them down the stretch. Watch them pick back up at home on Friday against the Cleveland Indians. Ricky Romero tries again for win number nine, as Justin Masterson will kick off the second half for the Tribe.
About the Author
Written by Amanda Tallon
Self-professed baseball nerd, blogger, writer, tweeter, learning addict and once colour commentator. Celebrating over twenty years of love with the Toronto Blue Jays and the beautiful game of baseball. I also contribute to thegalsgotgame.com, a sports website for business women by women.