|View single post by lobo316|
|Posted: Thu Apr 13th, 2017 01:30 am||
|Following Tuesday's 4-3 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers, the Toronto Blue Jays fell to 1-6 on the young season. Somehow, despite existing for 40 years, this stands alone as the worst start in franchise history.
Getting off to a slow start is one thing, not enough to incite panic, but when it reaches a dubious franchise distinction panic mode becomes unavoidable. Compare the 1-6 start to 2016, when the Blue Jays never fell five games below .500 even once.
For a team - and fan base - with playoff aspirations, the situation may already be dire. According to Jon Morosi of MLB Network, only three teams since 1977 have reached the playoffs after starting 1-6 or 0-7. The second week of the season is not even over yet, and the Blue Jays are behind the eight ball. The most recent team to overcome such drastic odds was the Tampa Bay Rays in 2011.
The Blue Jays' Achilles' Heel has been, strangely enough, its offense. The team's .298 slugging percentage is the worst in baseball through Tuesday. The team's 20 runs scored are the fewest in the American League, and only two more than the punchless Atlanta Braves have mustered.
And yet, it's reasonable to think that if the offense was even only marginally more effective that they'd have a better record. Of the six losses, five have come by a deficit of two runs or fewer. Blue Jays starters not named Marcus Stroman and Aaron Sanchez have struggled, but as a team Toronto's starters are middle of the pack in terms of earned runs allowed.
The bats aren't following through. Sportsnet reports that the team's .152 batting average with runners in scoring position is another franchise worst through the opening seven games. Manager John Gibbons, however, is confident a turn is coming, according to Sportsnet's Arash Madani.
"The guys are going to hit," Gibbons said. "There's no doubt."
Tuesday's home opener represented yet another wretched trend. It was Toronto's sixth consecutive loss in home openers with the last win coming in 2011 against the Minnesota Twins. It stung.
Jose Bautista will not likely be a sub-.200 hitter all season. The same goes for Troy Tulowitzki and Devon Travis. Russell Martin still doesn't have a hit through 18 at-bats. The team's failures at the plate are unsustainable, but history suggests the hole the Jays have dug may already be too deep.