It’s the start that no one saw coming, and with the offense firing on all cylinders it has been a promising start to the 2009 season for the Toronto Blue Jays.
Promising because they have seven wins and three losses heading into Thursday’s matchup against the Minnesota Twins, but also because they’ve had a good road trip to start the season. Yes it wasn’t that far away but 4-2 on the road heading into Thursday’s game is a way to start.
While it’s mostly been the emergence of young hitters, the likes of Travis Snider and Adam Lind, pitching has played a role. The Jesse Litsch injury could be a blessing in disguise; I never really liked this guy’s stuff anyways.
Now guys like Scott Downs will be given a chance, and for my money there isn’t much difference between what those two are capable of. But the revelations are in rookie Ricky Romero, who has had two great starts, some hitters may catch up as the season progresses, that’s typical, but he’s kept the Jays in every game.
And Scott Richmond, who has fewer earned runs than Roy Halladay right now, again it won’t last but it’s a good way to start.
The common requirement of the Jays' pitching staff is that they have to keep the Jays in the game. They don’t have to be dominant; they have to be good enough not to let the opposing team’s offense get an insurmountable lead.
That’s Cito Gaston’s coaching style. Point in case is 1992 when Jack Morris had 21 wins, did you ever wonder why he didn’t receive the Cy Young award, these days 20 wins pretty much guarantees Cy Young consideration? He had a 4.04 ERA, not exactly Cy Young numbers.
Cito doesn’t win by pitching, Cito wins games 9-8 or 15-12, which may play well for a while but the rotations of Boston and New York can silence an offense pretty quickly.
This weekend’s home stand against the Oakland A’s will be a good one for the Jays. The A’s are a rebuilding team right now and Jason Giambi is far past his prime. The A’s have been struggling in mediocrity so far this year, and don’t have high expectations.
With mostly 1 p.m. start times, there will still be competition with playoff hockey, but since Toronto has no one to really cheer for right now, why not cheer for a team that has a real chance of making noise.
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