That was a migraine loss because of the way it
happened. There haven’t been many
late-inning losses this year, not many issues catching and throwing the ball,
not many instances when more than one of this team’s most dependable players didn’t
have it on the same day.
And the decision to leave three players in
particular on the bench and in the bullpen tees up an easy second-guess in an
uncharacteristic squandered lead from a club that had been 46-3 when leading after
seven – and 25-1 in such games on the road.
I find myself a little disappointed that we’re going
to miss Roy Halladay in the four-game set with Toronto that starts tonight in
Arlington. Unbelievable. And he’s got the Red Sox and Rays again in
the next few weeks.
That upcoming schedule exercise we went through
yesterday didn’t focus enough on the home-road situation. The Jays are here for three days (including a
doubleheader tomorrow), and then Texas is gone for a week. The club returns home for nine against the
West, leaves for four in Oakland, comes back for three against the Rays, and
finishes the regular season with seven in Anaheim and Seattle.
There are only 16 more games at home, starting with
four over the next three days. Selfishly,
I’m hoping the crowds are strong for this Jays series, because I know the
players feed off the vibe, and that couldn’t hurt right now.
I’ll be there two of the next three nights, and if
you were in the building on September 23, 2004, the Dellucci Game, you’ll never
forget the electricity that day. A big
series against Toronto would help generate that sort of buzz again, but maybe there’s
a chicken and egg thing going on here, and with the team not back in town again
until September 11, my focus is zeroed in on taking care of home business
against the Jays and then heading out to Baltimore and Cleveland and treating
them for a week like they’re Baltimore and Cleveland – so that the seven left
with the Angels matter more than any games have in the last five years.
All that is a large part of why yesterday’s loss
felt like a kick where you don’t want to be kicked, and frankly, that feeling,
as much as it sucks, is OK with me. You
can bet fans in Toronto and Baltimore and Cleveland would trade their baseball August
and September 2009 for it.
See you at the yard.
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(c) Jamey Newberg