So shell-shocked were the Blue Jays after the Seattle Mariners took a 6-0 lead in the fifth inning on Saturday — following yet another homer off of R.A. Dickey — that the entire infield seemed to lose track of how many outs had been made.
After Dickey struck out Kendrys Morales for the frame’s final out, Jays catcher Henry Blanco threw down to third baseman Brett Lawrie, who then sent the ball around the horn as if the inning hadn’t just ended.
The collective brain fart was just the latest example of an utterly lost Jays team, whose woes deepened on Saturday with their fourth straight defeat, an 8-1 pounding from the Mariners in front of a frustrated crowd of 35,754 at the Rogers Centre.
Even with their knuckleballing ace on the mound the Jays couldn’t stop the bleeding of their early-season slump. They have now lost eight of their last nine and 14 of their last 18 games, falling 11 games below .500.
On their current four-game losing skid, the Jays have been outscored 25-3. Their hitters have the lowest batting average in the majors, while their pitchers have the second-highest ERA.
In other words, they are a complete mess.
“I think we’re somewhat of a dysfunctional team right now,” said Dickey, who lost his third consecutive start. “We’re kind of searching for a way to score runs, a way to pitch well. We’re doing a lot of things poorly, myself included.”
If the Blue Jays continue to underperform as they have, this highly anticipated season could slip away before it ever has a chance to get off the ground. Yet there are few answers as to what ails them, or how it might be cured.
“Coming into the season with great expectations, I gotta say we haven’t handled that well,” said Jays manager John Gibbons, who has come under increasing pressure as his team continues to stumble out of the gate. Gibbons, much like his players, has been at a loss to explain the team’s ongoing underachievement.