Is This It?

Jose Bautista
Photo Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

The Jays’ season isn’t over yet. I don’t think the Jays season is going to be over on Monday morning, either, and not just because of the crazy weather we may be in store for.

I say that despite another night of immense frustration for the Jays’ offence. A night that was a reminder of how, as much as we’ve wanted — and needed — to talk about the bullpen lately, the biggest issue with this club as it has skidded its way from legit contender to exasperating hopeful dark horse has been the way their ability to score runs has disappeared here in September.

A baseball team will have nights like this, and taken on its own it’s genuinely understandable. They can’t just “turn it on” at will. It’s just one of those things. But the accumulation of these nights over the course of the season, and September in particular — especially all the ones at the start of the month when Josh Donaldson and Jose Bautista still weren’t quite right, health-wise — has put them in quite a predicament as they head to Boston for the regular season’s final series.

If that sounds like I still believe in this team and these hitters more than I maybe should, that’s because I do. I think they’re better than this. I think they deserve to go out better than this. Not with this whimper. 

Not with… this:

I wrote a little in tonight’s Game Threat about what Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion have meant to this team and this franchise over the last five, six, seven years. But I know I didn’t have to say it. We all know.

And now… is it gone? Is it already essentially gone?

I want to believe no, against all the contrary evidence this club has piled up over the course of this final ignominious month of fucking 2016, because I believe that data trumps narrative, and I believe that a month, or a week, or a series, or a game doesn’t tell us nearly as much as we sometimes let ourselves think. I believe there’s more left and there should be more. I won’t believe that there will be more, though, until I really see it.

And so, like so many Blue Jays fans tonight, I’m left to wonder… is this really it? Because what a dispiriting way to go out if so. What a shitty, hollow, painful feeling, knowing it’s possible we’re watching what could have been slip away. And maybe that’s fitting for what this franchise has been in the Bautista-Encarnacion era, and what this season has been. Maybe they were just never good enough and we’ll all be better off going our separate ways. But I’ve gotta believe that’s not true. I’ve got to believe that’s bullshit. I’ve got to believe it doesn’t end like this.

Now go kick the shit out of the Red Sox and we’ll see you here on Tuesday, you fucks.