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Sunday June 27, 2010 9:29 pm

The long ball is not enough




Posted by Adrien Griffin Categories: MLB,

Alex GonzalezThere’s something to be said about a team that knows how to hit the long ball. That thing is that if that’s all they can hit, they’re still going to lose. Take the Toronto Blue Jays, who lead the majors in long balls with 115. They also just dropped two of three games to the Philadelphia Phillies. The Jays were limited to just seven runs in the series, every one of which came in as part of their four homers.

The Blue Jays were part of history on Sunday afternoon as Vernon Wells took Phillies starter Jamie Moyer deep in the third. With the bomb, Moyer has now given up 506 home runs in his career and is the all-time leader in the auspicious category. It’s fitting that his historic pitch was served to a Blue Jay. An inning earlier, he threw his 4,000th career inning, almost 1,000 innings ahead of Andy Pettitte among active pitchers.

Despite their leading the league in home runs, the Blue Jays are 28th in the league in team batting average, just .003 points ahead of last-place Houston.  Almost incredibly, the Blue Jays still have a 40-36 record and are only five-and-a-half games out of the wild card position in the American League behind Boston. This is largely due to the fact that they have four players in the top 30 in home runs in baseball.

For Toronto it seems like whenever somebody gets on base, the next guy puts one into the stands, then the Jays fold up for a few innings. That’s not to say they’re not a good team. They’re doing much better than anybody thought they would, but it’s also coming because guys like Jose Bautista, Alex Gonzalez and John Buck are all having career years. Balance them out with current-slumpers like Aaron Hill and Adam Lind, and the Blue Jays become just another run-of-the-mill ballclub; but probably still one capable of some pop.

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