ARLINGTON, Tex. -- In every baseball season, every team -- no matter how good, or how bad -- is going to have 50 games they will win, no matter what, and 50 games they will lose, no matter what.
It is what happens in those other 62 games that separate the contenders from the also-rans.
And just past the halfway point, the Jays are 50-50.
Friday’s 12-2 romp by the Texas Rangers over the Blue Jays was one of those 50 no-doubt games. The Rangers couldn’t have lost this one if they’d tried.
And the Jays couldn’t have won this even if they had kidnapped Nelson Cruz.
As it was, Cruz had four hits and drove in eight runs for Texas as they mauled Toronto starter Jo-Jo Reyes for eight hits and eight runs in just 41/3 innings, sending him to his eighth loss in 13 decisions.
For the Jays as a team, this is a game simply to deposit in the trash and forget.
For Reyes, it might not be that easy. This is the second game in a row in which he has been lit up and his future in Toronto depends upon how long manager John Farrell’s leash is.
“There were too many pitches across the middle of the plate and they didn’t miss them,” Farrell said. “There was a lot of hard contact and once an inning got under way, there seemed to be an inability to go to a pitch that would slow them down and they got a number of good swings.”
For his part, Reyes seemed eager to leave these last two games behind him and work on getting himself back into a decent groove.
“They’re not just a Joe-Shmo team,” Reyes said of the Rangers. “They’re good. They’ve been on a roll. I’ve just got to do a better job of pitching, altogether.
“I just have to erase these last two outings and go back to work, not worry about the past and just worry about the future.”
It’s a hard bit of reality that Reyes’ future, at least as a Blue Jay, could be in jeopardy. In his last six starts, he has an ERA of 8.60 and that just isn’t going to cut it.
Problem for the Jays is, who would they replace him with.
Jesse Litsch is a possibility but he has shown little consistency at triple-A.
Hitters are batting .330 against him and heąs the owner of an ERA at 7.99.
Kyle Drabek is not even close to being ready to come back to the big leagues with an 8.06 ERA and a batting average against of .346.
The options tend to dwindle down from there.
Meanwhile the Blue Jays could not solve Texas starter Colby Lewis for anything more than two hits -- a solo home run by catcher J.P. Arencibia that broke up Lewis’ no-hit bid in the sixth and a single by Adam Lind in the seventh. Arencibia would add a second homer in the eighth off reliever Arthur Rhodes.
“I don’t care about that,” said Arencibia, dismissing his two-homer game.
“I’m concerned about the runs we gave up tonight. My job is to help give the team an opportunity to win. They scored too many runs. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, I know I can hit and everyone is going to struggle. It’s part of the game.
“My duty is to keep those guys from hitting home plate and obviously we didn’t do that tonight.
“(Texas) is a team you can’t fall behind. I think, at one point in the game, we were at 50% on throwing a first strike and that’s not good. This is a team that can hit, especially in this ballpark. Strike one is really important.”
Cruz drove in a run with a double in the second, then three more with his 22nd homer in the fourth. He drove in two with a single in the fifth, then two more with a single in the sixth. Meanwhile, Michael Young also had a four-hit night for Texas.
“(Cruz) has hit in the six-hole for years and that speaks volumes to the quality of talent that has worn a Rangers’ uniform,” Farrell said.
“The ability to get them to put the ball on the ground, whether it’s with a cutter or a sinker, that certainly helps. When you get the ball up, it usually leaves.”
The Rangers, who had lost two in a row after winning an even dozen in a line, had 13 hits against Blue Jays pitching.