Since I can’t hope to match Tfloyd’s peerless prose, I’ll take the canny way out and suggest that the best way to get past last night’s sleepwalk is to brush it off completely.

What’s Going On

Last night, I went to a concert by Haken, an English progressive metal band. They’re quite good, if you like a band that sounds a bit like Cynic, Dream Theater, King Crimson, folks like that. They are not, I daresay, trendy; but then, as a middle-aged man checking my phone to see the Braves losing, nor am I. I do not know whether anyone has ever made a TikTok video set to one of their eight-minute songs, but it does not seem overwhelmingly likely.

On Tuesday night, I have tickets to see the ’90s band Come, a Boston blues-rock band and critical darling that spent time as Matador labelmates of Cabbagetown’s beloved Cat Power. I saw Cat Power live about twenty years ago, and adored her, but I’ve never seen Come, or their lead singer Thalia Zedek, who’s something like a Gen-X Janis Joplin. I’m stoked.

Who’s Next

I don’t really know what to say about Bryce Elder, but I hope his starts continue to find themselves in the win column a half hour before the devil knows the game is over. The Blue Jays are countering with Jose Berrios, who’s been a victim of a pretty extraordinary Canadian exchange rate: with Minnesota, he was one of the better pitchers in the AL, with two All-Star nods and a top-10 Cy Young finish in 2021, the year he was traded for two pretty hot prospects in Simeon Woods-Richardson and Austin Martin.

But it was a lose-lose. The prospects have stalled, and Berrios has gone from one of the better pitchers in the league to one of the worst. From 2017-2021, his 15.2 fWAR were actually fourth in the AL, behind only Gerrit Cole, Chris Sale, and Justin Verlander, and a nose ahead of Lance Lynn. (He was 7th in rWAR over the period, for what it’s worth. His ERA tends to be worse than his FIP. Still, that’s a #1 starter.)

But from 2022-2023, the wheels have sort of fallen off, as his BABIP has skyrocketed and his ERA has zoomed over 5.00. The difference between the guy he’s supposed to be and the guy he’s become is a big part of the reason that the Blue Jays and their extraordinary offense are in third place behind the Orioles.

That said, nothing in his velocity or components suggests an easy explanation for exactly why he’s been so much crappier than usual, and Ben Clemens at Fangraphs argues that it’s still likely that he’s been victimized by overwhelmingly bad luck.

I Should Coco

So, let’s smash him in the mouth before Lady Luck notices.