The first trip of the season looked like it would be a test on the schedule. And it proved to be, all 10 games.
After bursting from the gate with a 4-2 record on their first homestand and playing with enthusiasm, the Blue Jays were unable to win any of their three series on the trip.
Toronto lost two of three to the Angels, two of three to the Mariners and three of four to the Red Sox, who had been struggling. They come home 7-9 overall, not terrible, but a sign that there is lots of work to do.
The Blue Jays come home with a 13-man pitching staff because most of the starters are not going deep enough into games. Even Ricky Romero, who has a complete game this season, got into the act when he allowed five runs in 4 1/3 innings on Monday.
They've played a lot of close games, but the running game that was such a big part of the spring training mindset was supposed to help win some of those.
Maybe it has, but the Blue Jays are 4-6 in games decided by one or two runs.
Home runs are still important. The first game of the trip was won by Jayson Nix's home run against the Angels and a three-run home run by Jose Bautista put the Blue Jays into the lead in their only victory against the Mariners.
One thing about a home run, it scores at least one run every time.
There were some disturbing things on the trip. The outfield defense wasn't good, with two dropped fly balls, and that does not include balls that could have been caught, but dropped in.
The running game needs refining, even though the Blue Jays led the majors in stolen bases entering Monday's games. A caught stealing while trailing by five runs isn't smart, but it happened Sunday.
More disturbing is an early-season tendency to take things for granted, players not running out plays every time. It doesn't happen all the time, but enough to be a concern.
And you have to wonder how long Juan Rivera will be with the team.
Everyone knew this team was a work in progress entering the season and the first trip of the year confirmed that, in case anyone needed convincing.
The schedule doesn't get any easier with the New York Yankees, Tampa Bay Rays and Texas Rangers the next teams on the schedule.
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