The Blue Jays find themselves back in the postseason hunt after ripping off 8 straight wins and going 25-15 since May 5th. The Jays now sit 7 games back of the division leading Red Sox and 5 games back of a wildcard spot. I thought this would take at least until the allstar break to get back to this level, if at all.
But what a difference a couple weeks can make. The turn around in the season has been lead by the Jays’ pitching. During the 8-game streak, the rotation that includes the unlikely additions of Esmil Rogers and Chien-Ming Wang has posted an ERA under 2.50 and the bullpen hasn’t allowed an earned run. The Jays’ offence are also scoring an average of 1 more run per game over this stretch.
And now the real test begins. The next 10 games are vs. division rivals (3 @ home vs. Baltimore, 3 in Tampa, 4 in Boston). A successful trip would go a long way towards a successful recovery in the ultra-tough AL East. On the other hand, a subpar stretch over the next 10 days and the Jays could be in too large of hole to climb out of.
Only during the final two weeks of the season will the Jays play such a long string of games vs. AL East rivals (15 games from Sept. 13 – 29). If those games are to be meaningful, the Blue Jays will have to stay hot. A 7 – 3 record over the next 10 days would work just fine.
At one game under .500 through 71 games (35-36), the Jays need to play .604 baseball to win 90 games. Since May 5th, they’ve played .625 ball. So it’s definitely not over. Not by a long shot.