|Courtesy of Yahoo/Reuters|
When it began as a win in extra innings against the Chicago White Sox and a four game sweep of the Texas Rangers, the results showed promise. When it continued as another sweep of the Colorado Rockies, it was encouraging.
But now after yet another sweep of the Baltimore Orioles, this winning streak by the Blue Jays is getting crazy.
First and foremost, as the Org Guy noted, these past couple of weeks have been really, really fun. It’s really the polar opposite of how the season began; people expected the Blue Jays to win, and they didn’t.
But now that expectations have tempered a bit and the pressure is off, they are winning.
Not that heading down to the Rogers Centre wasn’t already an event, or watching a Blue Jays game on TV wasn’t already appointment viewing, but now it really is. Because everyone wants to see just how far this streak is going to go.
And the way this team is playing right now, it’s like they can do no wrong. Everything is going their way.
People spoke at length last year about “Orioles Magic”; a Baltimore team that was destined to lose over 100 games and post their 15th consecutive losing season somehow managed to squeak into the Wild Card elimination game and nearly made it to the ALCS.
If that was Orioles Magic, perhaps this is “Blue Jays Magic”.
I wonder if this how it must have felt during those World Series runs in 1992 and 1993. After all, the 1992 Toronto Blue Jays were never swept in a series the entire season. And that team never lost more than five straight games.
This may only be a small 11 game sample, but the losses in those banner years like 1992 and 1993 were so few and far between that it seemed like the Blue Jays didn’t even have time to dwell over losses. That’s because they were already well on their way to their next win.
The same goes for the 2013 Blue Jays as of late; they’re too busy winning to think about anything else. And that’s a good thing.
I think the most impressive thing about the 11 game win streak is how they’ve managed to creep up back above .500. I think getting back to .500 before the All-Star break was a realistic and yet lofty goal for the Blue Jays. But low and behold, they’ve done it.
With 88 games left to play in the season, the Blue Jays are right in the thick of things. And with reinforcements on the way, they look to do even more damage in the second half of the season.
The starting pitching has been phenomenal, the bullpen has been a virtual graveyard for earned runs, and the offense has provided just enough offense to win.
Incredibly, they’ve trailed a total of just 5.5 innings in the past 11 games. So of the last 100 innings played by the Blue Jays, they’ve either lead or been tied in all but 5.5 innings.
The funny thing is the Blue Jays have actually been outhit in five games during their 11 game win streak, and yet they’ve somehow found a way to make the most of those offensive opportunities.
Before the win streak started, on June 11th the Blue Jays sat 12 games
back of the Red Sox for the division lead. In the matter of less than
two weeks, they’ve made up seven games and now sit just five games back
of the Red Sox.
Obviously, this next week is going to be extremely important as the next seven games come against division rivals. A series win in Tampa Bay would be the cherry on top of an incredible month, and a series win in Boston would go a long way to making up even more ground in the division.
As great as this win streak has been, unfortunately it’s going to come to an end eventually. But up until now, it’s been one fun ride … one ride that no one really wants to end.