One common theme of this so far abysmal Jay’s season is the prevailing idea that the team is “just one 10 game winning streak from being back in it.” However as the Jays 27-35 record suggests the Blue Jays would have trouble streaking through the quad to the gymnasium let alone through 10 games against major league opponents.
Several times this season the club has seemed primed to go on a run, having won three or four games in a row, and looking at a desirable matchup, such as someone like oh let’s just say Justin Grimm. And once they make it through that pitcher they have a series coming up against a team that is usually a perennial punching bag for the Jays, such as, oh I don’t know… the White Sox?? Yet time after time the Blue Jays squander their chances when the schedule exposes its too them, and spin their tires unable to get any real traction as they attempt to pull themselves back into contention.
While the inability to string together a win streak is something that has haunted the Jays this season, it has also plagued the franchise for several years. The hallowed 10 game winning streak that is “all it would take” to reverse the fortunes of the club has only happened once in the past five years. That came at near the end of a tumultuous 2008 campaign and pushed them to a mere eight and a half games back of the division lead. They had gone on two five game streaks that season as well, beating up on a woeful Royals squad as well as the aforementioned White Sox. However those were mostly negated by the six and seven game losing skids, the latter of which resulted in current, former skipper (wrap your head around that one) John Gibbons being replaced by Cito Gaston.
The next year the longest win streak was six games, it was in September just like 2008′s charge at September relevance but it didn’t carry the same positive vibes, even though it came in a stretch that saw the team win 9 out of 10 games… to bring their record to 75-84 as a woeful season came to an end with a merciful sweep at the hands of the Orioles.
Both 2010 and 2011 saw the team match the six game win streak but in 2012 they were unable to string together more than four wins in a row. Sadly the best baseball this team has played in the last five years seems to have come when they are beyond the point of no return in terms of staying in contention.
The way the team is playing now it won’t be long before they will be so far gone that even a miraculous September, like the 2007 Rockies winning 12 of 13 games and going 19-8 to force a game 162, would be meaningless. And their so far season high four game streak is a far cry from what is needed to get back in the playoff hunt. Although if ever they were to make a run their next string of games facing the White Sox, Rockies, and another shot at an ailing Rangers club may be just the chance they need.
Whether it’s a matter of the Blue Jays lacking mental toughness, or simply not being good enough to not let those games slip away and put together a winning streak if they can’t get one going soon we can kiss the season good-bye.