With all of this talk about whether the Toronto Blue Jays are going to be playing meaningful games in September, perhaps we need to take a step back and need to be popping champagne that they are playing meaningful games in June for the first time in what seems like forever.
So far the Blue Jays are being denied an authentic American League East race, with the rest of the division playing below expectations. But the schedule has a funny way of evening things out, and the Blue Jays are in for a rude awakening in the coming days.
The Jays start a 4-game series with the Orioles, then have a 3-game series at Yankee Stadium, and then after a series with the Cincinatti Reds, Toronto returns home to play another 3-game series with the Yankees. As much as it feels like the Jays have been running away with the division it only took the Blue Jays losing 2 series in a row for the O’s and Yanks to get “just” 4.5 games back of the Jays.
Meaning the Blue Jays are only a couple of series losses to division rivals away from possibly finding themselves in 2nd or 3rd place in the near future. Such are the woes of playing a division-heavy schedule in June, something that will allow any team to crawl back into contention, perhaps even the lowly Red Sox.
Odd, but are we not usually the ones doing mental gymnastics to convince ourselves the Blue Jays can catch up to the division because they are “only” 4.5 games back? It may only be June but it feels a lot better being chased in the standings then playing the catch-up game.
For the first time in a long time these games are more must win for the Orioles and the Yankees then they are for the Jays.
But enough worst case scenario talk. This is 2014!
If the Jays can do more winning then losing during this stretch they can put some serious distance between themselves and the AL East. For years, we’ve heard in this division it’s impossible to catch up when you’re 10 or more games back at any point during the year. I don’t know if that would be the case for the rest of the division with the Jays being the team so ahead of the pack, but I’d like to be given a chance to find out.
Whatever happens during this stretch it’s still meaningful games against division rivals in June. It’s a whole new ballgame for Blue Jays fans. It should be a lot of fun!
Tags: Toronto Blue Jays