AL East Round-up: Separating the pack edition

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Aug 5, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays relief pitcher Aaron Sanchez (41) throws a pitch during the fifth inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

Toronto Blue Jays (68-67)

Well, at least they are above .500 for the season! Please don’t slap me.

The team went 4-6 for the last 10 days, notwithstanding a Jose Bautista ejection, blown saves, lack of hitting, bullpen malfunctions, starters losing accuracy through fatigue, and a partridge in a pear tree. With being six games back of a wildcard spot, unfortunately for the haters out there, the Blue Jays are not officially out of the playoff hunt. But it is not looking good.

The bright spots have been reported on One aspect has been regarding Bautista hitting four home runs in four games, exciting the home crowd since being ridiculed for the ejection. There are two ways that incident could have went: eat him up inside or prove his worth. The latter is the only thing the Jays need right now, showing leadership in his play, regardless of what you think of his mouth.

Drew Hutchison and Marcus Stroman also had great outings this week. The StroShow even gave manager John Gibbons a lovetap on his posterior before leaving the mound with the game in their favour. Both pitchers won their games against the Yankees and the Boston Red Sox, giving hope to the relative hopelessness.

Having said that, the runs cannot happen by solo home runs from one man or pitchers dominating games. You have to hit to have a chance. With the Toronto Sun reporting that Edwin Encarnacion’s lack of production is due to his injury still plaguing him, others will need to step up besides Bautista. In the last seven games, Dioner Navarro and Munenori Kawasaki have the most hits for the team. They have more hits from two players brought in for their defence than the rest of the team. Leadoff shortstop Jose Reyes has only four hits in twenty-nine at-bats. This lack of production will not get it done.

Stick a fork in the Blue Jays, especially in the AL East standings. The postseason is a dream that will not become a reality with those types of numbers. They need hitting to complement the youth movement on the mound and the face of the franchise in right field.