The Blue Jays enjoyed a successful 4-2 run this past week. It has gotten them within 1 game of the division leader and a half game from a wild card spot. Yet, with how competitive the division has been, they remain in 4th place in the AL East. It’ll be a tough slog, especially with the re-emergence of the Orioles, but the Jays are still right in the thick of the battle.
These past 7 days have shown some promising signs. Two of their wins came where the Jays scored less than 4 runs. They had their first win of the season where they scored less than 3 runs as well. Finding ways to win when the offence doesn’t provide much and holding tight leads are huge steps forward for this team.
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Edwin Encarnacion led the way offensively. He had 3 runs, one of them a grand slam, 3 singles, 6 RBI, 3 walks and a 1.114 OPS. Dioner Navarro was nearly as effective smacking 2 dingers, 3 singles, a double, 2 RBI, a walk and a 1.091 OPS. Navarro had 3 starts as catcher and 2 as DH this past week. He’s hitting well but perhaps he’s also being showcased for a potential trade?
Roberto Osuna was a hero out of the bullpen this week. He threw 3.2 innings, racked up 7 strikeouts, allowed just two walks/hits, got two saves and accumulated more WAR and WPA than any Jays position player. No reliever had accomplished that feat yet this year. Roberto Osuna is now second among all AL relievers in WAR (next to Dellin Betances). He’s been all star worthy.
The Blue Jays starters were generally very effective. One outing, however, was spectacular. Marco Estrada is the first Blue Jays pitcher to earn player of the week honours this year. He might be the last as well—it’s quite a feat. Both Roberto Osuna and Marco Estrada beat out position players this week but Estrada edges out Osuna with his near perfection. For the second start in a row, Estrada had a no hitter broken up in the eighth. This time it was a perfect game that was broken up and on an extremely close play at first. As good as Estrada was in his no-hit attempt, he was on another level in his bid for perfection. Unfortunately for him, he fell victim to Dave Stieb syndrome and the offence was non-existent until long after his night was over. Who would have predicted this kind of dominance from a guy who was supposed to be the swingman? 8.2 innings pitched, two hits (one that barely counts), no walks, 10 strikeouts and 0.6 WAR. Slow clap.
Razzie? The candidates weren’t strong this week thankfully but we’re going with Jose Bautista. One hit is not very helpful even if it was a home run. He deserves slack as he’s been all star worthy so far this season.