Thank goodness for the All-star break. It came at a perfect time for the Blue Jays who have been in free fall. Two weeks ago the Jays were 5 games above .500 and just one game back of the divisional lead. Today they find themselves a game under .500 and 4.5 back. This rough stretch has essentially erased the Jays’ excellent June. Before the 11 game winning streak, the Jays were…4.5 games back. It’s not like the team has been getting clobbered day in and day out. Most of their losses have been very winnable games—which makes the slide even more frustrating. Hopefully the break will give the Jays time to heal up, regroup mentally, start fresh and most importantly, work on bringing in the pitching bodies they desperately need.
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By the standards of an average team, the Blue Jays had an average week offensively, however by their own lofty standards, the Jays had perhaps their worst week of the season at the plate. They were shutout in two consecutive games and only one Jay had a wRC+ north of 125. Josh Donaldson was that one. He had 2 home runs, 2 doubles, a single, 2 walks and 4 RBI in 21 ABs. Jose Reyes had 125 wRC+ and increased his offensive value with 4 steals. He had a double and 9 singles in 27 ABs. Devon Travis had a solid week but beyond that, the lineup struggled.
There weren’t any notable (positive) performances from the bullpen aside from 2 solid innings courtesy of Brett Cecil.
In spite of two poor starts, the rotation was the most effective aspect of the team this week. Felix Doubront was Jekyll and Hyde in his two starts, Drew Hutchison was ineffective once again and Marco Estrada was solid. R.A Dickey ended up on the losing end of a pitching battle with Jeff Samardzija. Mark Buehrle had two great outings. His better outing resulted in loss against Chris Sale. That game was the shortest of the Jays’ season at a scant 1:54.
Buehrle threw 15 innings allowing just 2 earned runs, 14 hits, zero walks (!), and 4 strikeouts in two starts. Where would the Jays be without the wily veteran? Two weeks ago, Marco Estrada won the Jays’ player of the week. It seemed unlikely that pitcher would beat out a position player again this year. However, it has happened again this week. Mark Buehrle is this week’s player of the week.
As with any 5 loss and 2 win week, there were many Razzie candidates. Ezequiel Carrera had just one single in 12 ABs. Nearly the whole bullpen struggled at some point. We’ll give it to Steve Delabar for blowing the hard earned comeback yesterday.