Blue Jays inability to win games late was their Achilles heel this season

BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 03: Roberto Osuna /

The Toronto Blue Jays are going to miss the postseason for the first time in three years and in all likelihood will end the season in the basement of the American League East.

When attempting to dissect where it all went wrong in 2017, you have to look no further than the pitching. The Blue Jays utilized 14 different starters this season due to an assortment of injuries to their staff coupled with a down-season from Marco Estrada forced the Jays to overwork and tax their bullpen all season long.

The relievers, for the most part, were above average as the likes of Ryan Tepera and Dominic Leone asserted themselves as viable major league talents. The issue came to closing or winning games late as the Jays were the victim of the most walk-off losses in the majors. Opponents walked-off the Blue Jays a demoralizing 13 times thus far in 2017.

Blue Jays relievers are tied for tops in the majors with 24 blown saves while their closer Roberto Osuna has a league leading 9 blown opportunities of his own. Osuna has made 60 appearances slamming the door on games at a 79.5% clip while earning 35 saves. He is 4th in the majors in saves however his conversion rate is not nearly as efficient at the top three closers.

More from Toronto Blue Jays News

The Rays Alex Colome leads the majors with 41 saves, he has an 89.1% success rate, Greg Holland has 36 saves and a 90% conversion rate while the Dodgers Kenley Jansen also has 36 saves but a rate of 97.3%.

The Blue Jays are 63-74 and 8.5 games back in the wild-card chase, those 9 blown saves loom large in the overall complexion of the standings. One of our Jays Journal columnists had an interesting tweet on this very stat yesterday.

Obviously, you can armchair quarterback many elements of the season, however, the inability to win games late and put that final nail in the opposition’s coffin is one of the glaring reasons the Jays are going to finish in the AL East cellar in 2017.

Next: Blue Jays’ Anderson takes a subtle shot at the Cubs