Riding a hot streak
(2) First 6 game win streak since 2016 (8/21/20)
Since I went over this one above, I will keep it short and sweet. The Blue Jays were not expected to be an above .500 team and their 7-11 start only added to that sentiment early on in the season. Moreover, it felt like even in a 60 game sprint with an expanded postseason bracket, Jays fans were about to be treated to yet another losing season.
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The baseball gods had something different to say. Between the 17th and 21st of August, the Jays would ride out a 6-game winning streak to move their record to 13-11. Given the brevity of the 2020 season, this was just about as quick of a turnaround as a team could possibly go through. After 18 games the Jays looked like a losing club and after 24 games, they looked like one of the better ball clubs in the AL. That kind of turn around inside of one week was sheer excitement for the Toronto faithful after a disappointing start to the schedule.
(1) Hyun Jin Ryu leads Blue Jays back to the playoffs (9/24/20)
Going into the latter half of September, the Jays began to slump badly. In the 10 games leading up to their eventual postseason clinching game, the Blue Jays were 3-7 with a 6-game losing streak sandwiched in there. The Mariners, Angels, Orioles and even Tigers were within a few games of passing the Blue Jays for the final playoff spot. It was looking like the Jays postseason hopes were too good to be true for such a young and undeveloped core.
In comes ace Hyun Jin Ryu. After a very rough couple of weeks of Blue Jays starting pitching, Ryu turned in the best start of the season in their most important game since October of 2016. Ryu tossed a scoreless 7.0 innings with only seven men reaching base. For most teams, this pitching line may seem rather mundane, but with manager Charlie Montoyo’s conservative managing style, it had been a long time since a Blue Jays starter got into the 7th inning. In fact, it had been more than a full calendar year since a Jays pitcher had done so.
With all the doubts and head shakers going into 2020, it was even more special for Jays fans to see this club clinch a postseason berth. It all came full circle with new Blue Jay, Hyun Jin Ryu’s dominant performance.