Blue Jays: Robbie Ray Shines In Potential Season Saving Game
There’s no doubt that Wednesday was Robbie Ray’s night. The hard-throwing lefty tossed seven dominant innings, where he allowed just one earned run and tied his career high in strikeouts with 14. Ray has been the Blue Jays best starter this year, and will be among the leaders in AL Cy Young voting thanks to his efforts.
The Tennessee native has put together a number of quality outings this season, but last night’s start may end up being his most important, and could act as a turning point for this Blue Jays squad.
The Jays came into this most recent series at the lowest point of their season. After a disappointing 3-6 west coast road trip, the team returned to Toronto and gave away two winnable games to the struggling Detroit Tigers. To make matters worse, the division leading White Sox were up next on the schedule. Due to their recent struggles, it became apparent that the Jays would have to take at least three games from the White Sox if they were going to keep their slim playoff hopes alive.
After splitting the first two games in the series, manager Charlie Montoyo turned to Ray, hoping he could build off his strong second half and net the Jays a huge win. Ray delivered, and was able to keep a struggling offence within striking distance, allowing them to take the lead in the 8th, securing a 3-1 victory. Last night’s win puts the Jays in a fantastic position to take the series tomorrow afternoon.
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There is still a lot of work to be done if this team is going to catch the likes of Boston, Oakland and Seattle in order to claim the 2nd Wild Card spot. The Jays currently sit 4.5 games behind the Red Sox, and will have to go 26-11 down the stretch if they hope to reach 92 wins, which appears to be the benchmark in this year’s race.
If the Jays can take care of business on Thursday, and then build off that momentum against two “lighter” opponents in the Detroit Tigers and the Baltimore Orioles, it will put them in position to make up some serious ground and pass the previously mentioned teams ahead of them in September.
Though playoff baseball is still unlikely this season, losing or even splitting this series against Chicago would have been crippling, and probably this team’s final nail in the coffin. Thanks to an outstanding performance from Robbie Ray along with some timely hitting, the Jays are still alive, and with weaker part of the schedule approaching, they still have a chance to go on a run and claim that final Wild Card spot.