The Toronto Blue Jays have been clawing their way into a playoff spot for most of the season, and while the odds of them making the postseason were at 9.3% on August 31st, the club has now found itself tied in the second Wild Card spot with the New York Yankees.
The Blue Jays run as of late has been impressive, winning 10 of their last 11 games since the start of September. They swept both the Yankees and the Oakland Athletics and although they lost their opener to the Baltimore Orioles on Friday, they won both games of the doubleheader yesterday to find themselves in the Wild Card spot by the end of the night.
Yesterday was an entertaining day for the Jays fanbase, as the team seemed down and out in both games before rallying back late in to secure the victory times two.
Two late inning comebacks yesterday against the Baltimore Orioles now have the Blue Jays tied for the second Wild Card spot with the New York Yankees.
In the first game, starter Hyun Jin Ryu would get hit around to the tune of seven earned runs through 2.1 innings while his replacement Ross Stripling would also not fair as well, surrendering three earned runs through 1.2 innings. The Orioles would smash four home runs off the two Blue Jays pitchers and would take a 10-5 lead heading into the fifth inning. With the game only being seven innings long, the Jays continued to chip away before taking the lead in the top of the seventh off a loud Lourdes Gurriel Jr. single to right field and a home run courtesy of George Springer to put the club ahead by one run. Jordan Romano would secure the victory in the bottom of the inning and the Jays took game #1.
Game two was also a bit nerve-wracking to watch, as the Jays could not muster a hit and only had two walks until the seventh inning off of Orioles starter Keegan Akin. Cedric Mullins put Baltimore ahead in the third with a solo home run off of starter Thomas Hatch before he left after the fourth inning with a hamstring injury. The bullpen would throw three clean innings (Anthony Castro’s run in the seventh was unearned) before the batting order went bananas in the top half of the seventh inning, collecting 11 hits, 11 runs, and four home runs which was all started by a Bo Bichette long ball off of Akin. The Jays would take the game 11-2 and now have the advantage in the series.
While the Jays’ wins yesterday were not the cleanest and probably gave every fan a substantial dose of heartburn, the fact that the team was able to take both games from the Orioles when they appeared to be down and out is huge both for confidence and standings. This may not fly as the season continues on, but a win is a win and the Blue Jays find themselves in a playoff spot because of it.
After the Orioles series, the Blue Jays are in tough in that they have to face the AL East leading Tampa Bay Rays twice (six games) but also face the lowly Minnesota Twins twice as well for seven games, setting a potentially interesting finale against the New York Yankees to close out the season.
It will go a long way for the Jays to win this game today against the Orioles as they continue the momentum into Tampa Bay and cannot afford to lose those two series against the Rays, who will be a lot tougher competition than the Orioles.
For now, be excited that the Blue Jays have found themselves back in the Wild Card after seemingly being counted out earlier this season and lavish in the fact that this next month will be fun to watch.