We’re vastly winding down to the end of September in the 2021 Toronto Blue Jays regular-season schedule. Due to the current situation, it looks like there will be a meaningful dance partner with us next week in the New York Yankees; one of serious importance.
After weeks of fiery offense, the Blue Jays bats are slowly simmering quietly at the worse time possible. The Blue Jays had capitalized on a Yankees and Red Sox slip-up while outscoring each series leading up to today. However, the birds have dropped 5 of the last 9 games against the Rays and Twins, outscored 38-32.
It is apparent that the run support wheels are losing air at the end of the highway. It is also apparent that frustration of the cooldown has reduced the usual Blue Jays “loose and living” dugout morale. Big bats have been mufflered out with spurts of production while the starting pitching has been decent and above, but not properly supported by runs. It is clear that stranded runners don’t help; if you’re watching these games, you’ll notice the lack of execution in key situations, leaving ducks on the pond.
However, let’s not dwell on the obvious negatives and remember that this roster is built to score runs.
This lineup can ignite and stay lit at any given point. Currently, the Jays sit 2.0 games behind the Yankees and Red Sox, while now being tightly trailed by the Seattle Mariners, who are just one game behind the Blue Jays, and are now fully back into the contention picture. What’s beautiful about our upcoming schedule? You know it; the New York Yankees.
Blue Jays face the New York Yankees in a crucial series in The Six this week.
It couldn’t have been a better last dance in the Blue Jays regular-season schedule. We have one more game against the Twins before the Yankees fly north to start a must-win series for both teams before facing Baltimore to finish out the campaign. The Yankees are the boys of October; they took a slide to make things interesting in this wild card run; however, they’re recuperated with things working in their favor, in-game and scoreboard-wise.
Do I fully believe they deserve a playoff berth? Not so much. I think the teams that execute best to secure their spot have earned that! Normally, the Yankees are that team, however, they’ve looked extremely sloppy and somewhat of a “beggar” team.
Tentatively, we can expect to see Gerrit Cole, Chad Green, and Jordan Montgomery, and or a Jameson Tallion and bullpen combination for the Pinstripes. In response, we’ll most likely see a Steven Matz and or a bullpen combination, Jose Berrios and Robby Ray. Toronto pitchers which we expect to see threw a separate combined 12.2 innings (Matz and Berrios) letting up 12 hits and 3 runs as opposed to a separate Yankee combination (Cole and Tallion) 10.2 innings, 9 hits, and 6 runs.
It is not likely that we see the return of Hyun Jin Ryu in this series, as he’s currently still slated on the 10-day injured list. Fans are going to see a strong igniting bat from Gary Sanchez, DJ LeMahieu, Anthony Rizzo, Gleyber Torres, and Gio Urshela who all like hitting at the dome. Judge and Stanton are always a threat despite the inconsistency. This opposes Semien who is starting to re-discover the groove he’s been on all season.
– The Blue Jays need to strike early, offensively, giving starting pitcher comfortable run support
– Base runner-focused, with a running game plan
– Small ball; get them on and over
– Play the appropriate shifts, defensive alignments
– Starting pitchers must go 5+ innings due to recent wear and tear of pitching and bullpen relief, keeping in mind, Ryu is on the injured list
– Control the opposing running game
– Generate and maintain clubhouse/dugout energy to keep morale spiked
– CROWD SUPPORT: The Ontario government has authorized increased capacity in a safe manner; let’s get behind this team! I’ll be there!
I’m going to say the obvious; this series is MUST WIN. I personally think it’s MUST SWEEP, for both teams. We have 3 after this series, against the spoiler-playing Orioles. We don’t want that series to be meaningful against us.