The Toronto Blue Jays found themselves in a peculiar situation heading into last week’s road trip featuring a two-game series against the St. Louis Cardinals and four-game series against the Los Angeles Angels this past weekend.
While the club features some of the best bats across the league in Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Teoscar Hernandez, Bo Bichette, and George Springer, they haven’t really come to life as the schedule hit the quarter mark of the 162 game season last week. This is especially evident with runners in scoring position, where they currently sit towards the bottom of the leaderboard with a .197 batting average with 112 RBI through 348 at-bats.
As I write this article, the Blue Jays currently sport a .694 OPS, which is ranked 16th in the MLB and a .237 batting average, sitting at #15. This is a far cry from pretty much the same team that led so many offensive-related categories last year but nevertheless, the Jays finished the road trip by splitting the series against St. Louis and sweeping the Los Angeles Angels. For a club that has technically had one of the toughest schedules in all of Major League Baseball to be sitting with a 27-20 record given the RISP and batting issues is pretty impressive in my opinion.
The Blue Jays’ bats were on full display this road trip, with the club splitting the two-game series against the Cardinals while also sweeping the Angels.
More importantly, this past road trip has apparently awoken the Blue Jays bats that fans were so desperately looking for earlier this season. Before heading to St. Louis, the Jays squad had only scored 5+ runs 14 times this year, which is not going to help win games when you face tough teams like the New York Yankees and the Houston Astros multiple times early in the schedule.
Fast forward to the end of this road trip and the Jays have turned on another gear, scoring 6+ runs in four of their last six games and are currently riding a five-game winning streak that includes sweeping the Angels.
Players like Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and Alejandro Kirk are starting to find the barrel to the ball and Matt Chapman continues to hit the ball well even if his slash line says differently, as evident by his stats on Baseball Savant. Bo Bichette continues to hit the clutch home runs when the club needs it and even Raimel Tapia got in on the fun today, going 2-4 with three RBI. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. also got in on the fun, crushing a solo home run in the second game of the St. Louis series that was his first home run since May 5th against the Guardians. Outfielder Teoscar Hernandez is still looking to find a consistent groove at the plate but did have a solid day as a pinch hitter earlier today, going 1 for 1 with an RBI and a walk. Factor in that Danny Jansen has been phenomenal since returning from the IL, and it was a positive road trip for the Blue Jays and one that hopefully starts a trend of the Blue Jays bats finding a way to keep putting the ball in play and putting runs on the board.
The schedule turns over to have the Blue Jays back at home starting on Tuesday against the Chicago White Sox before the Minnesota Twins head to town for a three-game weekend series. The schedule also gets a bit easier midway through June when the Jays face some lower-ranked clubs like the Kansas City Royals, Detroit Tigers, and Baltimore Orioles, hopefully padding the record to climb the AL East division.
Hopefully, the Blue Jays bats can continue to stay hot and keep the winning streak rolling against Chicago later this week.