Blue Jays change of fortune against AL East foe comes at the perfect time

Who knew that a visit to Fenway Park against the fearsome Boston Red Sox team that had owned them all year was the Blue Jays' remedy to their recent struggles
Toronto Blue Jays v Boston Red Sox
Toronto Blue Jays v Boston Red Sox / Winslow Townson/GettyImages

With the Toronto Blue Jays just coming off a demoralizing series against the Baltimore Orioles in which they lost three of the four games, things appeared to headed for a turn to the worse when they arrived in Boston for a weekend series against the Red Sox, a team they had not beaten all year, serving up potentially a prime recipe for disaster for the ballclub.

Who knew that an unheralded callup of Davis Schneider would provide the improbable spark for the ballclub for their exceptional turnaround performance in the series sweep over their long time divisional rivals. Practically everyone and everything was firing on all cylinders for the Jays throughout the series, and it had been something many have been expecting them to do for a long time. Even George Springer finally broke out of his 2-for-51 slump with a strong series, including multi-hits in the past two games.

In total, it was a complete team effort, as almost every starting player had at least one hit, one run scored, and one RBI (other than Danny Jansen and Paul DeJong) during the series. In addition, for once, they finally did something with their horrendous RISP statistic that had plagued them for much of the year. After an uninspiring 0-for-7 in the opening game of the series on Friday night, the Jays combined to go 12-for-26 in the last two games.

From the pitching standpoint, all three starters in Alek Manoah, José Berríos and Chris Bassitt provided strong, quality starts, along with the steady bullpen, shutting down the powerhitting Red Sox team for the most part other than a minor struggle by Erik Swanson in game two of the series. On top of that, Kevin Kiermaier made a couple of fine defensive plays in the outfield, but hoping that his departure from the final game in the series after a great leaping catch was just a minor cut that will heal up quickly in the coming days.

More importantly, it appears as though they have finally exorcised their demons playing against AL East opponents, as heading into the series, the Jays were a horrid 8-23 against their divisional foes, which was probably the main reason why they are currently fighting for a Wild Card spot, instead of the division title. With a sweep of the Red Sox, they can finally believe in themselves in that they can actually win within their division and perhaps anything could be possible down the stretch now.

Moreover, they have certainly found a hidden gem from their minor league system in the sudden emergence of slugger Schneider. For the series, after making his MLB debut on Friday, he went 9-for-13, with three runs scored, two home runs and five RBI, along with a 1.887 OPS to lead the Jays in the offensive outburst. In doing so, he has become the first MLB player in history to record nine hits and two home runs in their first three games of their career.

Nevertheless, this inspiring series against the Red Sox couldn’t have come at a better time, as it has no doubt reinjected confidence and motivation into the ballclub, after what they experienced against the division-leading Orioles. Not only that, everyone on the team now appears to be making positive contributions to the team in leading them to success. Hopefully, the Blue Jays will be able to build upon this and carry their momentum with them right into the final few weeks of the season, leading to a potential postseason berth and more.