What a great feeling. You know what, let’s keep this theme going:
It wasn’t that long ago that Russell Martin was grounding out in Washington to end the only threat the team mounted in a 2-0 loss to fall 7 games under .500 and 4.5 back in the Al East. With a second game to follow that evening against another Washington ace and a series with the Houston Astros lurking I wasn’t exactly in a positive frame of mind. While I ended up writing a long entry about the different stages of grief a sports fan goes through after a painful loss, the next 11 games persuaded me to save that post to either email to a Vikings fan in mid September, or use if the Blue Jays ever lose another game.
After 11 consecutive wins, everything has been coming up Blue Jays! Finally there have been clutch moments from the entire team, including the bullpen and Gibby! Let's listen to Luda again!
Let’s break down some of the moments from the winning streak that have allowed it to reach this level:
Game #1: Blue Jays 7 Nationals 3
After losing that afternoon session, the thought of battling Max Scherzer in game 2 wasn’t particularly appetizing. While Scherzer pitched a great game, it turns out the Blue Jays had his kryptonite in the slumping Kevin Pillar, who took him deep twice.
Pillar hitting two off of Scherzer is the best underdog story I have heard since Brian Scalabrine shared the Kevin Garnett vs. Big Baby arm wrestling story from a 2010 Celtic’s flight:
Sometimes as a 5th place team you need an underdog to start things off for you.
Game #2: Blue Jays 8 Nationals 0
This game was full of good feelings. Seeing Mark Buehrle break up an attempted double play on route to settling in for a complete game shut out was special. Unfortunately I can’t find video of the play, so we must settle for this beautiful photo.
Game#3 and Game #4: Blue Jays 6 Houston 2; Blue Jays 7 Houston 2
After taking a beating at the hands of the first place Astros last month, taking the first two games of the series to secure a series win was fantastic. Getting solid starts from the ever improving Sanchez and Hutchinson was even better!
Game #5: Blue Jays 7 Houston 6
We have official entered full on fandom mode. To provide full transparency I must disclose that I didn’t get a chance to watch any of this game. I took some of my colleagues on a fishing trip to Sioux Narrows to a remote fishing shack. I spent approximately an hour on a giant rock holding my cell phone up to the sun and received the following text from my friend Dre:
“ My god. The Blue Jays are charging”
While I didn’t know the score or the outcome, I had a great feeling. Going down 6-3 in the 7th inning doesn’t often lead to magical comebacks. Unless that is, your team is on a roll getting clutch plays like your short stop breaking up a pop fly by holding his position on second base, and your recent call up hiting .330 for an extended period of time.
Take that Marlins! That is what happens when Scott Stapp sings songs for your club. You get a beat down:
Game #7: Blue Jays 4 Miami 3
If you are going to win 11 games in a row, you are going to need to steal some games. In the 7th inning the game was tied at 2 with Giancarlo Stanton up at the plate. Stanton had already hit a homerun in the 1st inning, and instead of trying to pitch around him, the Jays went right at him and paid the price, as he hit his second homerun of the day. However, despite being outhit 10 to 5 and trailing in the bottom of the 9th inning, the Blue Jays again found a way!
I think its time for another musical theme to capture the mood:
Who knew Ludacris would be featured prominently in one song, while also extensively having sampled a second song in the same blog post! We truly are in magical territory now.
Game #8: Blue Jays 7 Miami 2
With Aaron Sanchez apparently set for a short stint on the DL, the Jays turned to Scott Copeland for his first start with the club. Copeland gave the Jays 7 innings of one run ball, while the bats crushed 4 home runs. Another quality start, another offensive explosion. Just like we all thought in April!
Game #9: Blue Jays 13 Boston 10
Boom! Hey Boston. I DRINK YOUR MILKSHAKE!!!
After falling behind the last place Sox 8-1 the Blue Jays bats performed an exorcism on Fenway Park exploding for a 9 spot in the 7th inning. Not even the mighty Tazawa could stop this train. (Ps. Thanks MLB for randomly blocking some official videos but not others... its best to try and stop fans from viewing your products after the game ends...)
Another day, another win. Nothing like 5 innings of shut out bullpen pitching to stir an extra inning victory! Martin continues to dominate both at the plate and behind it.
Game #11 Blue Jays 13 Boston 5
How about another song?
While today’s game contained many horrible defensive plays by Boston, the real theme of the entire Red Sox series has been the great defensive support by the Jays, and the explosiveness of the bottom of the order. Goins and Pillar who have both been exceptional defensively have also been offensive stars. Over the three games their statistics included a combined 12 hits and 11 RBI’s. This type of output is tremendous. When the bottom of the line up generates runs at this rate, its not a surprise to see that the Jays have put up more than 10 runs in 12 different games this season. Additionally, lets take a second and review the winning pitchers for the Blue Jays during this run:
Averaging over 6 innings per game from the starter is a big improvement for the club, and has helped alleviate some of the strain on the bullpen.
One more song for fun:
The Jays are now 34-30 and only 1 games behind first in the AL East. While I hope the win streak can continue with the Mets this week, the last 12 days have brought the club back into contention regardless of the next couple match ups. While the pitching continues to try and settle in, the bats are doing everything they can to keep the club winning. This is a crucial stretch in the season before the Jays extended road trip through July. I will be back at the Rogers Center this week cheering on the team to hopefully its 14th and 15th consecutive wins.