Thanks to a disappointing September, the Toronto Blue Jays enter the postseason as underdogs, which is working out just fine for them.
There’s nothing better than October Blue Jays baseball, especially when the Blue Jays are the underdogs. It’s a moniker that seems to fuel them better than any other. They were favored to either win the division in 2016 or be a strong contender by many outlets. While questions about the 2016 rotation clouded these predictions, they were still in the mix with the top teams in the AL. A very different start to the underdog season of 2015, where the team managed to steamroll their way into the franchise’s first postseason in 22 years.
— TorontoStar (@TorontoStar) April 8, 2016
— Campus Times (@lvcampustimes) April 9, 2016
There were so many expectations coming into this season after the amazing performance of the year before. Another postseason was not just hoped for, but expected. The pressure to keep up with those expectations was on. This pressure, however, seemed to be too much for the boys in blue to handle. After climbing to the top of the division in late July, fans watched in horror as the slide began.
— Yahoo Canada Sports (@YahooCASports) August 1, 2016
The term “meaningful September baseball” took a turn for most Blue Jays fans as the baseball world watched the bats go silent and the lead slip farther and farther away. It was looking pretty dismal, and the post season dreams were slowly fading away into dreams of another season. Every game became a must win. The Blue Jays, instead of being favourites to win, had slipped back into the roll of the underdogs. While a scary place to be for most, it seems that this is what works for them, what makes them dig deeper for the win.
— Scott Carson (@KOAS1963) September 30, 2016
Here we are in October baseball, and it has all the feels so far. The excitement, the anxiety, the coming together of Blue Jays fans around the country- lets face it- around the world. October is a time for baseball to be at its best, and despite the early predictions and favourite considerations, the Blue Jays were in the mix of it only by a hair. A hair is all they needed.
Blue Jays October baseball has seen a turnaround in the team. For the first time in a while, the bats have come alive behind some solid and sometimes lights out pitching. They are working together, and that has been amazing to witness. They are currently playing with a winning record, and have picked the best time of the season to get hot, something many fans are looking to be sustainable for the postseason. For the boys in blue, the slide and the dismissal by others in the league has them looking more and more like the dream team of 2015.
This pseudo underdog status and the possibility of an upset in the AL has fueled the Blue Jays to put their best foot forward. Judging from the commanding and sustained punch of the 10-1 win in Game 1 against the Texas Rangers and a 5-3 victory in Game 2, they are looking to prove themselves again. Thanks to momentum, it seems likely they’ll be able to do it. To those who still dismiss this team, please do, in only serves to make them fight all the harder to prove you wrong.
*Featured Image Credit: ARDEN ZWELLING- TWITTER
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Catherine Stem is a Blue Jays fan and writer who has combined both of these great things by writing for Jays From the Couch. Through all the ups and downs of baseball, all aspects of the game are explored. Keeping a close eye on the Blue Jays Triple A team, the Buffalo Bisons has also become part of her make-up.