Believe it, or not, there are historical examples that could provide the Toronto Blue Jays with hope in 2017
It’s crazy. The game of baseball is crazy, and the Blue Jays are just proving how crazy it can be. On paper, despite having holes here and there, the Blue Jays should have a better record than they do. They have good players, with good stats, pitchers with low ERA’s. Yes, the DL list’s became a running joke, as has the glaring hole in left field most of the time. So invariably, the thought then moves to, can they still do it? Is all not completely lost? Has it been done before?
To brighten spirits and rally up, here is a look at five great comebacks in baseball history. Teams that, after a less than stellar first half, were able to pull out the win.
In 2013, the LA Dodgers we’re heading into the all-star break with a record of 31-42 by June 21. Things looked dismal and many were counting the team out. With the emergence of Yasiel Puig and getting key pieces of the team off the DL, the Dodgers went on an incredible 46-10 run through August and ended up finishing the season with a record of 92-70.
In 1995, the Seattle Mariners had a mediocre 34-35 record going into the break, five and a half games back from the lead. Crazy enough, the Mariners comeback run didn’t really hit until September. As of September 12 they faced a six game deficit, but were able to win 11 out of 12 games to give the team a three game lead in the division. It wasn’t over, however, and the Mariners ended up in a tie with the Los Angeles Angels. The Mariners prevailed, beating the Angels 9-1 in that tie-breaking game to claim the division.
In 2012, the Oakland A’s were 9 games back in their division heading into the break with a .500 record of 43-43. Looking to overtake the division leading Texas Rangers, they won 10 of their first 11 post break games. A stretch which saw the A’s win 15 out of 17 games brought them closer but they fell to five games back as of September 24. The A’s were able to surge ahead, winning eight of their nine final games, including a season ending series sweep of the Rangers to claim the pennant.
The year was 2006 and the Minnesota Twins were trying to catch the division leading Detroit Tigers. It was going to be a hard go for the team, as they sat nine and a half games back as of August 1, 2006. The Tigers did experience a fall from the top in the second part of the season, opening the door for the Twins, who ended up with a second half record of 49-27 giving them the ability to claim the central division title.
In 2007, the Colorado Rockies were not having a good season. By the break, they were considered to be out of contention, even for a wild card spot. Their incredible comeback came after the mid season point and an amazing September, with a run of winning 13 of their final 14 games. This forced a tie- breaker game against the San Diego Padres for the NL Wild Card spot. The game, which went into extra innings, was won in the 13th, propelling the Rockies into the post-season.
As the season is nearing the all-star break, and the Blue Jays record stands at 37-45, there is still reason to hope. Healthy players, a hole or two plugged up by the trade deadline and a winning attitude can make all the difference. It is that difference Blue Jays fans are looking for to reach the post-season for the third time in as many years. Hold on to your hats Blue Jays fans, it could still be quite a ride!
*Featured Image Credit: C Stem- JFtC
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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.