Jays From the Couch looks back at April, 2018 and ahead to May for the Toronto Blue Jays
I am not a guy who is known for saying “I told you so,” but here we are. After a blistering start the Blue Jays came back down to earth to fall into the level success many would associate them with. In an earlier article I wrote, I predicted a .500 record for the Bluebirds, and they looked like they were going to blow my predictions out of the water. But, will finish above .500 for the month of April despite a 3-7 skid before the last game of the Rangers series on Sunday. The Rangers had a chance to sweep Toronto…the same Rangers team that the Jays had a chance to sweep in the second series of the season in Arlington. I also wrote that they had a chance to gain a few wins toward the end of the month. They have clearly done that with a couple strong showings to run into May with a head of steam.
Before their recent slide they were holding down second in the East, and a win in the first game against Boston…things were really looking up. Shortly removed from Morales and Donaldson hitting the DL, then Travis shortly after. These incidents seemed like they would be trivial but, if anything, seemed like it messed up the chemistry this team built in the first two weeks of the season. The lineup and rotation seemed to get out of sync at the same time. They have not, seemingly, been able to recover from that since.
If we look back to try and find a root cause, could we possibly blame it on the Cleveland series?
Not directly Cleveland, or the series itself, but maybe the weather. If you recall, the Jays dominated Cleveland in the first game then were rained out the next two…and the first game (at home mind you) against the Royals. There is only two ways a break like that can go, either they cool off or they come together and get even hotter. The problem is the former happened. I may not be able to directly blame the weather, or the injuries, or bat and rotation cooling…or a combination of all three, but regardless it did happen–rather, it is happening now.
The one good thing, April may have been one of the tougher months of the season. Although, with the start the May opponents have had, it could be a tougher month than first predicted. The Angels, Athletics and Mariners are all playing better than expected in my eyes and sporting records to prove it being at least on par or better than the Blue Jays. The Mets, much the same, holding down the second best record in the National League. Add in Boston, a double header make up against Cleveland, and a series in Philly against the upstart Phillies and this could be the month that defines the season.
With this most recent skid, Toronto has fallen from the top Wildcard spot and set to challenge Boston for the division lead to 4th in the Wildcard .5 games back of a playoff spot to begin May. All-in-all, right where I predicted they would be, but overall, a disappointment to where we know they could have been.
Before the season started I wrote a large entry to pick from as the season wore on to see how well I was personally able to predict a Blue Jays outcome. Through all the ups and downs of the first month though, and their recent skid, they are still showing signs of life and will optimistically stick to my early “educated guess”. Recall May of 2017 where they made up a lot of ground lost in April sporting an 18-10 record…and moreover, ringing off two separate 5 game winning streaks. I am pushing for that record, and if we do, then we will be faring far better than 2017. We are sitting just on the cusp of the wildcard currently. With a winning record, they will move up. Recall last season, when on the 10th of May they were 10.5 games back. By the 1st of June they were 5.5 GB. A 5 game climb in the standings…I am sure we would all welcome that!
May prediction: 15-11
April record: 16-12
(Earlier March/April prediction: 15-15)
*Featured Image Courtesy Of DaveMe Images. Prints Available For Purchase.
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