With a terrible May behind them, the Toronto Blue Jays schedule doesn’t get any easier in June.
So the Blue Jays will gracefully limp into June like a 94 year old gymnast. They have awkwardly made the AL East a stomping ground…for their opponents. Sitting on the cusp of a wildcard spot, they finished the month 3 and 7 to make an absolute mockery of their May schedule. I predicted them at the end of April, even the beginning of the season, to finish four games above .500 for the month. Boy, was I wrong. They won one series in the month if you don’t count the April/May bridge series with the Twins. But for the way the month went, we probably should count it. They went 9 and 19 in the month of May. 9 and 19, really, just added it up for the first time…that is septic.
What hope does this hold for the rest of the season? Where do we go from here?
There were not many bright spots this month. Kevin Pillar leading the league in doubles; Aaron Sanchez and his near no hitter; Russell Martin marking shortstop and left field off his bucket list; or the emergence of a few glimpses into the future of the Blue Jays with players like Lourdes Gurriel, Dwight Smith Jr., Anthony Alford, and the constant improvement of Teoscar Hernandez.
June doesn’t look much better. Toronto will bookend the month with series against Detroit, followed by scattered series’ against surging teams like Houston, Los Angeles, Washington, Atlanta, with an early visit from the Yankees. This could, and likely will, get worse before it gets any better. The good thing is I think they will be better in June…although not much. At first look, I could see Toronto pulling out 11 wins leaving them with a still grim 11 and 15 record, dipping lower into the depths of the American League basement.
Unless something changes…
As mentioned in previous articles, the bullpen is up and down but has been better this season. The rookies they have brought up have shown promise and earned their worth and proven it was a good decision for the short promotion…or at least have been no worse than the players they replaced. Having two catchers in the lineup every night seems like a decision that won’t kill them, but probably can’t last.
If they can keep building on these few bright spots then we have a chance to be better. Kevin Pillar could keep rolling, Donaldson could hit like he’s paid for and veterans like Curtis Granderson can keep providing timely offence like he has so far.
Looking back, I originally predicted an ever optimistic 16-10 record to keep us rolling towards a Wildcard berth in September. Sure, the Jays have not performed like I predicted but it is not all their fault. Teams like the Angels, Athletics, Mariners and Atlanta are making a run this season and have made life tough for even the best teams in baseball. They have showed amazing heart, great pitching and good batting and are all putting together promising seasons.
2018 may not end well, but it would be nice to get to a point where we feel we do not have to trade Josh Donaldson or more. It would be nice to have the Jays show their fans they are making an effort to make the playoffs and not just in a hurry to bring up young guys to symbolically wave the white towel on this season.
I want this team to win, I really thought the new hires were progress, and really thought the veterans we rely on annually would still hold up their end. I also would like to see the pitching staff hold the opposition to less than a half dozen in a game consistently. Until that happens though, get used to 9 and 19 months. BW
*Featured Image Courtesy Of DaveMe Images. Prints Available For Purchase.
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