Last week I wrote a post called “What Does Last Night’s Jays’ Loss Mean? Not Much”. The theme of the article was that despite getting pasted by the last place Rays 8-3, the game did not mean that the bottom had fallen out of the Jays season. I argued that it didn’t mean much if a first place team had been beaten badly by a last place team in one game, case in point being that the World Series winning Royals in 2015 losing 10-3 and 12-1 to a barely .500 Cleveland Indians team, and that over a long 162 game season it didn’t mean much if a first place team had been beaten by a last place team, and that deciding that the Jays were in dire straits was an over reaction.
And then this week happened.
Before Saturday’s game the Jays were 1-6 in their last 7 games. Losing a 2 of 3 game series against the Rays, and then getting swept by the Yankees.
And of course Friday night — which was even uglier than the loss the week against the Rays the Friday night before, with the Jays losing 13-3. The game was Estrada’s fourth poor start of his past five. In this time frame he has let up 20 earned runs in 23 1/3 innings. It wasn’t just the starting pitching though, as although Estrada was pulled out after 2 1/3 innings and 3 earned runs, the bullpen let up 8 additional earned runs over the remaining 6 2/3 runs.
So, after a horribly played game Friday capping a horrible week, the obvious question was whether this was the start of a Jays’ collapse, or merely a slump from which they would rebound and continue like they have previously. A further question of course would be if they would rebound the next day.
Saturday’s game was great news for Jay’s fans in this regard. The Jays played a solid game against the Red Sox, who prior to Saturday’s game were 19-11 in their last 30. In addition, it was a solid start by J.A. Happ, holding the Bosox to 2 runs in 6 innings, and the relievers holding them scoreless over the next three innings — when the Sox averaged just over 6 runs a games and out-scored their opponents 184-112 over the previous 30 games.
So, again, what does the game mean? Extremely encouraging of course, as getting the win after a 4 game losing streak means ending the longest losing streak they had since a 5 game losing streak in May. However, at this point it is impossible to say whether this represents the end of the Jays slide, or not. They have to return to how they were playing from June to August if they want a chance to play in the post-season. With only 21 games left in the season, a tight race for both the American League East division title and the two wild card spots, at this point no team can have another serious slide and hope to make the post-season.
Let’s hope that Saturday’s game represents the Jays turning the corner, and that we’ll see them play in the post-season.
Writer’s note: Very slight copy edits were made to this post at 11:18 am EDT, approximately 90 minutes after the post was originally published. These edits are not changes in any data used or any opinions expressed in the original version of the article.