On June 23 Josh Johnson, got his first (and sadly, only) win for the Toronto Blue Jays in a 13-5 romp over the Baltimore Orioles. That win was the 11th straight win for the Jays, and it had them just three losses out of first place in the AL East and two losses out of a Wild Card spot.
On Sunday’s final game before the All-Star break, it was again Johnson on the bump. The result was a 7-4 loss at the hands of those same Orioles, and the team enters the break in mega trouble as far as competing for a playoff spot in the second half of the season goes.
Sunday’s loss was the 13th in the 20 games following that win streak. Yikes.
This team was once in striking distance, but are now 11 losses worse than the division leading Boston Red Sox. The Jays are also now way back in the wild card race as they trail four teams by eight games.
The offense on Sunday was led by Macier Izturis, who went 2-for-4 with three runs batted in. The great news is he has been en fuego, with 15 hits in his last 31 at-bats. The bad news is that the list of Jays that have produced these past three weeks pretty much ends at Izturis.
Edwin Encarnacion had a very good series vs the O’s, but other than that, he has been stacking outs in July. He has hamstring issues that seem to have slowed him down. Fellow righty slugger Jose Bautista is following a poor June with a poor July. The home run hitter has a measly one dinger so far this month.
There was a stretch of games where Adam Lind was the hottest hitter in MLB, but that has curtailed significantly. Over this 20 game stretch, Lind has a measly one home run, and despite having a solid series vs the O’s (5-for-13 in the series with three RBIs) he is hitting .200 this month with zero long balls.
July has produced the J.P. Arencibia vs. Gregg Zaun and Dick Hayhurst drama, slumps for just about every hitter (especially the key hitters) and a paltry five wins in the first 13 games. Clearly, this is the worst case scenario for the Jays, and for a team that won the winter, they have been putrid in the summer.