As much as it pains me to write the words, the Toronto Blue Jays‘season is over.
The Blue Jays needed to start the second half of the season strong, but they have done the complete opposite. It is unfortunate to say that at this point of the season, but there it is. The series sweep at the hands of the Tampa Bay Rays has shown that the Blue Jays didn’t have what was required to be competitive in this year’s AL East.
Going into the season, the expectation was to have Jose Reyes, Rajai Davis and Emilio Bonifacio running wild on the base paths while Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion drove in a plethora of runs for the starting pitchers. The new rotation was to keep the opposing team from scoring too many runs and have the ability to dominate at least one of five games.
It was a good plan, but due to various reasons, the plan fell apart.
The eyeball test tells me this season is over because no matter how many base runners the Blue Jays have, the bats just don’t cash them in. I don’t believe there is a difference between regular hitting and hitting with RISP, but there seems to be some intangible force holding this team back from hitting when men are on base.
When the Blue Jay bats are not scoring runs, the pitching staff should be able to hold opposition bats quiet, or at least keep the score close so the bats can make a comeback. Frustratingly, this has not been the case. When the Blue Jays actually have the lead, the staff has developed the annoying skill of giving up runs and letting the lead slip away. The staff has allowed the team to hang around long enough to win tight games.
If the Blue Jays were going to make a run to the playoffs, they not only needed to start strong, but stay strong. This season’s Blue Jays squad have not demonstrated the look of a team that will magically start playing the way fans would like them to. They have not had the intangibles working in their favor, and they don’t have the momentum required to catch up with the rest of the AL East.
It stings to see another season’s playoff hopes disappear, but as all true fans do, I will look forward with new hopes to next season and play equal to the team’s talent level.