Winning nine games in a row is a tough feat for any team in any of the major North American sports to achieve. This type of streak involves either a full-on team effort or a certain aspect of a team’s game to be running on full cylinders and compensating for the lack of production of others. The latter is how the Toronto Blue Jays managed to sweep three series in a row and propel their way to the top spot in the American League East.
As good as everyone believes the Jays’ pitching has been performing as of late, the fact of the matter is that the starting hurlers have been recipients of an unreal amount of run support by sluggers such as Edwin Encarnacion, Jose Bautista and Melky Cabrera. Without these big bats performing the way they have over the past two weeks, the Jays would still remain in the middle of the pack in the AL East standings.
It would be a stretch to say that the powerful offense the Jays have put together could carry the rest of the team into the playoffs after game No. 162. The Jays are still a very unbalanced team in regards to the production they get out of their batting order versus what they get on a daily basis from whoever their starting five pitchers may be, week-to-week. If the Jays front office wants their club to be a contender, they better get on the phone with other GMs around the league, and they better do it fast.
The Jays’ starting lineup is built to win now. The pitching, on the other hand, needs a lot of work. Trading for a starter such as Jeff Samardzija could solidify the Jays as a playoff contender within the log-jammed AL East. It’s unfair to those swinging the bats to think that they can continue to bash their way into the playoffs. Help is needed on the mound. If this isn’t realized by the front office right now, it doesn’t matter how many home runs the Jays can hit night in and night out. They will fail to make the playoffs without making a trade for a dominant starter.