The Toronto Blue Jays are at last living up to expectations from the offseason, and early in spring training. The current roster tied a franchise record of 11 wins in a series ending romp of the Baltimore Orioles on Sunday, which helped place the Blue Jays back in the thick of the American League Eastern Division.
The team started the season on shaky ground, with each of the strongest pieces of the team failing to come together. The Blue Jays made one of the largest deals in MLB history during the offseason, when they acquired Mark Buehrle, Josh Johnson, and Cy Young Award winning R.A. Dickey as the starting pitchers for the 2013 season. However, the pitchers struggled to find their groove in Toronto, and without offensive powerhouses knocking balls out of the park, the hope for the Blue Jays began to fade away. Internet gambling and sportsbetting guides were quick to reduce the odds on Toronto in favour of other teams.
But the last two weeks really turned things around for Canada’s stars of baseball. The offense is really flexing its muscles, scoring an impressive 102 runs over the 11 game winning streak. At the same time, the pitchers and the backing defense only surrendered 52 runs over the same timeframe. The Blue Jays’ management stated early in the season that everything has to be firing on all cylinders for the team to be successful. If the last two weeks are any indication, those cylinders are fired up, and refusing to burn out.
The top of the lineup consists of the powerhouses like Jose Bautista, who are recognized for their home-run hitting prowess. But over the course of the last 11 games, the bottom of the lineup has hit the ball in succession to get on base, and drive in runs. Manager John Gibbons says part of the turn-around is due to teaching players at the bottom of the roster to focus their efforts towards getting on base rather than hitting home runs.
“I don’t think any of them are hitting like they want to, but they’re good baserunners, good on defence, they do all those things well for us.”
The Blue Jays will attempt to break their winning streak record with a twelfth win in Tampa Bay tonight, which will also solidify their position at fourth in the AL East Division.