The Blue Jays were completely outplayed in the three-game series against the Cleveland Guardians, leaving many asking if the team is faltering in the second half of the season. The Guardians outscored the Blue Jays 16-4 over the course of the series, as Toronto seemed to be consistently on the back foot each and every game. What is even more alarming is that the Jays have yet to win a series in August and have lost seven of their last 10 games.
The Blue Jays now have a record of 61-52 and haven’t won back-to-back August games. It’s not going to get much easier for the Jays either, as up next are the Baltimore Orioles, arriving for three games beginning Monday and then a four-game series against the MLB leading New York Yankees looms ahead.
On the bright side, the Blue Jays seem to have already posted a strong enough season to stay at the top of the AL Wild Card race. With not too many games to go, the Blue Jays, Rays and Mariners are currently holding the three positions but there are outside chances for the the Twins, White Sox and Orioles. A bad end to the season for the Jays could see them knocked out of Playoff contention but this seems rather unlikely at the moment.
Issues That Need to be Addressed
Arguably the most pressing issue that needs to be addressed by the Blue Jays is the sloppy defense in the past series. Defense has always been a strong suit of the team but in the past couple of series the unit has been uncharacteristically careless. Toronto is still ranked among the top six in MLB in team defensive runs saved and ultimate zone rating, so there is obviously the potential to pull things back but it will likely take the team putting in that extra bit of concentration.
While the batting has been pretty good in past series, it has been relying on a bit too much on a few players. Vlad Guerrero’s hitting streak came to an end at 22 games on Sunday, which while is a great personal feat, doesn’t bode well for that the team couldn’t pull out many wins during this period.
All in all, the Blue Jays are still in a good position to make a playoff run. The team definitely has the right personnel but has been faltering with silly mistakes, which makes you think come playoff time the team will lift their game and come together. Time will only tell.