Don’t look now but the Blue Jays are on a winning streak. With much improved starting pitching from some unlikely sources and timely hitting up and down the lineup the Toronto Blue Jays have won eight games in a row. The fan base is re-energized and the idea of some actual meaningful baseball later in the summer might not be so outlandish.
The Blue Jays took care of business against the short handed Rockies who were without there start shortstop Troy Tulowitzki. In game one Josh Johnson really took care of business pitching a complete gem (7.1 innings, 5 hits, 0 earned, 2 BB and 10 K’s). It was easily the best performance of his short Blue Jays career and hopefully a sign of things to come.
The longest winning streak in Toronto Blue Jays history is 11-straight victories. This was performed twice in the franchise’s history – once in 1987 and again in 1998. From a Bleacher Report piece here are some interesting details of the two streaks:
(1987) Toronto Blue Jays manager Jimy Williams was borderline abusive towards Mark Eichhorn in 1987. He used the reliever 89 times (127.2 IP) throughout the campaign.
Eichhorn, not surprisingly, made seven appearances between June 2-13, the start and end dates of this streak.
Top performers during streak: Tony Fernandez (.348/.412/.652), Dave Stieb (2-0, 1.42 ERA, 1.03 WHIP)
Final 1987 record: 96-66
(1998) Shortstop Tony Fernandez had several stints with U.S. teams while in the prime of his career. He re-signed north of the border in 1998 and had remarkable offensive value.
Jose Canseco and Roger Clemens were other older guys holding up suspiciously well as the calendar turned to September.
Top performers during streak: Jose Canseco (.341/.438/.829), Roger Clemens (2-0, 1.06 ERA, 0.65 WHIP).
Final 1998 record: 88-74
Wes recapped game three and had a look at our lock down bullpen:
This bullpen is exactly what Alex Anthopoulos anticipated when he made all those deals for relievers. I openly questioned the wisdom of dealing everyday players for relievers as AA made a lot of deals for RP over the last couple of seasons. Esmil Rogers cost the Jays a manager, a reliever, and two quality utility players. JA Happ was originally acquired to be a long reliever, and Brandon Lyon was part of that package. Steve Delabar and Brad Lincoln cost the Jays two young outfielders. Frank Francisco cost the Jays Mike Napoli. Sergio Santos cost a low-level prospect. Then we need to consider all of the free agent RP they signed (Darren Oliver; Kevin Gregg; Francisco Cordero; Jon Rauch; Octavio Dotel; etc.). Then there were the AAAA pitchers and journeymen, such as Coello, Chavez, Korecky, Igarashi, Walters, Tallet, and Miller.
Read all of his insightful prior game recaps here. The last three pieces have included updated offensive, defensive and pitching statistics and league rankings. Well worth a look, click the link to see all of the recaps and reviews.
Are the Blue Jays fans bandwagon jumpers or just one of the more passionate fan bases? Check out my take here.
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CURRENT RECORD: 35-36, 5th place, 7.5 games out of first place. (-5 run differential)
Here are the quick recaps and boxscores: (click on game scores for the Yahoo! boxscore)
Game 1 – Blue Jays 2, Rockies 0 – Josh Johnson masterful as Jays squeak out close one.
Game 2 – Blue Jays 8, Rockies 3 – Encarnacion with big game as Jays dominate.
Game 3 – Blue Jays 5, Rockies 2 – Back-to-back series sweeps and 8-game winning streak.
UP NEXT: Off day Thursday and then the Jays welcome AL East rival Baltimore to Toronto for an important three game set versus the Orioles (42-31, +25 run differential, 7-3 L10).