Deep Breaths


First the facts:

The Blue Jays have lost two straight series and 4 of the past 5 games.

They were shutout in three of those games, and scored a grand total of 7 runs.

They were beaten at home by the Minnesota Twins.

That much we know.  That much is obvious.

If you feel the need to jump off the bandwagon, feel free.  Watch your ankles on the landing.

Let’s be serious here folks: is there reason to be concerned?  Of course there is.  Anytime a team loses 4 of 5 there is reason to be concerned, no matter what came before.  Toronto could have been 100-57 then lost 4 of the last 5 games of the season, and the fan base would have been screaming how they aren’t set for the playoffs and they’re coming in on a losing note.

But is there really reason to be concerned?  Is this the start of an epidemic?  Were the Jays simply playing over their heads for the previous 32 games?  Is this the crash back to Earth that we all dreaded may happen?

Relax kids.  Take a deep breath, and step away from the ledge.  Things are going to be OK.  Today’s loss shaved the Blue Jays’ division lead to 5 games heading into tonight’s action, which just happens to be the biggest divisional lead in the American League and second biggest in baseball.  They are 11 games over .500, a height they haven’t been in many, many, many years.  With 95 games left in the season, the Jays have to go 51-44 to finish with 90 wins, which just might be enough to take a fairly weak AL East.  To put that in context, last year the Blue Jays went 43-52 in the final 95 games, all while playing without most of their team for a good chunk of that stretch.  Methinks this year’s team is better – at least 8 wins better.

But here is also why you don’t have to be concerned.  All good teams have blips.  The Detroit Tigers were supposed to walk away with the AL Central.  They are 33-27, only 2.5 games up.  The Dodgers were supposed to romp to the NL title, yet are 35-31 and way back of division leading San Francisco.

And it’s not like the Jays were blown out either.  They ran into hot pitching on the weekend, and then went out and crushed Kevin Correia yesterday.  (Seriously – what must the odds have been on Correia shutting out the most vaunted offense in baseball?)  But a scorching line drive right at a fielder here, and a behind the back circus catch there meant the team had nothing to show for it.

That happens – this is baseball.

So just because it’s been a tough stretch doesn’t mean the sky is falling.  It doesn’t mean that the 15 game losing streak is approaching, and the basement is reaching for us.

Take a deep breath and go to sleep.

All will be well in the morning.

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