Every Monday during the 2015 season, 500 Level Fan will take a look back at the week that was, giving readers a snapshot of all things Blue Jays, including three top stories and the Blue Jay player of the week.
This is what happened in week 9.
Week 9: June 1 – June 7
Record: 5 – 1
Season-to-date: 28 – 30
AL East: 3rd, 4.5 GB of New York
Wild Card: 3 GB of 2nd Wild Card (Tampa Bay)
1. On a Roll!
It took a while, but the Blue Jays are finally hot! After bottoming out with a flat and uninspiring 2-0 loss to Washington in the first game of Tuesday’s doubleheader, Toronto has now won five straight games to close to within two games of .500 and three of the Wild Card leaders. This current hot streak has seen the Jays win in a variety of ways. There have been clutch comebacks, such as Tuesday’s fight back against Scherzer and the Nationals. They have won with power, smoking 8 HR in the five games. They have won with pitching, surrendering a total of only 13 runs, and having the starters average 7 innings per start. And they have won via the walk-off, plating three runs in the bottom of the 9th yesterday to stun the Astros. What was most impressive about the streak was the quality of competition, as both Washington and Houston were first place clubs when each series began. With Reyes and Bautista starting to wake up, the rotation coming around, and Chris Colabello continuing to do his best DiMaggio impression, this streak may have some staying power.
2. Jose and Jose
Maybe the Blue Jays should aggravate Jerry Howarth more often. Toronto’s radio voice oddly called out Jose Reyes last week, telling radio listeners that the SS was in decline and that the Jays would be better off starting Ryan Goins in his place. The rant was a bit bizarre, especially considering Howarth’s normally calm and positive demeanour. But the comments seemed to light a fire under Reyes. In Toronto’s five game winning streak, Reyes has been on fire, posting a .409 average and 1.004 OPS, with a home run, 6 RBI and 5 SB. Meanwhile, the other Jose has been rejuvenated since returning to right field, erasing all memories of his slow start. During the winning streak he has one-upped Reyes, posting a .421 average and 1.594 OPS, swatting 4 HR and even stealing a couple of bases on his own. Bautista now has an 11 game hitting streak dating back to May 26, and is looking more and more like the AL’s most feared slugger with each passing day.
3. Turning Back the Clock
Mark Buehrle got off to such a poor start this year that he had people questioning whether he still deserved a roster spot. Through his first five starts he had a 6.75 ERA, and had surrendered 47 hits in only 28 innings. It looked like father time was catching up to him. But the last six starts have seen Buehrle turn things around in a big way, looking more like the All-Star pitcher he was in his younger days. He has gone 4-2 in that stretch with a 2.84 ERA and only a .209 batting average against, dropping the number of hits allowed to a mere 0.74 per inning. More impressively, he has tossed back-to-back complete games, including a CG shutout of the Nationals on Wednesday. His scoreless inning streak sits at 17. Now if only some of that old man magic can rub off on Dickey….
Player of the Week
Jose Bautista, RF
Reyes and Buehrle both deserve honourable mentions, but Bautista wins the award hands down: 9 for 23, 4 HR, 6 RBI, 9 R, 5 BB, 2 SB, .391 / .500 / .913 / 1.413.
Down on the Farm
A look at how the minor league affiliates are doing
AAA – Buffalo: 28 – 29, 3rd place
AA – New Hampshire: 26 – 30, 5th place
A+ – Dunedin: 24 – 32, 6th place
A – Lansing: 33 – 24 , 1st place
The Look Ahead
Back to Fenway to crush the Red Sox!
June 8-10 vs. Miami
June 12-14 at Boston