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 16.
Week 16: July 20 – July 26
Record: 3 – 3
Season-to-date: 50 – 50
AL East: 2nd, 6.5 GB of New York
Wild Card: 3 GB of 2nd Wild Card (Minnesota)
1. A Successful Trip?
In the last five seasons the Blue Jays have gone 7-11 in Oakland, and 6-11 in Seattle, so fans feared the worst as they headed out West for six games this past week. Things looked even more dire as they were lined up against Sonny Gray, Scott Kazmir, and Felix Hernandez, three of the AL’s ERA leaders. With those challenges against them, a 3-3 road trip should be viewed as a success, but for some reason it doesn’t feel that way. On Wednesday night they blew a glorious chance to take the lead in the ninth inning before losing on a video review in the tenth. Then yesterday our old friend Aaron Loup once again couldn’t hold onto a 2-run lead late, as the Jays lost in 10 innings. At this stage of the season Toronto needs to be better than just .500, especially with the Yankees refusing to lose. So even though many were expecting a 1-5 jaunt out west, three wins feels almost like a hollow victory.
2. Benny Hill on the Bases
Kevin Pillar has been a bright spot for Toronto this year, with a solid bat and an outstanding glove. But the guy seems to commit an awful lot of baserunning mistakes. What happened yesterday might not be 100% his fault, but he was in the middle of a debacle once again. There are simply no words for this other than pathetic:
3. Two Gone….
It’s no secret that the Toronto Blue Jays need pitching help. Mark Buehrle has been outstanding, R.A. Dickey is quietly turning things around (3.32 ERA and 1.26 WHIP in his last 10 starts), and Estrada has been very solid. But the fifth starter slot has been inconsistent, and Drew Hutchison needs to be sent down to Buffalo for the rest of the season and work on getting things back in order for 2016. All of which makes an acquisition of a pitcher at the trade deadline not a nice-to-have, but an absolute must. With Scott Kazmir going to Houston and Johnny Cueto to Kansas City, not only are two of the biggest available arms gone, they are both now on teams ahead of the Jays in the AL. I’m not necessarily saying they should have ponied up for one of those guys (especially if Stroman was the ask), but they need to pony up for somebody or else risk facing the wrath of fans and players alike. The deadline is this Friday: it’s your move Alex.
Player of the Week
Russell Martin, C
Tore the cover off the ball out West: 8 for 18, 6 R, 2 2B, 2 HR, 6 RBI, .444 / .476 / .889 / 1.365
Down on the Farm
A look at how the minor league affiliates are doing
AAA – Buffalo: 53 – 49, 2nd place
AA – New Hampshire: 50 – 48, 4th place
A+ – Dunedin: First Half (complete): 32 – 38, 5th place; Second Half: 11-18, 5th place
A – Lansing: First Half (complete): 42 – 28 , 1st place; Second Half: 16-15, T-2nd place
A (Short Season) – Vancouver: 16-22, 4th place
The Look Ahead
The start of a 9-game homestand. The time to make a move is now.
July 28-29 vs. Philadelphia
July 30 – August 2 vs. Kansas City