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 20.
Week 20: August 17 – 23
Record: 4 – 1
Season-to-date: 69 – 55
AL East: 1st, 0.5 ahead of New York
Wild Card: N/A
- Offensive Explosion
Talk about a beating. Toronto rolled into Anaheim scuffling a little bit, after a disappointing split with the last place Phillies and a series loss to the Yankees. Jose Bautista was struggling, Troy Tulowitzki was not hitting, and Josh Donaldson had been held relatively in check. Then, suddenly, everything turned around. Pick an adjective, any adjective, to describe what the Jays did to the Angels and it would be fitting: destroyed, massacred, obliterated, crushed, they all fit. The Blue Jays set franchise records for both runs and hits in a 3-game series, scoring 36 times on 48 hits. They exploded for 17 extra base hits (5 HR, 1 triple, 11 doubles), and scored three or more runs in an inning five separate times, including a 7-run outburst on Saturday. Everybody was hitting, most importantly the three guys mentioned above who were scuffling. Tulowitzki had three hits, including a double, with an RBI and four runs scored. Bautista scored five times, launched a mammoth home run, and posted a 1.357 OPS. Donaldson continued to make a case for the AL MVP award with a ridiculous series: .615 / .625 / 1.154 / 1.779, with 4 doubles, a home run, and 9 RBI. Baseball’s best offense just keeps getting better.
- Edwin on Fire
EE spent the last few years playing second fiddle to Jose Bautista, providing protection and putting up massive power numbers, but never getting the same notoriety as Joey Bats. Now this year, with the arrival of Donaldson and the acquisitions of Tulo and Price, it’s almost as if Edwin has gotten somewhat lost amidst the hoopla. Well apparently under the radar is exactly where EE wants to be, because he has absolutely exploded in recent weeks. Edwin went 4-for-4 yesterday to extend his hitting streak to 19-games, currently tops in the major leagues. In those 19 games he has posted a .414 average and 1.233 OPS while swatting 5 HR and driving in 18 runs. Before the streak began EE’s season totals were very un-Edwin like (.234 average, .782 OPS), but with the recent hot streak they are right back where we expected: .265 / .861. When Edwin is rolling like this, there is literally nothing that opposing pitchers can do to stop Toronto’s offense. Literally. Nothing.
- Roster Mayhem
Loup is down! Hutchison is down! Things are crazy! While in reality the demotion of Drew Hutchison is more to do with a scheduling quirk than anything else (4 off days in 15 days), here’s hoping that the demotion to Buffalo lights a fire under Hutch. He was very good in each of his last two starts, but his nasty home/road splits make it simply impossible for John Gibbons and co. to trust him on the road. Despite his 12-2 record there would currently be no possibility that Hutch stays in the rotation if the Jays were to make it into a playoff series. In fact, with Stroman on his way back and wanting to be stretched out as a starter, with the emergence of Estrada and the resurgence of Dickey, and the complete turnaround of the Toronto bullpen, it might not be a stretch to think that Hutchison doesn’t even have a spot on the postseason roster (again, if they make it that far). With that in mind, a few days down in the dregs of the minors might be exactly the wake up call that he needs to save his season.
Player of the Week
Josh Donaldson, 3B
Who else? 11-for-21, 3 BB, 9 R, 13 RBI, 4 2B, 3 HR, .524 / .560 / 1.143 / 1.703
Down on the Farm
A look at how the minor league affiliates are doing
AAA – Buffalo: 65 – 64, 3rd place
AA – New Hampshire: 61 – 63, 4th place
A+ – Dunedin: First Half (complete): 32 – 38, 5th place; Second Half: 23-33, 5th place
A – Lansing: First Half (complete): 42 – 28 , 1st place; Second Half: 26-28, T-5th place
A (Short Season) – Vancouver: First Half (complete): 16-22, 4th place; Second Half: 13-11, 2nd place
The Look Ahead
David Price faces his former team.
August 25-27 at Texas
August 28-30 vs. Detroit