Every Monday during the 2016 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 12.
Week 12: June 20 – June 26
Record: 2 – 3
Season-to-date: 41 – 36
AL East: 3rd, 5 games behind Baltimore
Wild Card: 0.5 games ahead of Kansas City
- Return of the Funk
The Jays were on a great run through most of June, but over the past week and a half things have taken a downward turn. Toronto finished a series in Baltimore with two straight losses, and then sputtered last week, alternating wins and losses against Arizona and Chicago. When all was said and done, they finished the week having dropped five of the past seven games, falling five back of the Orioles. There hasn’t been just one reason behind the slump either. The hitting has been inconsistent, with the Jays unable to drive in runners in scoring position. Double plays have been particularly crushing. The starting pitching has been problematic, with Stroman continuing to struggle and Dickey surrendering home runs like crazy. And injuries have crept up, with Bautista and Floyd hitting the DL and Donaldson battling some soreness. Toronto is five games into a stretch of 30 games outside the AL East. They need to start getting some wins before the rivals come back around.
- Travis on a Tear
Although the team as a whole has slipped a bit lately, the same can’t be said for Devon Travis. He made his season debut on May 25 and struggled at first, as one would expect from a guy who missed all of Spring Training and the last half of 2015. But he seems to have shaken off the rust now. After an 0-1 performance on June 11 dropped his average to .145 and OPS to .423, Travis has taken off. In his past 12 games he has gone 19 for 47 with 3 HR, 5 doubles, and 11 RBI, raising his season average and OPS to .265 and .717 respectively. He has impressed John Gibbons so much that the skipper has moved him up to the top of the lineup, trusting him to set the table for Donaldson and Encarnacion. With Bautista out injured and Tulowitzki just getting himself back in the lineup, the Jays can use some consistency up top. Travis is giving them exactly that.
- One Crazy, Crazy Game
There’s really no other way to describe what happened on Saturday afternoon in Chicago than to call it crazy. It’s not often that you see one team’s pitching staff battered as thoroughly as the Blue Jays yet come away with the victory. The Chicago White Sox crushed seven (7!!!) home runs but came out on the wrong end of a 10-8 scoreline. The game saw many wild and wacky moments, including a bizarre second inning that featured R.A. Dickey striking out the side yet also giving up back-to-back-to-back homers to Brett Lawrie, Dioner Navarro, and J.B. Shuck. Lawrie’s home run will go down as an inside-the-park job after the ball bounced off the top of the fence but stayed in play – unbeknownst to Blue Jays outfielders who gave up on it after hearing the umpire signal HR. For all the fireworks, it will go down as a wire-to-wire Toronto victory, but it certainly had the feeling of a game Toronto had no business winning. Very, very bizarre.
Player of the Week
Troy Tulowitzki, SS
Off the DL and starting to hit again: 6 for 17, 3 R, 1 2B, 2 HR, 4 RBI, .353 / .421 / .765 / 1.186
Down on the Farm
A look at how the minor league affiliates are doing
AAA – Buffalo: 43 – 34, 4th place, 2 GB
AA – New Hampshire: 32 – 42, 4th place, 20 GB
A+ – Dunedin: First Half: 33 – 36, 5th place; Second Half: 3 – 1, 2nd place, 1 GB
A – Lansing: First Half: 36 – 34, T-5th place; Second Half: 4 – 0, T1st place
A (Short Season) – Vancouver: 6 – 4, T-1st
The Look Ahead
Tulo returns to Colorado before the red-hot Indians visit Toronto on Canada Day.
June 27 – 29 at Colorado
June 30 – July 3 vs. Cleveland