Every Monday during the 2017 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 6.
Week 6: May 8 – May 14
Record: 6 – 1
Season-to-date: 17 – 21
AL East: 5th, 6.5 games behind New York
Wild Card: 3 games behind Cleveland
- We’re Alive!
That is more like it! After five purely awful weeks, the Toronto Blue Jays finally showed up for the 2017 season, stringing together five straight wins to finish off a 6-1 week. The Jays began the week by taking two of three from the Indians before sweeping the Mariners. The week had a little bit of everything. There was offense, with the team scoring 7 runs or more three times. There was pitching, with the Jays surrendering 2 runs or less four times. There were blowouts, with three games decided by four or more runs. And there was plenty of drama. Ryan Goins played the hero on Wednesday, providing the finishing touches on a comeback win:
And Kevin Pillar played walkoff hero yesterday:
- Welcome Back Edwin
Monday saw the return of former Blue Jay hero Edwin Encarnacion to Toronto. Though some (including Edwin himself) were worried about how he would be greeted by fans after what happened in the offseason, Toronto fans quickly showed that concerns weren’t warranted. Edwin was greeted with several long and loud ovations, and appeared to be genuinely moved by the reception. And though he is not performing to his normal level of dominance, he showed Jays fans that he still has life left by going 3 for 9 with 4 walks against Toronto pitching. But the Jays got the last laugh, taking two of three and gaining ground on the Indians. Regardless, it was great to see Edwin back. A spot on the Level of Excellence should be his in the not-too-distant future.
- Welcome Back Jose!
After welcoming Encarnacion on Monday night, Blue Jays fans also welcomed back iconic slugger Jose Bautista this past week. While it’s true that Jose has been playing with the Jays the entire 2017 season, he has been such a shell of his former self that he might as well have not been here at all. After an 0-for-3 on Monday vs. Cleveland, Bautista was hitting a woeful .169 with a .550 OPS, one of the worst hitters in the American League. But all of a sudden….boom. The prodigal son returns. Jose went deep in the first inning on Wednesday to give the Jays a 3-2 lead. He went deep on Friday to extend a 1-run lead to 3-runs. And he went deep again on Saturday, breaking a 2-2 tie in the 7th inning. In six days he raised his average 13 points to .182 and his OPS 92 points to .642. Dare we say…..he’s back?
Player of the Week
Kevin Pillar, CF
Several outstanding catches to go with his walkoff bomb, Pillar has been unreal in 2017: 8 for 25, 5 BB, 1 2B, 8 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 SB, .320 / .419 / .480 / .899
Down on the Farm
A look at how the minor league affiliates are doing
AAA – Buffalo: 18 – 16, T-3rd place, 4 GB
AA – New Hampshire: 12 – 24, 6th place, 9.5 GB
A+ – Dunedin: First Half: 20 – 17, T-2nd place, 2 GB
A – Lansing: First Half: 19 -14, 4th place, 4.5 GB
A (Short Season) – Vancouver: season not started
The Look Ahead
A home-and-home interleague set before another series against Blanche and the Orioles
May 15 – 16 vs. Atlanta
May 17 – 18 at Atlanta
May 19 – 21 at Baltimore