Has this last week really just happened? While the Jays have had winnings streaks like this in the past, longer ones even, there’s something that feels different about the team now.
The Jays are first place in the AL East, with one of the franchise’s highest winning percentages at this point in the season. They’re currently riding a seven game winning streak, which includes sweeping the Boston Red Sox and the Oakland Athletics. So far in the month of May, the Jays record stands at 17-7. Earlier in the month they also had a five game winning streak to go along with the current seven game. Needless to say, May has been a good month.
In the past six of seven seasons in the AL East, whichever team was in first place on May 27th ended up clinching a playoff spot (the 2011 Yankees who won were only in second at this point that year).
This is surely a promising stat for Jays fans, as it finally gives us something to possibly look forward to, provided they continue to win. Of course at some point they will cool down, and lose a series here and there, but their ability to continue winning despite the losses is what will help the team to continue to perform.
It’s safe to say no one was expecting this much from the Jays, despite the talent on the team. After last year’s disappointment of a season, most Jays fans didn't seem to expect much, despite that talent was still on the team.
What is it that’s changed so much from last year? Is it the starting pitching, the fielding, the ability for our batters to somehow hit even more home runs? All of these are true.
Last year, watching the Blue Jays play felt like watching individual players, only looking to improve their stats compared to performing at a higher level for their team. This year, despite leading the league in home runs, they are also sixth in the league for RBI’s with runners in scoring position.
Pitching has also been a major factor. In the month of April, the Jays pitchers had a combined ERA of 4.45 (24th in MLB). In May however, the ERA has been lowered to 3.66 (11th).
The Jays have proven that their offence is at one of the highest calibers in the MLB. As long as the pitching continues to keep the runs low, the Jays will surely keep winning.