The Blue Jays started their season off horribly. They were losing many of their games, Reyes got injured, Dickey and Buehrle were horrible, Johnson and Morrow got injured, Happ got injured, Morrow got injured again, Bautista and Encarnacion had awful batting averages, Ramon Ortiz got injured, and suddenly, LIGHT. The Jays finally turned things around in the month of May.
In fact, it started on May 22nd. Both teams only had seven hits apiece, despite the game going into 10 innings. Jays’ second baseman Maicer Izturis, who went 0-2 and got pinch hit for in the 8th, had the only error of the game, picking up what was his sixth of the season. So if the Jays only managed to get seven hits in 10 innings, how could this have been the turnaround for them? They won. They beat the Rays 4-3. Okay, so that’s not that special. Anthony Gose started at leadoff hitter and went 1-4, and got pinch hit for in the 10th. Nothing special. Encarnacion went 0-4, Lind went 0-3 with a walk, Brett Lawrie went 0-4, Rasmus went 1-4, Arencibia went 1-4, and Kawasaki went 0-4. None of them had an RBI. How could that have been the turning point in the Blue Jays season?
Jose Bautista went 4-4 with all four Jays RBIs, had two homers, a stolen base, and walked once. Mark Buehrle pitched 7.0 innings, allowing 2 ER, 4 hits, 2 BB, striking out six, and the bullpen (Steve Delabar, Casey Janssen, Aaron Loup) combined for 3.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 hits allowed, and no walks. While only one hitter and the pitching staff had a good game, that 4-3 extra innings victory seemed to kickstart a now pumped up Toronto Blue Jays team who are now on an 8-game winning streak.
Before that game, Adam Lind was hitting .255. Lind is now hitting an outstanding .342 AVG. Encarnacion and Bautista now both have over 15 home runs and batting averages over .270. Melky Cabrera has been hitting in the leadoff spot and has done it amazingly. Buehrle has now settled in and is pitching a great outing every time out, Josh Johnson came back from his injury and has pitched two great games, Esmil Rogers has gone from bullpen to rotation in place of Brandon Morrow/J.A. Happ, and has been pitching brilliantly, R.A. Dickey and his knuckleball are finally settling in, and the bullpen has been incredible; as it has been all season.
With Jose Reyes set to return as soon as next week, and the Jays currently on an 8 game winning streak heading into their 3 game home series against the Orioles on Friday, even the sky doesn’t look like the limit for these birds.