The Toronto Blue Jays have been pretty much unbeatable for the past two weeks. They’ve won 11 of 12, including eight straight, and the only loss came against Kansas City – by one run.
Can the Blue Jays stay hot the rest of the season and win a championship, or will they cool off down the stretch?
“Well, I don’t know about a championship, but I do think it is sustainable, this run here,” Fox, MLB Network and Sports Illustrated analyst Tom Verducci said on CBS Sports Radio’s Gio and Jones. “Obviously not an 11-1 run, which they’ve been on since they picked up (Troy) Tulowitkzi, but there’s a different kind of vibe with this team. I’m really curious to see what happens this weekend when the Yankees go up there. This is going to be the biggest series in Rogers Centre – formerly known as SkyDome – since the ’93 World Series.”
The Blue Jays (61-52), who just swept the Yankees (61-49) in the Bronx to pull within 1.5 games in the AL East, host New York this weekend, with David Price taking the hill Friday.
“The place is going to be jumping,” Verducci said. “David Price already said that one start he had there . . . was the most electric atmosphere he’s ever pitched in – and that guy’s pitched in some big places in Yankee Stadium, Fenway Park and postseason games. So this is definitely one of those cases where a team goes out (and) improves itself, but I think the players got the message – and certainly the fans did – that this team is for real. They’re all in and they’ve got a real good vibe and they’re riding this thing now. So yeah, I think they can ride it into the postseason – more for me as a Wild Card team. I still like the Yankees to win the division, though.”
The Blue Jays, however, aren’t the only team looking to end a postseason drought. So, too, are the Astros (61-52) and Mets (60-52), who haven’t made the playoffs since 2005 and 2006, respectively. Both are atop their respective divisions.
“You talk about three teams there – the Jays, the Mets and the Astros – that have basically won nothing in the Wild Card era, at least in terms of world championships,” Verducci said. “The Mets, we all knew that they were short offensively and a lot of people have said – and I was on board with this – that one bat wasn’t going to do it. When they picked up Kelly Johnson and Juan Uribe, nice pickups. But then you get (Yoenis) Cespedes. You pick up a guy you can actually bat in the middle of your order. That has made them a legit postseason team. If they should get in the postseason with their pitching, they’ll be dangerous. They’ll be the kind of team nobody wants to see, whether it’s a short series or a long series.
“And the Astros, to me, are legit,” Verducci continued. “I know people have kind of been waiting for them to fall apart, and they had a tough road trip recently – they gave a game away in Oakland the other day – but I think they’re legit. I think they’ll win that division. I think they have the best roster. And I like the pickup for Carlos Gomez, another veteran guy to a younger team. Put him in that lineup, put him in centerfield and we know how good their bullpen has been this year. That’s been the biggest difference. So Houston, to me, if you’re waiting for them to collapse, I don’t think it’s going to happen. I think that team could win the West division.”