Wow, what a tremendous season this has been. For the first time since 2010 it's looking like the Blue Jays will win more games than they lose in the rough-and-tumble American League East. With teams like the Red Sox and Yankees (I guess the Orioles as well) going up against the Blue Jays 19 times every year it's quite the feeling to scrap out at least a .500 record for the year. The month of May gave fans the feeling that the Blue Jays might be ready to do the extraordinary and qualify for the postseason, but a rough end of the season has not dimmed the outlook on the 2014 campaign. Winning more games than you lose in baseball is hard and the Blue Jays are going to do that.
The team has the pleasure of featuring two of the best sluggers in the entire league in Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion, one of which has gotten on base at a higher clip than anyone in the entire league! When Jose Bautista comes up to the plate, there's nearly a 41% chance that he ends up on the base paths safely. That's almost 50% of the time!
On the pitching side, Mark Buehrle just surpassed the 200 inning mark for the 14th consecutive time, which is an incredible display of durability matched by very few. When starters like Brandon Morrow and Dustin McGowan didn't deliver what was expected of them out of the rotation, guys like J.A. Happ and Drew Hutchison stepped in and provided the mid-4.00 ERAs that the team was missing out on. Even the bullpen featured two shutdown lefties that were being paid a combined total that was less than what one middle of the road reliever gets in half a year. Sure, the bullpen as a whole was one of the worst in the league but at least they're not the Tigers who are heading into the postseason with an even worse bullpen than the Blue Jays. That's just a disaster waiting to happen.
The future is just as bright thanks to rookies like Marcus Stroman and Aaron Sanchez proving they can perform in the high intensity atmosphere of September when the chances of getting to 81 wins were looking slim. The attractive draft picks the Blue Jays receive every year from their .500 record certainly helps keep the cycle of success going as well with guys like Max Pentecost and Jeff Hoffman surely looking like locks to push the team over the 81 win mark as September call-ups in 2017.
Sometimes I begin to think that Toronto sports fans have it way too good in this day and age. Some cities like Denver may have a good football and hockey team, but then their baseball team and soccer team stink and that makes summers there very difficult. In Toronto, almost every team wins more than they lose (or they at least hit .500) and even teams that don't like the Leafs still have exciting young rookies that look like Leonardo DiCaprio to help provide some hope for the future. I think it would be a lot less fun to see your team get crushed in the Super Bowl and then have to wait another six months before any team that has a chance at breaking .500 begins to play again.
Who wouldn't want to be us?