It remains to be decided if the 2021 Blue Jays will reach the postseason for the 9th time in the franchise’s 45 season history. But with yesterday’s 10-1 rout of the Baltimore Orioles, one thing is certain: having gone 12-12 in April, 15-13 in May, 14-12 in June, 12-11 in July, 16-14 in August, 19-9 in September and now 2-0 in October with just one to play, the Jays will not have a losing month in 2021.
That is something that some of the best teams in franchise history haven’t been able to say. The World Series winning teams didn’t, the 1992 Blue Jays going 12-16 in August and the 1993 edition 12-14 in July (as well as 1-2 in October). The 2015 team was of course a roller coaster before it became the juggernaut, going 12-17 in May and 12-13 in July (and 1-3 in October after putting things to bed by the end of September.
It’s a bit more nuanced with two other notorious years. The 99 wins posted by the 1985 Jays continues to be the highwater mark. That team was such a juggernaut that from April to September they only had one month playing under-.600 baseball (16-13 in June). But they limped to the finish line going 1-5 in October. That presaged the gut-wrenching 4-3 loss to Kansas City in the ALCS.
Then of course is 1987. They too had all winning months from April to September, but infamously—and critically—went 0-3 in October against the Tigers to lose the division as part of the seven game losing streak that began September 27th. We can quibble about whether season fragments should count, but I was curious that if had ever happened cleanly before in franchise history.
In turns out there is one instance. The 1991 Blue Jays went 91-71 (coincidently, what the 2021 Jays will finish if their season if their season continues), and were a model of consistency. Their best month was just 16-12 in June (or arguably October at 4-1), but their worst month was 15-14 in June.
Speaking of season fragments, interestingly the 2020 Blue Jays would have an asterisked claim to the same had they gone 4-3 in July instead of starting 3-4. they proceeded to 15-11 in August and 14-13 in the regular season portion of September (before dropping a pair to bow out).
Below are some other notable season for Blue Jays’ seasons splits:
- The inaugural 1977 Jays were terrible (54-107), but started decently with a 10-11 in April and went 1-1 in October to arguably/technically avoid all losing months
- 1978 was slightly better (59-102), and featured the first winning month in franchise history at 16-14 in August. Alas, that proceeded to 4-21 in September with another loss in October to close things out
- 1979 remains the mark for overall futility (59-103), and it was uniformly awful. Every month was a losing one, with 12-18 in June representing the high watermonth
- 1980 started relatively promising, a with winning 9-7 April and respectable 13-14 May, and then the bottom fell out (45-74 to finish 67-95, still the best showing at that point)
- 1981 was also all losing months, including the only winless month as they started 0-10 in June before the strike almost mercifully ended their misery for two months
- 1983 was the first year with more winning months (four) than losing months (two). For that matter, it was the first year with multiple winning full months
- The 1995 Jays had one of the worst records at 56-88, but has a 3-2 April and 15-14 July
- By contrast, the 1996 Blue Jays were not abysmal at 74-88, but managed no winning months. They were just consistently poor, their best month a 13-14 July and worst an 11-15 September
- The 67-94 Jays of 2004 managed one month with their heads barely above water, 15-14 in May (plus a 2-1 in October)
- 2007 featured just one losing month (12-16 May), but every other month they were just one or two games above .500