With New York Yankees nonetheless surging, is it time for Blue Jays to give attention to wild-card race?

CHICAGO — With a uncommon off day throughout one more torrid stretch of the schedule, the Blue Jays confronted one among their simpler choices of the season.

Given the choice of hustling off to Milwaukee following Wednesday’s matinee win over the White Sox or to spend some further time in one of many nice stops on the schedule, the Jays properly opted for an evening within the Metropolis of Broad Shoulders.

You are reading: With New York Yankees nonetheless surging, is it time for Blue Jays to give attention to wild-card race?

Good name to blow off a bit of steam, given what awaits over an extended season and particularly the incoming stretch through which they’re scheduled to play 18 video games within the subsequent 17 days.

To not point out the truth that following a character-building win over the White Sox on Wednesday, there would have been much more purpose to savour an evening in town.

After a brief bus trip on Thursday, that subsequent little bit of enjoyable will get underway up the coast of Lake Michigan in Wisconsin on Friday with a three-game set towards the AL Central main Brewers. That check can be adopted by residence dates towards the Crimson Sox and Rays.

As supervisor Charlie Montoyo famous following Wednesday’s 9-5 win, the stout opposition by no means appears to finish for his workforce.

“What (else) is new?” Montoyo mentioned after his workforce averted a three-game sweep on Chicago’s South Aspect. “That’s simply the way in which it’s and now we have a very good workforce. We’ll simply maintain battling one recreation and one workforce at a time.”

Because it pertains to the Crimson Sox and Rays particularly, it’s not a stretch to view subsequent week’s residence stand because the unofficial starting of the wild-card race.

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Clearly the Jays don’t wish to consider it in these phrases, however when you haven’t checked out the standings lately, it’s beginning to really feel that’s the place we’re headed.

With the Yankees remaining 12 video games in entrance of the Jays getting into Thursday’s motion, we’re no less than approaching the purpose the place the wild-card standings can be crucial focus for the Jays.

“It’s too early for me to assume like that, however we play nothing however good groups,” Montoyo mentioned.

As a lot as Montoyo could not wish to view it in these phrases, the truth of the scenario could also be fairly totally different. Once more getting into Thursday’s play, the Jays remained atop the wild-card desk, a half recreation forward of the Crimson Sox and 1.5 forward of the Twins. On the skin trying in are the Rays, simply two video games behind Toronto.

A tough run over the following 10 days might disrupt that order considerably.

It doesn’t assist that the Jays will play the Rays 4 occasions over a 72-hour interval subsequent weekend — together with a doubleheader on Saturday — then must fly to Oakland following Sunday’s recreation to start out a sequence towards the A’s the next night time.

After all, Montoyo and the Jays entrance workplace have much more vital issues to concern themselves with than eyeballing the standings every day and fretting concerning the schedule.

Prime of thoughts proper now’s the pitching scenario, specifically the wear and tear on tear on the bullpen in current weeks. That’s not going to ease over the torrid stretch of schedule arising, both.

The statistical worries are beginning to pile up. The Jays allowed double digit hits in every of their three contests towards the ChiSox. As nicely, they’ve quit 45 runs of their previous six video games.

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It doesn’t assist when these six video games had been towards the Yankees adopted by a comparatively sizzling hitting Chicago lineup. However you get the purpose.

The issue with the bullpen arms is that, past nearer Jordan Romano, there’s valuable little energy on the again finish, a difficulty common supervisor Ross Atkins is certain to try to deal with because the commerce deadline approaches. The Jays are getting first rate mileage out of relievers equivalent to David Phelps and Adam Cimber, however neither are the sort to dominate by throwing with high-end velocity in late-game conditions.

The workforce might also be with out Yimi Garcia for the quick time period after the reliever was experiencing what the workforce referred to as “left facet discomfort” on Wednesday.

It’s removed from doom and gloom across the workforce, nevertheless, and getting an evening off in Chicago following a win would have been an incredible alternative to exhale.

Of their two most up-to-date sequence, the Jays had character-building efforts to keep away from sweeps by taking the third recreation from each the Bronx Bombers and the Sox.

“There was plenty of power within the dugout and guys didn’t appear to be we had been beat down in any respect coming off of a tricky loss,” Wednesday’s starter Ross Stripling mentioned of the temper following a late collapse and defeat in 12 innings the earlier night time. “That’s a testomony to the fellows now we have on this workforce and the character now we have.

“You’ll be able to see it within the at-bats and see it in how we assault guys. We’re not going to again down or really feel like we’re beat at any time.

“It’s enjoying with urgency.”

That mindset will serve the Jays nicely when the playoff race — be it divisional or wild card — actually heats up. As a workforce that missed the post-season by only one recreation in 2021 is aware of all too nicely, it’s by no means too early.

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