Suddenly, the Toronto Blue Jays have become an interesting team in the American League as they returned back to Rogers Center in their home city over the weekend. On Sunday, they completed the sweep behind Jose Berrios’ six shutout innings in which he struck out seven and walked one in his debut as a Blue Jay.
Now with his ERA down to 3.31 on the year, Berrios has the chance to take on a role of staff ace for a contending Blue Jays team that is within striking distance (3.5 games behind the Athletics and Red Sox) of a Wildcard Playoff spot.
Adjoined with Hyun-Jin Ryu, Robbie Ray, and Alex Manoah, Toronto has pieced together an interesting little pitching staff that should be able to help them in the final two months. Already they have an offense that can score with anyone.
Their bullpen seems solidified with Jordan Romano, Brad Hand, Joakim Soria, and Adam Cimber at the back end. This could be the team that no one wants to play down the stretch.
Finally, this was Vladimir Guerrero Jr.’s first ‘day off’ all season long. I was hoping to see him play a full 162 since he’s healthy and having a season for the ages. I don’t feel like giving a guy a one day break does a whole lot in terms of restoring health or rest physically or mentally during the season. Still, Guerrero Jr. got his breather and the offense still amassed a 5-1 victory over the hapless Royals.
It’s going to be fun to watch them down the stretch, and it’s nice to see them go for it. Life’s too short to settle a few games out of a playoff sport in the name of prospects, usually.