Toronto Blue Jays in thick of playoff race entering final week of regular season

TORONTO — After a busy low season with some big-name signings, the Toronto Blue Jays started the common season feeling bullish about their probabilities of a playoff return.

Coming into the ultimate week of the 2021 marketing campaign, the Blue Jays are proper within the thick of the wild-card chase.

The Blue Jays have been trending upward the final two seasons after a deep rebuild, and a robust September has improved their probabilities of making the post-season lower this 12 months. Boasting a deep, homer-heavy offence and an improved beginning rotation, Toronto might show to be a daunting opponent in October.

“I talked to the workforce in spring coaching and I mentioned all people talks about our hitting and rightly so, as a result of we’re going to swing the bats and we’ve received offence,” Blue Jays supervisor Charlie Montoyo mentioned on a latest media name. “However on the finish of the day within the large leagues you win with pitching and defence.

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“Our pitching has been so good, our starters have been nice and our defence has performed effectively. That’s one of many causes we’re doing so effectively right here these days.”

Toronto is chasing American League East rivals Boston and New York within the race for the 2 American League wild-card spots. The Seattle Mariners and Oakland Athletics even have an opportunity at making the lower.

The wild-card groups will meet in a play-in recreation Oct. 5 with the winner advancing to the AL Division Collection and the loser going residence.

Sluggers Vladimir Guerrero, Jr., and Marcus Semien are having MVP-calibre seasons for the Blue Jays, Bo Bichette and Teoscar Hernandez have supplied middle-of-the-order pop and starter Robbie Ray is within the working for the Cy Younger Award.

Energy bats like George Springer and Lourdes Gurriel, Jr., have helped lengthen the lineup. Nearer Jordan Romano of Markham, Ont., has helped anchor the bullpen and Tim Mayza has served as a top quality setup man.

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“In fact we’re doing lots higher than individuals thought as a result of it’s the primary full 12 months for (lots) of those youngsters,” Montoyo mentioned. “You by no means know what’s going to occur when youngsters get 500 (or) 600 at-bats for the primary time.

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“However I’m very proud to be right here at this level in spite of everything that we’ve gone by means of this 12 months.”

The workforce performed in two totally different residence ballparks this season earlier than lastly returning to Toronto’s Rogers Centre in late July.

The pandemic pressured the Blue Jays to open their residence schedule at their spring coaching residence in Dunedin, Fla., earlier than finally shifting north to their triple-A affiliate in Buffalo.

Given the distinctive areas, followers of opposing groups — notably the New York Yankees in Buffalo and the Tampa Bay Rays in Dunedin — typically outnumbered Toronto followers. It made some so-called residence video games really feel extra like highway video games.

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“This workforce by no means made an excuse going by means of all the things that we’ve gone by means of,” Montoyo mentioned. “I believe that was the important thing. Not complaining about being in three totally different ballparks and being in minor-league ballparks and having crowds towards you.

“They didn’t complain the entire time as a result of the second you begin doing that, groups go their very own method.”

After Monday’s off-day, the Blue Jays will start a vital three-game sequence towards the Yankees begins Tuesday night time at Rogers Centre.

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A latest change to provincial guidelines will permit for a capability enhance to 30,000, a fine addition for the Blue Jays who hope that home-field benefit over the subsequent six video games will help push them over the hump.

Toronto will shut out the marketing campaign with a weekend set towards the last-place Baltimore Orioles.

The perfect-of-five AL Division Collection will start Oct. 7. The playoffs will proceed by means of to the World Collection starting Oct. 26.

© 2021 The Canadian Press | Toronto Blue Jays in thick of playoff race getting into remaining week of standard season


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