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Aug 31, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays left fielder Melky Cabrera (53) celebrates his home run with right fielder Jose Bautista (19) in sixth inning against New York Yankees at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Peter Llewellyn-USA TODAY Sports

Toronto Blue Jays Begin Final Stretch of the Season on Road

At this point, if the Toronto Blue Jays (69-67) still have dreams of making the playoffs, they’ll need to put together another May-like month where they went 21-9 and led the major leagues in wins. Anything short of this will likely see the Jays miss the playoffs for the 21st consecutive season.

Jul 13, 2014; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher R.A. Dickey (43) throws a pitch during the second inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

In other words, they can’t afford another August where they went 9-17 at arguably the worst time of the season. They were still at or near the top of the Wild Card race when the month began, but today they find themselves trailing the pack with only 26 games left in their season. If football analogies are appropriate for baseball, the Jays desperately need a Hail Mary pass right now.

There is some good news, however. Even though the Jays were inactive yesterday, they still managed to pick up some ground against two of the teams above them in the push for the final Wild Card spot: the Seattle Mariners (73-63) and the Cleveland Indians (70-65) both lost on the Jays’ off-day. Unfortunately, the Detroit Tigers (75-62) muscled their way to another win so they remain firmly entrenched 5.5 games above the Jays for the final Wild Card spot.

For September, the Jays have the benefit of playing against some weak opponents to open the month. After this, they’ll find themselves playing against other teams caught up in the Wild Card race, which can be considered a positive thing as well. It gives Toronto some opportunity to control their own fate.

The Jays begin the month in St. Petersburg for a three-game series against the Tampa Bay Rays (67-71). This is followed by a three-game visit to Fenway Park where another sweep of the hometown Boston Red Sox (60-77) would definitely help the Jays’ cause. Toronto heads home after this to host the Chicago Cubs (62-76) and Rays across six games before things get really tough. They close out the month (and season) by facing the American League East-leading Baltimore Orioles (79-57) twice, the Yankees and the Mariners in 14 games split evenly between home and the road.

This is quite the final stretch for any team, but if the Jays are somehow able to pull it off, they’d definitely be entering the playoffs on the right note. On the other hand, it may be time to consider what else would be acceptable finish for the Jays.

Something above .500? Second place in the division?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

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Tags: Toronto Blue Jays

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