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OK, now this is just getting stupid. J.A. Happ versus Justin Verlander, and the pitcher who ends up surrendering fewer hits, fewer walks, fewer runs, and comes away getting the 7-3 win is Happ. The guy that fans were mind-blowingly eager to run out of town a few weeks ago, because he’s “not a major league pitcher” or whatever hopelessly clouded things I saw certain people saying about him. Not that he’s even great! Not that he was even great today — his WPA for the afternoon was negative! And  not that he didn’t benefit from a couple well timed double-plays and a typically improbable slice of amazingness from Chad Jenkins, who pitched and inexplicably clean 2.1 innings, allowing just one single before things started to come unraveled with two outs in the ninth. But after Jenkins allowed a single then a walk, John Gibbons just called in Casey Janssen, who took all of one pitch to lock it down. What. The. Fuck?

And double what the fuck?: The Jays have won five straight and are now 37-24, five games up on the second-place Orioles in the AL East — a club who, themselves, has a four game win streak going, during which they’ve gained precisely zero ground. Heading home to face the not-exactly-torrid Cardinals, the Jays are winners of 14 of their last 16, and 17 of their last 20. In the last month they’ve swept the other two current AL division leaders (A’s, Tigers), all four of last year’s AL playoff teams (A’s, Tigers, Rays, Red Sox) and took two of three from 2013′s play-in losers (Cleveland), and the always strong (except when injured as shit) Rangers, to boot!

And it’s not just the team! As Shi Davidi points out, “The list of starting pitchers the Toronto Blue Jays have beaten over the past month already included Cliff Lee, A.J. Burnett, C.J. Wilson, Justin Masterson, Yu Darvish, Clay Buchholz, Jon Lester, Scott Kazmir and Alex Cobb before Justin Verlander became their latest victim Thursday afternoon.”

It’s insane. And there’s even more that’s insane: Navarro with a two-out RBI single and Kratz with a two-run single after that (also later a runner thrown out at second) in an inning begun with Bautista reaching on a Torii Hunter error. Brett Lawrie with a home run — off Verlander! — and his typical defensive excellence. Juan Francisco, regressing to the mean though his numbers may be, still doing Juan Francisco-ish things.

It’s just… it’s absurd. Like I said, they were playing with house money, having already won the series as they sent Happ to face Verlander, and I guess sometimes when you’re winning things just keep on going your way. I’d say it’s all too much, but holy shit it so fucking isn’t. More of this! More of this! More!!

Comments (62)

  1. I’m speechless. This is our year baby!!

  2. I don’t even know how to comprehend what the Jays are doing, but it is SO FUN.

  3. This is so frigging awesome. I love that the only team in the last month to damage the Jays is the Royals. (And even they needed an error in the 9th or they’d have lost 3-1).

  4. Five guys with 10 or more home runs. Colby last played May 12th and he has 9. You know how many guys St. Louis has with 10+? Zero. Same goes for Texas, Tampa, Seattle, San Diego, New York Mets and Cleveland.

  5. The excessive use of exclamation marks has me laughin, yo

  6. ROGERS CENTRE BETTER BE SOLD OUT THE REST OF THE SEASON! (pending the Jays not returning to there regular shittyness)

  7. I don’t know if its just me but it doesn’t feel like they’ve won as much as they have

  8. Is this the most exciting Jays team you’ve watched since you started this blog?

  9. “In the last month they’ve swept the other two current AL division leaders (A’s, Tigers), all four of last year’s AL playoff teams (A’s, Tigers, Rays, Red Sox) and took two of three from 2013′s play-in losers (Cleveland), and the always strong (except when injured as shit) Rangers, to boot!”

    Don’t forget almost sweeping the 2013 playoff Pirates on the road, if not for two ill-timed bullpen blowups (that appear to be a thing of the past)!

  10. Did anybody else read that post really fast -like because of the excitement that was brimming from the words?

    Man this is fun.

  11. Why can’t us?

  12. is there a more effective pitcher in baseball than casey jansen?

    • One that can pitch more than 60 innings a year, surely.

      • lol,
        he averaged two pitches an out this series.
        fair to extrapolate that over another 100 games im sure

    • I think Janssen may be one of the most effective CLOSERs out there right now. Pitchers in general though not quite so much. Pretty much any average starter i think would have more value to a club over a season.

    • Happ so far! hahahahaha

  13. This is what heaven is, baby !,

  14. It’s been so long I’d forgotten what it felt like to be a fan of a winning ball club. I hope this ride never ends.

  15. I’m speechless. This is just beautiful.

  16. Lol wow I just realized there at half there win total from last season

  17. Last year was insane. This year makes sense.

  18. Un. Fucking. Real.

  19. So hard to find the balance between crazy-ass excitement and cautious optimism.

    Crautious-ass Optiment, i guess.

  20. This is completely surreal. They’ve just swept all four teams that played in the ALDS last year.

  21. The only time a professional sports team I’ve liked has ever been really good is when the Jays were in the World Series when I was a kid. I don’t even know how to react to excellence. This is new territory.

    • I know what you mean. Coming into this year the only successes I had ever seen came from the year Vince missed The Shot and the year the Canucks lost Game 7. (And I hate hockey so that one barely counts.) This year I got on the Seahawks, Raps and Jays and I’m starting to think I might be on my third division winner.

  22. DJF going to be published through theScore app soon?

    It’s great getting the ace theScore content and I hope I can add DJF to that soon.

  23. I loved WAMCO. My first experience watching baseball was the second world series team. Never thought I would even think it, and I know it’s early, but is this a better hitting team? Comparison for a future post on a slow Jays news day? Maybe? After all its gotta be getting tedious writing Jays win day after day;) Not that I’m complaining, but it sure was fun to read the comments when most were bitching fire everyone with a typical mob mentality.

  24. Now bring on the draft so I can get excited about some first round kids who will make more money on their signing bonus than I ever will in my lifetime.And I should add, good for them.

  25. It’s nuts. They’ve got to be the best team in baseball at this moment. The Giants are the only team that could challenge that at the moment, Id say.

  26. Beating Detroit is a sure sign this team is going in the right direction. I have been hard on this team in the past, but it is good to see they are winning. Lets hope playing in NL parks doesn’t fuck this up

    • Another sure sign that they’re moving in the right direction is the fact that for the past month they’ve pretty much been only moving in the right direction.

  27. I’m so drunk off the good vibes from this team. I hate to be one of old timers who reference 92-93 but this team has that kind of feel to it. Playoffs? Make it so.

  28. Forget WAMCO! It’s all about RCBLE, or RCBLF today.

    Really rolls off the tongue…

  29. This is starting to remind me of the 1993 offense. WAMCO gave opposing pitchers no breaks. Robbie, Molitor and Olerud were the top three in AL batting average. It was simply unfair to the opponent. White and Carter were holding their own. This season, Edwin, Bautista and Melky are all playing like all-stars, while Reyes and Lind hold their own. Slight edge to the 93 team considering two guys from that lineup are in the HOF now. Then you had guys like Sprague, Fernandez and Borders who were fairly average and certainly not pushovers. A late season addition of Ricky Henderson was the cherry on top of the sundae. This season Francisco and Lawrie are mashing, and let’s not forget Navarro and Rasmus. Maybe a slight edge to the 2014 lineup there considering the power. Hopefully AA finds a cherry for this year’s sundae. Or just get a big time arm which is what they need most. Regardless, all I can say right now is fuck yes, finally some hope!

  30. I…I can live with this! A bit surreal, but this is too real!

  31. Fucking good times in Jays land. Its so nice to see a run of good luck for the first time in, well, decades!

  32. This is kind of an aside, in the midst of the ongoing awesomeness that is this season. But why, in this glorious stat-tastic era is “winning the series” still a thing? What the hell does it matter if you’ve won the first two games when you’re playing the third. It doesn’t make that final game any more or less relevant to the final standings.

    I guess it’s a convenient shorthand… if you 2 out of every three games, you’ll generally be kicking lots of ass, but it just seems like a weird anachronism that’s kind of in the same vein as RBIs at this point.

    • I know what you mean, and I think it’s just a simple way for sports media to give the three or four games some kind of extra hype and meaning. At the end of the day, each game is worth the same, but sports media needs to sell us on the games. They’d rather promote “rubber matches” and going for series wins or sweeps than just going game to game without continuity. Makes it seem like the two teams have this extra motivation to beat each other, when it really is just another game and another day at work in the players’ minds.

    • its just the nature of having serieses as the MLB does and fans schedule watching, so as a fan I see Detroit coming up and start looking at the matchups hutch-sanchez dick-rick happ-JV i start thinking those all sound like tough games none that were a huge favorite…so it would be great if we can figure out how to come away with 2/3….could be tough to get any against that squad

      So when you’ve won the first two, it doesn’t mean that you dont want the third, but if it does slip, you can still feel good about taking 2/3 out of a place like detroit, its not just “winning a series” its context, three consecutive tough games got the first two, your feeling good.

  33. What’s nice is that the guys from 25 years ago are coming not an RC that has a legitimately contending team. For the first time in years and years. Imagine if they came in last year.

  34. *coming into*

  35. It’s happening, boys….it’s finally happening
    *sniff* Is this what pride in your team feels like?

  36. Stay the course and ride the wave. Fantastic baseball being played, both as Jays fans and even as casual baseball watchers. To boot, the most exciting game in the past week, they managed to lose against the Royals in extra innings. Smart, patient baseball, with effective SP and middle relief pitching=success.

    As fans, for those of you with Rogers cell phones and cable, start purchasing that extra X rated flick on demand once per week (or more), and send those extra random text messages to old friends; the Blue Jays will need some of that revenue to filter down to them for the trade deadline in 8 weeks.

    • Shortly after the marlins&Dickey trades I recieved a notice that my cable bills would be increasing “because Rogers has recently made significant invesments in improving our infrastucture.”
      Piracy was my solution, but the fact remains buhrle is some solid infrasturcture

  37. You hypocrite!!!. You were one of the assholes who wanted to rum him out of town.

  38. I hold on to the optimism. In 2009 the Jays started the season going 27-14, with Lind, Hill, and Rolen, Millar, and Barajas with .300+ BAs. Then they went on the road and got swept inexplicitedly by Boston, Baltimore, and Atlanta. The starting rotation was Richmond, Tallet, Cecil, Ray, Halliday, Janssen, and Romero, but the team was scoring more than 5.5 runs a game to that point.

    And while I believe that Reyes, Cabrera, Bautista, and Edwin are probably the most formidable first four in baseball, you have career years coming from Adam Lind, Francisco, and Brett Lawrie. Navarro is having an excellent year, and even the backup performers seem to be hitting fantastically well.

    But to me, this isn’t sustainable, and neither is the performance by Buehrle or Happ. They are both 4+ ERA pitchers. Yes, the defense is helping and they are getting very timely outs. The Jays still need to stabilize the #2 starter. Hutchinson is also doing extremely well but his arm health is in question in a a year after Tommy John.

    So, while I am extremely thrilled that the Jays are way out in first right now, there really wasn’t an explanation to justiify the 27-14 start followed by the 9 game losing streak, which seemed to just come out of the blue.

    What I am saying is that a nine game losing streak is not out of Jays cards in the future. There are more tough series coming up, I hope this trend continues. The Jays are playing amazing ball right now, but they were at the begginning of 2009 too.

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