Trying something new again with the Assorted Weekend Thoughts this week: it’ll come at you as a series of smaller posts on a mostly-single topic (i.e. what normally would have gone under one sub-heading), rather than one big slog through it all that I don’t publish until 4:45 PM. Let’s see how this works, shall we? (Yes, we’ll get to the call-ups).

Talking about the race for a playoff spot, with respect to the 2014 Toronto Blue Jays, isn’t entirely absurd just yet, but it sure is close. However, after a disappointing start to the weekend series, the Jays continued to show some fight — or whatever silly thing you want to call it — and find themselves a still-not-technically-impossible 5.5 games back of the second Wild Card.

Depending on how you want to look at it, the schedule either helps or hurts them.

The Jays’ next twelve games are against sub-.500 teams — yay! — but nine of those are against the Rays and Red Sox, including the series that begins tonight in Tampa, where the club hasn’t won a series since around the time Kim Campbell was Prime Minister, I’m pretty sure. Having the Cubs come in for three next week should be favourable, but… it’s baseball. Anything can happen.

Looking at the schedules of the laundry list of teams the Jays are chasing produces a similar effect. Cleveland, Detroit, Kansas City, Seattle, and the Yankees all play each other quite a bit before the season comes to a close. For example: Cleveland has six against Detroit (three home, three away), and three in which they’ll host the Royals (plus they need to finish off a suspended game from Sunday, in which Kansas City is down 4-2 in the top of the 10th). Detroit has those six with Cleveland, plus six more (three home, three away) with the Royals. Kansas City has the aforementioned nine games with their division rivals, plus three this weekend in Yankee Stadium, as well.

In addition to hosting the Royals for three, the Yankees get the Jays for four, plus eight against a tough Orioles club, with the rest of their schedule featuring Rays and Red Sox clubs who will be loath help their rivals’ playoff chances. Among the teams still in the race the Mariners only face the Jays, visiting Rogers Centre later this month, but they have their work cut out for them with twelve games left against very strong Angels and A’s clubs.

There is a lot of opportunity for the Jays’ opponents to tread water a bit as they beat up each other, but you’d kind of have to think that in reality it’s more likely one team or another will separate themselves and only make the Jays’ task harder. And that the club’s best hope is to, first and foremost, worry about themselves.

Here’s what the schedule for this month looks like:

@ Rays x3, @ Red Sox x3, vs. Cubs x3, vs. Rays x3, @ Orioles x3, @ Yankees x4, vs. Mariners x4, vs. Orioles x3.

Not a whole lot of time left. Would love to see where they stand after sweeping the Rays in Tampa, though, eh?

Comments (29)

  1. Have to win 20 games to be there at the end of the month

  2. Glad we added that RH bat we needed once we were all but eliminated from playoff contention

  3. 9-3 over next 12 games could make the last two weeks interesting

  4. As a fan I like to think how the players should think, and that’s one game at a time. None of this “they need to win this many games,” or “they have to go this and that over the next so many games.” But that’s just me.

    • Totally agree. The could catch fire. They’ve done it before. Is it likely? No. But it’s not impossible either. One pitch at a time. One at bat. One play in the field. One game. Who knows? Regardless, it’s been a very good season.

      • Well said. We think the same on this, although, I hesitate to call it a “very good season” yet. That depends a lot on how they finish.

        • Well, I think the big league product is only part of the season. The most important part for sure, but still just a part of it. I’m really encouraged by the development of their young arms, and Dalton Pompey. Those are massive, massive things for this team, that went amazingly well this year. As for the big league team, they were in a playoff spot through the beginning of August. That’s better than most years. And like you said, who knows what will happen from here?

          • A team that is trying to make the playoffs hovering around nearly .500 is not a successful season.

          • Those are certainly things to be positive about going forward, but considering the goal was to actually compete for a playoff spot this year (and get one) and not so much develop the prospects (although that is a goal every year), this season could end up being disappointing/okay, good, or very good depending on what happens.

  5. teams have gone on epic tears in september before…it happens every few years. the a’s, the rockies, to name the first two that jump to mind. are divisional rivals going to roll over and die with aaa/aaaa guys? maybe. even if it all goes to shit, there’s a lot to be excited about in the future, i think. still the best team since rogers has taken over, and the system is actually producing players that have trade value.

  6. Its not the September race that we hoped for.. but its the one we got. And fuck anyone who doesn’t remember what it was like to be completely out of it by June.

  7. Rays, Os and Ms – ouch! Still, excited to see Norris, Pompey, and Graveman in T.O. Just hoping Jays get on a roll to make Sept interesting.

  8. It helps to be a baseball fan who cheers for the jays. Once you get over the disappoitment of injuries and stupid baseball, there is a lot of great baseball going on. And the young guns are fun to watch. As someone pointed out, still using a calculator in september has to count for something,

  9. A hot streak cometh – or I’m puking hot bile and yop bottles on the crew of you!

  10. Of course we should beat the Cubs. Of course we should. That said, here’s a team that had a relatively strong August compared to the rest of their season that’s stacked with young talent making a huge impression, see Jorge Soler and Javier Baez. Even on the mound, Tsuyoshi Wada and Kyle Hendricks have been pitching well, and Jake Arrieta is having a career year. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t be able to beat them, but it might not be the walk in the park people have come to expect.

  11. Sweep the rays in Tampa? HAHAHA. :(

  12. Hopefully we keep the race close so the kids get a taste of the playoff push.

  13. who the fuck is graveman anyway?

  14. Just in case anybody else was curious…Jays were 62-75 on Sept 1 last season, 60-72 in 2012, and 69-68 in 2011.

    • I was about to point out that the Jays record is leaps and bounds better than it was this time last season. It’s unfortunate that it comes after a steep slide down the standings, but I still appreciate the improvement, and that the playoffs are a long shot, but not impossible like they have been over those last 3 seasons.

  15. Too many teams to climb over in the wild card at this point.

    Jays have to hope for a good Sept for themselves combined with a Baltimore collapse.

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