Following first series win of the season, Blue Jays continue homestand against Rockies and Yankees

Photo credit:© Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
Veronica Chung
18 days ago
The curse seemed to have lifted after the Toronto Blue Jays suffered multiple embarrassing road losses. It also didn’t help that the six losses included scoring fests from the opponents and a historic no-hitter. It’s an understatement to say that the Blue Jays needed a break from a tumultuous road trip. Needless to say, the team desperately needed a feel-good series win to turn the narrative around. 
Once Toronto began its home opener on Monday, all was going well despite the persistent cynicism around the team. By Tuesday, they secured a series win against the scuffling Seattle Mariners with a 5-3 win and the Blue Jays were eyeing for their first series sweep of the year. This was the golden chance for Toronto to finally bank in more wins while reassuring its fanbase of the team’s strength. Everything looked promising until starting pitcher Yusei Kikuchi came off the mound. In fact, there was a glimmer of hope when first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. belted out a monster home run deep into the left field to tie the game to 1-1. 
Even up until the bottom of the ninth, Toronto was poised to complete its sweep. All the team really needed was one more run to walk the Mariners off and there was a chance to accomplish that when the Blue Jays loaded the bases against the Mariners’ closer Andrés Muñoz. Just one hit was all they needed to shake off all the doubts and pessimism. But it just was never meant to be. The Blue Jays failed to capitalize on the runners in scoring position in the ninth inning and surrendered five runs to Seattle at the top of the tenth inning. The worst part was that Toronto couldn’t even muster up one hit against the Mariners’ flamethrower Ryne Stanek. 
The copious amount of hopium wasn’t there anymore for the Blue Jays but even the last ounce of hope evaporated when the team seemingly gave into the outside pressures. To be fair, there were warning signs from this team throughout the 13-game stretch. The Blue Jays showed off their true potential when they won the very first game of the season by scoring nine runs but then they came up completely blank for two games against Houston. 
And just like that, the feast-or-famine narrative resurfaced in the Blue Jays’ discourse. Something more frightening is that the ghost of the Blue Jays’ past never really left Toronto alone. A team with so much potential and promise only to come up with nothing — that defeating pattern is still alive and well with the 2024 Blue Jays. 
So far, the Blue Jays have two series losses, one series split and one series win. It’s not the most glamorous record, but securing wins against Tampa Bay Rays, Houston Astros, and New York Yankees isn’t the easiest thing to achieve either. The strength of the schedule was already rough but the Blue Jays are at a stage where they should be able to comfortably beat stronger teams as a team with World Series aspirations. 
Not much went the Blue Jays’ way for the past two years. There were too many things against them each year. Two years ago, the New York Yankees absolutely dominated the American League East division and won 99 games. Last year, the Baltimore Orioles surged as the new powerhouse and won 101 games, and the Tampa Bay Rays won 99 games. Maybe part of it was bad luck, but Toronto could never compete with the Goliaths, let alone get close to division rivals’ records. 
The whole point of the 2024 season was to turn a new leaf for the Blue Jays. The team was supposed to shake off everything from the past and reach a new height. It was Toronto’s turn to fulfill its destiny as the ultimate smooth operator after enduring excruciating defeats. 
Instead, the team is now caught up in many of the same problems from last year. The lineup is still having trouble adjusting plate approaches when facing certain pitchers, running into tailor-made double plays and struggling to cash in runners in scoring position. What exacerbates the Blue Jays’ situation is that the pitching health is no longer pristine, unlike last season. Starting pitcher Kevin Gausman still needs to be stretched out slowly and relievers Erik Swanson and Jordan Romano are still recovering from their injuries. 
That said, a win-loss record after 13 games doesn’t mean that much. There are 149 games left in the season out of 162 games. If that isn’t enough of a reminder as to how early it is in the season, the Oakland Athletics (5-8) currently have a better record than the Houston Astros (4-10). 
This means that the Blue Jays still have a chance to prove people wrong. Everyone underestimates this team after two bitterly disappointing seasons, and there is still time to make adjustments and right the ship. Nothing severe has gone wrong just yet, and now is the best time to reflect and regroup. 
But it’s not going to be easy for the Blue Jays once again. The American League East is an unforgiving division, and all five teams look hyper-competitive, much like last season. The Blue Jays’ Achilles’ heel last season was beating the good teams, especially against their division rivals. The team’s inability to win against good teams came back to bite them as soon as they entered the first round of the playoffs. 
While it may still be early in the season, the Blue Jays are at a point where they need to decide whether to fight or flight. Giving up is the easiest option, but the implications of that surrender will cost the Blue Jays everything and possibly more. Fighting till the end is the most sensible decision, but the road ahead won’t be easy, and it’ll have to be earned through blood, sweat, and tears. 
This is not where Toronto wants to be but at this point, they don’t have much choice. The team pushed itself into a more difficult situation when they had the choice to take the easy way out. Now, the Blue Jays have to rise from the ashes again as they face the Colorado Rockies and the New York Yankees at home for the next few days. On top of that facing the San Diego Padres and the Kansas City Royals won’t be a walk in the park either. 
Things look rough for the Blue Jays, and right now, they don’t have anyone else but themselves to blame for a sub-par start to the season. There’s no need to ask, it’s a rough operator.


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