The 2015 Blue Jays turned their season around with a trip to Washington, with any luck, the same will happen for the 2024 Blue Jays

Ryley Delaney
1 month ago
Let’s go back in time to 2014.
For the first time in a really long time, the Toronto Blue Jays are competitive in the American League East. On June 6, they lead the division by six games with a 38-14 record, the most games over .500 they’d be at any point in the year.
While their play regressed by the time the trade deadline rolled around, they were just a game and a half back of the Baltimore Orioles for the division lead, and were in the final Wild Card position with a three-game cushion, so what did they do at the trade deadline?
Pretty much nothing, as they acquired Danny Valencia from the Kansas City Royals for Liam Hendriks and Erik Kratz. Valencia wasn’t great with the Jays in 2014, slashing .240/.273/.364 with two homers in 165 plate appearances.
The core wasn’t too happy about the lack of inaction at the deadline, with José Bautista saying on record that he was disappointed with the lack of moves while teams around them got better. It reflected in their play as well, as they went 9-17 the following month. On August 7, the team was out of the Wild Card spot and never regained the spot, eventually finishing five games out with a 83-79 record.
Shortly after the season ended, the Jays acquired third baseman Josh Donaldson on November 28, 2014, one of the best trades in team history. However, things weren’t going great to start the 2015 season either.
After a 6-5 loss to the Houston Astros on May 16, 2015, and in the midst of what would be a sweep at the hands of the pre-juggernaut Astros, Donaldson famously said “this isn’t the try league, this is the get it done league.” It didn’t immediately ignite a fire under the team, as they lost nine of their next 15 games.
That was until a trip to the capital of the United States, as the Jays faced off against the Washington Nationals for a three game series. After a rainout on June 1, the Jays lost the first game of a doubleheader 2-0 to bring their losing streak to four games with a 23-30 record. In between games, Chris Colabello revealed in a “International Talk” interview that the team napped together in between games.
Unfortunately, that interview appears to be lost to time, but our very own Ian Hunter wrote an article about it on bluejayhunter.com back on June 15, 2015.
If you clicked off this article to read Hunter’s, you’ll know what happens next. If not, well, the Blue Jays won the next game of the doubleheader 7-3, with Kevin Pillar hitting two home runs off prime Max Scherzer. They won the rubber match 8-0 on the back of a complete inning shutout from Mark Buehrle in typical Mark Buehrle fashion, with the game lasting just 2 hours and 15 minutes.
Houston swept the first series in Texas, but the Blue Jays returned the favour with a three-game sweep, which was followed by two more sweeps against the Miami Marlins and the Boston Red Sox. Finally, their 11-game winning streak ended at the hands of the National League pennant winners, the New York Mets in a two game series. 
From the nap in between the doubleheader until the end of the season, the Blue Jays went on a 70-39 record, winning the American League East division and heading to the American League Championship Series, which we don’t talk about.
It is worth noting that then general manager Alex Anthopoulos learned from his mistake at the 2014 trade deadline, as he acquired David Price and Troy Tulowitzki before the trade deadline. This was on top of Donaldson’s MVP season.

Tying it into the 2024 season

The 15-17 Blue Jays will be heading to the capital of the United States on Friday to play a three-game series (with rain in the forecast on Saturday and Sunday). It’s a month earlier than when they went there in 2015, but when they headed to Washington in 2015, they sat five games back of the Wild Card and four games back of the division lead.
This season, the Jays sit five games back of the division lead and three and a half games back of the Wild Card spot.They aren’t out of either races.
However, the Jays need a player from their core to have a Donaldson-esque quote, Ross Atkins has to make a big move or two at this season’s deadline, and the Jays have to start winning some games here.

As always, you can follow me on Twitter @Ryley_L_D.

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