You can’t win the division in June, but you can lose it

Well hasn’t this been a fun little stretch for Blue Jays fans?

After last night’s dramatic come-from-behind win the Jays have now won nine in a row, climbed back above .500, and put themselves within spitting distance of the division lead. It sure has been fun, and the way the team is going lately shows why they should be a legitimate contender: solid defence, great base running, decentish to good pitching and sweet delicious offensive awesomeness.

But despite the run, Toronto is still out of a playoff spot, sitting two games back in the division and one in the wildcard. But that’s really nothing we should worry about. There are still 90-plus games to go and all sorts of things can happen. This part of the season is all about seeing things come together, having the rotation and bullpen settle into something resembling ok, and staying within that aforementioned spitting distance of the division.

As you may recall from last year, if you’re a Toronto fan, a great run in the first half doesn’t mean squat in the long run. This recent run hasn’t given them the division, and it hasn’t even given them a temporary lead in the division. Not yet, anyway.

So while we need to temper things a tad – just like we had to, uh…de-temper?…things a few weeks ago when they were losing all those games – one thing we could look forward to is turning this division race into a race of four.

After last night’s awesome comeback over the Red Sox, Boston now sits seven games back of the division, and six back of a wild card spot. The only team with a worse record than Boston in the AL is Oakland. A weekend series win for the Jays probably won’t do it, and even a sweep might not be enough, but if Boston loses this series and goes on to have a poor week next week, it could be the death knell for the team this year.

Some have even pegged the time of death as yesterday. Easy there Tim, the body’s still warm! Hell, there’s still a heartbeat, even if it’s weak and irregular.

But the AL East could very possibly be a four team race very soon. Coming back from seven games back is a daunting task, but doable with this much time still left in the season. Gaining seven games on one team, six on a second team, five on a third and four on a fourth is certainly a challenge. Should they fall back much further it could quickly become next to impossible.

Then again, maybe they beat the Jays today and tomorrow, rattle off nine or ten straight and put themselves right back in the thick of it. Ya know, like the Jays have done the past week and a half?

Baseball’s weird like that.

Here’s hoping it doesn’t happen and the Jays keep the good times rolling.


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