Well, for some reason, the MLBlogs system wouldn’t let me log in today and so you loyal Bastianites out there were left without a pregame post to help feed your daily Blue Jays banter. Of course, as I’m ready to depart the cavernous dome that Toronto dominates so well, the blogger is up and running.
So, no lineups for you all to digest, but I’ll offer my postgame thoughts. Dustin McGowan looked good tonight. No, his stuff didn’t look particularly dominant, but when he can walk away with those results (7 1/3 scoreless innings and only four hits allowed), under the circumstances, it’s pretty impressive.
Go back two starts, when McGowan admitted he was shaking off signs from Gregg Zaun in Boston, where the pitcher was afraid to throw his curve. He became one-dimensional and the BoSox sent him to the showers after a complete beatdown. McGowan said manager John Gibbons spoke with him about using the curve, even when it’s not at its best, and the pitcher has listened.
The result? No more win, loss, win, loss, etc; for an eighth straight outing. Over the past two starts, McGowan has allowed two runs and he’s picked up two straight wins. During this four-game set, Toronto has turned in three shutouts, courtesy of Josh Towers, Roy Halladay, McGowan and some zeroes from the relief corps.
Good timing, considering both Seattle and Minnesota are above the Jays in the Wild Card race. But it hasn’t just been the pitching. During the four-game winning streak — still hard to believe that’s the longest of the year, or maybe it’s really not hard to believe with all the injuries and lineup woes — Toronto has outscored its opponents 22-4.
A significant streak is needed if the Jays want to make any kind of impact in the Wild Card race. Four games won’t cut it. Toronto needs to use capitalize on the chance it has right now and issue a sweep over the Twins on Wednesday. That would be a 5-1 homestand before hitting the road to face the White Sox and Devil Rays — teams Toronto should, key word "should", beat.
Being a realist, I don’t think the Jays will be able to make up the ground it needs to cover to get back in the postseason hunt. I know, stranger things have happened, but right now I just don’t see it. If Jesse Litsch can show something tomorrow, and Towers can continue his run until A.J. Burnett returns, I guess anything’s possible. But it seems like a task far too tall with only 62 games left on the ol’ schedule.