As human beings, we tend to be very reactionary, myself included. I am also a very cynical individual who always thinks the worst happens. It’s hard not to sit here and say the season is over as Brett Gardner hits a solo home run to make it a 6-2 game. Despite my cynicism, despite the fact that you and I feel incredibly deflated, I can sit here and tell you that the season isn’t over… yet.
I’m going to give you a throwback article. Let’s call this a sort of “AL East blog” but for the final wildcard spot.
I’m writing this in the bottom of the ninth, but I’ll flat out say that the Jays are down a game. They will be starting a series against the Baltimore Orioles in Toronto starting today. What about the teams that the Jays are chasing? What would need to happen for the Toronto Blue Jays to make the wild card game?
Coming into the series against the Yankees the Jays were a game behind the Red Sox. At the start of the series, I said the Jays needed to win five of their last six. After Thursday’s loss, they’ve already lost two of those games.
Yet, the Jays are not dead. The Baltimore Orioles took two games of three games against the Red Sox meaning that while the Jays didn’t gain any ground on the Red Sox, they also didn’t lose any ground. With that being said, there’s three games left, you need to gain ground.
We know the Jays play Baltimore, but who do the Red Sox play? Well, they play the 2019 World Series Champions in the 65-94 Washington Nationals in the U.S capital. Yes, just like the Blue Jays’ opponent, the team the Red Sox are playing aren’t very good.
If the Red Sox sweep the Nationals, the Jays are officially out of the playoffs no matter what they do.
Holy crap, for the first time since I was a 3-year-old, the Seattle Mariners actually have a chance at a playoff position. After sweeping the Oakland A’s, the only other team that hasn’t been eliminated, the M’s passed the Jays in the wild card race.
On Friday, they will be starting a three game set against the Los Angeles Angels. Unfortunately for the Blue Jays, Shohei Ohtani will not be taking the mound. In their last 10 games, the Mariners have a 9-1 record, so they’ll come into this series white hot.
I should also make the point that while the Mariners are ahead of the Jays in the standings despite a negative run differential of -48. The Jays have a run differential of 165, which is kind of painful to look at.
Despite dropping two of three and trailing them by 2 games, it is possible that the Jays could still finish ahead of the Yankees. Unlike the Jays, Red Sox and Mariners, the Yankees are playing a team that is actually good, the Tampa Bay Rays.
In this scenario, the Rays would need to sweep the Yankees while the Jays would need to sweep the Orioles. It’s improbable, but so was blowing a 9 game lead.
So what needs to happen:
With the loss to the Yankees, the Jays do not control their destiny, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t make the steps to better their situation.
It goes without saying that the Jays have no losses remaining. The last three games have to be won. If they lose a game, they’re basically mathematically eliminated from the playoffs. If the Jays sweep their series, both Boston and Seattle would need to lose at least one game.
In all honesty, it’s not out of possibility.
Buckle up Blue Jays fans.
As always, you can follow me on Twitter @Brennan_L_D.