On May 24, the Toronto Blue Jays got shut out by the New York Yankees in a 6-0 loss, dropping them to 22-25 on the season, 7 games back of first place.
At that time, the Blue Jays were 18th in the MLB in team OPS (.711) and 16th in runs (186). Since then, they’ve gone 16-6, leading the MLB in runs (130), put themselves in a three-way tie for the most home runs with the Orioles and Rangers (38), and they’re second in the MLB, first in the American League, as a team in OPS (.844). They’re now just one game back of the Boston Red Sox for second place in the American League East, and two games behind the division-leading Baltimore Orioles.
And this has all happened in the span of what, three and a half weeks? That’s how fast things can change. Three and a half weeks ago, we were wondering when the hell the Blue Jays’ bats were going to wake up. Now, here we are, talking about how they’ve scored more runs than any other team in the MLB over this three and a half week span, cutting their deficit in the division down to two games, while going from three games under .500 to seven games over.
While we’re highlighting the fact that Edwin Encarnacion has six home runs in his last six games, he’s been hot for longer than that. It’s no coincidence, but he started to get hot literally the first game after that 6-0 loss to the Yankees on May 24. Since that loss, Encarnacion is hitting .303 with a 1.152 OPS. Since May 25, the Blue Jays have four players who are at or around an OPS of 1.000. You’ve got Encarnacion leading the way at 1.152, the reigning American League MVP Josh Donaldson at 1.151, Michael Saunders at .997, and Russell Martin at .989.
The Blue Jays are hot right now, and I wouldn’t expect them to cool off any time soon. This is what they were expected to do. They were an offensive juggernaut last year, and all of the key pieces of that 2015 lineup are still here in 2016. It just took them a little while to get going, but they’re going. You have to remember, these are the defending American League East champions that we’re talking about, who were also 53-52, just a game over .500, on August 1 last year. They finished 93-69. So when they get hot, they get HOT. And it looks like they’re heating up a lot sooner than they did last year, so that’s bad news for Baltimore and Boston.