TORONTO- The Toronto Blue Jays may have ended August on a losing note, but they have one of the most historical month during the regular season. The hottest team in baseball finished with a 21-6 record, which equates to a .778 winning percentage. They were winning games since acquiring Troy Tulowitzki and David Price prior to the trade deadline and hurled themselves into first place in the American League East over the New York Yankees.
The Blue Jays were one win away to tie the franchise record with the most wins in a month. That record still belongs to the 1998 team that went 22-7, but the latest streak is ranked second alongside with May 2014 (21-9), May 2003 (21-8) and September/October 1992 (21-9).
Toronto has been winning ballgames in a wide variety of ways. They outslugged, outpitched and out-defended their opponents.
Offensively, the Blue Jays led the Majors in August with 170 runs, while also ranking first in home runs (49), on-base percentage (.349) and OPS (.831). Edwin Encarnacion found his groove in August hitting .402 (33-82) with 11 home runs, 35 RBI and an impressive 1.385 OPS. He is also currently on a 26-game hitting streak, which is the longest active hitting streak this season.
Josh Donaldson continues to make a name for himself for AL MVP. The All-star third baseman hit .324 with 11 home runs, 35 RBI and a 1.132 OPS. Every time Donaldson steps to the plate at Rogers Centre, he hears fans chanting “MVP.” When Donaldson hit a go ahead 2-run triple against the Indians last Monday, the fans exploded with cheers and gave him the loudest ovation with 46,643 in the stadium.
Both Donaldson and Encarnacion became the first duo to hit 11 home runs and 35 RBI since the 1950 Boston Red Sox’s Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig.
Most of the attention for the Blue Jays has been their offence, but their pitching has been dominant during that span. Toronto’s pitching staff ranked third in the Major Leagues with a 2.83 ERA in August. Price’s presence made a immediate impact for the Blue Jays rotation, pitching in 43.1 innings with a 2.28 ERA and striking out 50 batters. The bullpen were able to close out the majority of games led by Roberto Osuna and Aaron Sanchez.
Finally, their defense for the Blue Jays has been the most improve aspect with the addition of Tulowitzki and Ben Revere. Tulowitzki proved to be a significant upgrade over Jose Reyes at shortstop. Revere display his speed and range to cover the left side of the outfield. They proved to be a much better defensive team and showing no weaknesses on the field.
It seems that the Blue Jays has aspirations for postseason success. When Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos came through these deals over the past calendar year, he ensemble a team bound for greatness. The fans found their enthusiasm and optimism about their new look ball club. The players inside the clubhouse enjoy their success.
Now entering the month of September, the Blue Jays are hoping to carry this momentum and end their 22-year playoff drought. Even if the team play .500 this month, they are still on pace to win 90 games. However they got a tough task when they have to face their division rivals in 8 of their next 9 series. It is up to the players to continue winnings game. Once they clinched the playoffs, it will be a special and unforgettable moment for not only the city of Toronto, but for the entire country of Canada to witness.