2023-09-11 · 2 min read · MLB/Baseball
Blue Jays' Ernie Clement

Blue Jays official Twitter (@@BlueJays) | Yahoo Sports

As Kevin Kiermaier squeezed his glove closed on a Maikel Garcia flyball in the ninth inning on Sunday, Toronto completed a three-game sweep of Kansas City - and found themselves winners of eight of their last ten ballgames.
A much-needed sweep, and one that propels the Blue Jays into the second American League Wild Card position. Heading into the all-important four-game series against Texas beginning tomorrow, Toronto now sits a full game up on Seattle and one-and-a-half up on the Rangers with their playoff destiny entirely within their own control.
Though series wins against Colorado, Oakland, and Kansas City have allowed Toronto to enjoy a bit of a hot streak in recent weeks, a much tougher task is ahead of them over their final six series. Following their series against Texas, Boston, New York, Tampa Bay, New York again, and Tampa Bay again round out Toronto’s regular season. All American League East teams, would like nothing more than to knock their fellow division rival out of the playoff picture.
For as many wins as the Blue Jays have been racking up over the last two weeks, they certainly haven’t been as…convincing, as one might think - or like, for that matter. The largest, by run differential, over their last ten games has been a 7-0 win over Washington on August 30th. The second-largest, a 7-1 victory over Oakland on September 5th. During that same span, six of their eight victories have come with a winning differential of four runs or fewer - a noteworthy point, and one that’s a healthy reminder that Toronto hasn’t been on a run of pure offensive domination regardless of what their record over the last ten games says.
Speaking of offense, Toronto’s now one step closer to getting their left side of the Infield back with Bo Bichette having returned from the IL prior to this weekend’s set against the Royals. In a corresponding move, backup Infielder Mason McCoy was sent to AAA Buffalo. Matt Chapman remains on the IL, with no specific date set for his return. Danny Jansen was placed on the 10-day IL after having surgery to repair a fractured finger, with Tyler Heineman being recalled to take his place. Erik Swanson is expected to return from injury on Monday, with Jay Jackson being optioned - this would be Jackson’s fifth option, negating any possibility of a recall for the remainder of the regular season. He pitched to an ERA of 2.56 across 26 ⅔ IP this season.
When Matt Chapman does return, all fingers point to Spencer Horwitz being the unlucky option - an incredibly tough decision, especially with Ernie Clement’s recent otherworldly play.
Bassitt, Ryu, Kikuchi, and Gausman are expected to take the ball against Texas, in that order, beginning Monday at the Rogers Centre. Opposing that quartet will be Dane Dunning, Max Scherzer, Jordan Montgomery, and Nate Eovaldi. A series loss in any fashion for Texas wouldn’t be damning, though it would certainly put them in an even more precarious position following a 3-7 stretch over their last 10.
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By: Gus Cousins


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