Since the wild card was introduced back in 1994, only two teams (during a full 162 game season) have made the playoffs with a sub .500 record at the all-star break; the 1997 Houston Astros and the 2003 Minnesota Twins. And in both instances, the Astros and Twins earned their playoff berths by winning weaker Central divisions, which I would have to say is an easier task vs climbing up the AL East standings.
A 162 game baseball season is clearly a Marathon– not a sprint. Experienced runners don’t view a Marathon as a whole 42.2 KM race; they tend to chop it down into smaller chunks such as four separate 10 KM splits with a few KM left over at the end.
And this is the approach that the Jays have to take. After last nights epic seven run comeback, the Jays have to section this season off into four parts, forget the past and ride their newly found positive momentum into the future.
Part 1: Opening day until last nights ‘rebirth’OVER
- Part 2: Now until the All-Star Break
- Part 3: Dog days of summer
- Part 4: September to October playoff stretch drive
While the Jays have been nothing short of horrid up to this point, the reality is the club sits only 9 games under .500.
There are 63 games left until the all-star break. To reach the .500 mark the Jays will need to go 36 – 27 over this stretch, a very reasonable .571 winning percentage. This at least gives them an outside chance at shocking the baseball world down the stretch.
Last season the Orioles, winner of an AL Wild Card playoff birth, were 45 – 40 at the break.
While not probable, a late charge is not out of the realm of possibilities for the 2013 Toronto Blue Jays; especially if/(hopefully when) numerous member of the roster play up to their potential.
But it has to start now… RIGHT NOW.