Your hometown team was ballin' again today, as they are lately wont to do, picking up two more impressive victories as if they were drunken sluts in a Girls Gone Wild video. In the first game AJ Burnett threw seven innings of 1 hit ball (he had a no-hitter through five) and struck out 7 "good guys." In the second, three Blue Jays homered (Scutaro, Rolen, and Wells) and the Jays cruised to the 8-2 win.
Also noted in passing, Alex Rios was the AL player of the week last week after hitting .414 in the first week of September. Continuing the running report on the progress he has made under Cito, Alex is now hitting .324 - .353 - .568 - .923 in 67 games played. Pro-rated to 162 games, Rios would have an incredible 104 XBH.
By the way, the Jays as a team are now 43-27 since Cito took over, which is a .614 winning percentage. That pace over a full season will get you 100 wins - only one AL team (the Angels) have more wins in that period of time. In case it escaped your notice, something similar is happening in Houston. The difference is, though, that the Astros are overachieving (they have an overall run deferential of -16, while the Jays have an RD of +96 (third best in the majors). And all this almost entirely without Dustin McGowan, with Marcum ineffective in half of his starts since the switch, without Aaron Hill ever having swung a bat under Cito, with Scott Rolen being a non-factor and Greg Zaun almost entirely out of gas.
THIS is what I was talking about back in March when I said this was a very good team. It's obviously not what I envisioned, but you never know how the details are going to play out. I'm NOT and never have been in the "Gibbons is a moron" crowd...I still tend to think he's going to get another job at some point (probably in the NL) and have a fine little career. And I was very adamant in April and June that this group of players could not continue to lose in such an aberrational way. BUT, I don't have a factual way to argue with the folks who will argue that Cito made the difference and JP blundered badly in not making the switch sooner EXCEPT to say this:
The Jays went 20-10 in May and were five games over and were 4 games out and well positioned to have had an excellent year. They had hit poorly in key situations (freakishly so) but had every reason to expect that to regress to the mean and to look ahead with optimism. Nineteen days later the Jays had played their manager out of a job. I, for one, do NOT consider three weeks "waiting too long" - even if the math knocks us out of the post season (7 games out with 18 to play!). If the Jays had played mediocre ball the whole time under Gibby, then yeah, but a 20-10 month rightfully buys a man some time.
Meanwhile, if we sweep the White Sox it will be, I believe, the longest winning streak in club history.