The Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday night thumped the visiting St. Louis Cardinals by a score of 10-3. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. hit his 21st home run of the season, and George Springer broke things open with this sixth-inning grand slam:
The win was the Jays' seventh in a row. They're now 11 games over .500 and in possession of the top wild-card spot in the American League. Of late, the story has been those Toronto bats. As ESPN Stats & Info notes, the Jays with Tuesday's outburst are now just the second team in the All-Star Game era – i.e., since 1933 – to score at least 50 total runs in their first four games of the second half.
As for their current win streak, the Jays haven't just won, they've dominated to an extent not seen before in franchise history:
Highest run differential by a @BlueJays team over any non-overlapping 7-game span of a season:— StatsCentre (@StatsCentre) July 27, 2022
+47- July 15 to present (Earning wins of 8-1, 6-5, 4-2, 28-5, 4-1, 8-4 and 10-3)
+41- August 22 to 29, 2015
+37- June 22 to 29, 1986
+37- September 12 to 18, 1987
+37- July 2 to 8, 2016
Yes, their recent 28-5 shellacking of the Red Sox is doing some of the heavy lifting, but that game and that score counts as much as any other game and score.
The Jays' improved fortunes have roughly coincided with the decision to move on from former manager Charlie Montoyo and replace him with interim John Schneider. That brings us to this:
For a time, Montoyo had the Jays at the level that was expected of them. They spent 18 days in first place this season on his watch, and on June 15 they reached a season-best 12 games over .500 (a mark they could tie on Wednesday night in the series finale against St. Louis). Soon thereafter, though, Montoyo and the Jays hit an extended rough patch, which ultimately led to his dismissal. In a final nod to Montoyo's work, the Jays made a bit of AL history with Tuesday night's victory:
As for Schneider, he's now 9-1 at the helm, and as you would expect he hasn't had to sweat much in the process:
While Toronto doesn't have much of a chance of catching the Yankees in the American League East, they have shaved five full games off the lead in a matter of days, and you'll recall that starting this season there are three wild-card berths in play in each league. In related matters, the Jays coming into Tuesday's slate had a 94.7 percent chance of making the postseason, according to the SportsLine Projection System. Those drastically improved odds should give the front office ample motivation to add much-needed pitching prior to the Aug. 2 deadline.