A.J. Burnett sure wasn’t happy to play his old team tonight. The Blue Jays bats ran rampant over the fireballer, knocking him out in the fifth inning after notching seven runs against him. The Blue Jays hit six doubles in the sixth, two of them by Travis Snider.  After the seven-run inning by the Jays that put them up 8-2, New York would come back to score runs in the bottom of the fifth, sixth and ninth. The Bluebirds would hang on though to win the heavy-hitting contest, 8-6.

The Blue Jays have a very tough schedule in August, facing several teams that are fighting for a playoff spot. Their familiar foes in the AL East, New York, Boston and Tampa, they will all face twice. Anaheim, Oakland and Detroit they will all face once, all of who can be tough competition. Another way of looking at this schedule is that the Blue Jays may play a large role in deciding who claims that Wild Card spot in the American League.

Perhaps the biggest concern for the Blue Jays is whether their young arms can keeping going late into summer. Shaun Marcum didn’t pitch at all last year, so hasn’t pitched a full season since 2007 and Jesse Litsch just returned recently from injury. Brandon Morrow was shuffled between starting and relief with the Mariners before becoming a full-time starter with the Jays this year.

This is Brett Cecil’s first full year in the majors, and while he has pitched fantastic, he could be on a limited innings count. Only Ricky Romero pitched a full season last year, and could likely hit the 200 innings mark this year. All of the Jays starters are yet to hit that 200 mark in their career though, which suggests that their may be more spot starts by Brad Mills or even Brian Tallet to help give these young pitchers some more rest.


Of course, the Blue Jays already know what kind of position they are in though, which means they have a lot to prove. They don’t want to roll over and die; they want to learn how to win against the best to prepare for next season. 

The easiest target is of course Boston, as they have been decimated by injuries this year (Kevin Youkilis might have been hurt as well tonight) and are behind Tampa by 6.5 games. New York will be difficult, but luckily the Jays will not have to face C.C. Sabathia in this series at least. Plus, the Yankees stadium suits the long ball style of the Toronto batters. Tampa will be difficult, as their diverse offense and strong pitching is always finding new ways to win. 

If the Blue Jays bats can stay potent, and their starters can stay healthy and find a way to pitch deep into ball games, the team certainly has a chance to play spoiler. If the Blue Jays want to be in this race next year, they are going to have to prove that they are capable of playing with the best.

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