So the Blue Jays kept winning and we kept saying, “Oh, how cute — that Supposed Superteam is trying to polish up its record a tad.”
Well, things are out of hand now and Toronto, once the ball team equivalent of an oozing zombie extra in “The Walking Dead,” really is reanimated.
The Jays have won 11 straight games, the longest winning streak in the majors since the Tigers won 12 straight in 2011. They have slashed their deficit in the American League East division from 12 games behind Boston on June 10 to five games right now. They’ve won 14-of-16.
And they don’t even have Jose Reyes! But — are you listening, Red Sox, Orioles, Yankees, Rays? — Reyes is due back soon, perhaps this week. And he’s hitting .364 on his rehab assignment.
So, yeah, the Jays are the movers and shakers in our MLB Power Rankings this week, up eight spots from No. 20 to No. 12. They’re not in Cardinals territory — yet? — but they’ve made a move out of the morass.
The Blue Jays have allowed two runs or fewer in nine of their past 11 games, dating back to June 13.
To the numbers!
1. St. Louis Cardinals (47-29, last week No. 1): With Michael Blazek’s called up, that means 10 rookies have pitched for Cards this year, making this ranking even more remarkable, we think.
2. Boston Red Sox (45-33, last week No. 3): Catch or drop by Daniel Nava? We may never know.
3. Pittsburgh Pirates (46-30, last week No. 6): After awful start, New Yorker Pedro Alvarez has 19 homers, 52 RBI and .271 average in his last 55 games.
4. Cincinnati Reds (45-32, last week No. 2): You excited for the 1972 World Series rematch in Oakland this week? We are.
5. Oakland A’s (44-34, last week No. 5): How is this good team only 5-8 against the Mariners? We don’t know.
6. Atlanta Braves (44-33, last week No. 4): That was a lot of losses to the Mets last week, wasn’t it?
7. Texas Rangers (44-32, last week No. 9): We’re almost back on their bandwagon after five straight wins, including a sweep of the Cardinals.
8. Detroit Tigers (42-32, last week No. 8): Justin Verlander only lasted five innings Sunday and Kitties still won.
9. Baltimore Orioles (42-34, last week No. 7): Four O’s — Chris Davis, J.J. Hardy, Adam Jones and Nick Markakis could be voted to start the All-Start Game.
10. Arizona Diamondbacks (41-34, last week No. 10): Still leading the NL West by three games, if there are any non-believers still out there.
11. New York Yankees (41-34, last week No. 11): We’d make a joke here about Old Timers Day and the current Yankee team, but it’s just too easy.