Blue Jays peak at the perfect time as the September rally continues

TORONTO – The Toronto Blue Jays seem to have peaked at just the right time, as they rounded up every element of their game during this September surge with the level of consistency they had sought over the previous, at times challenging, five months.

said Matt Chapman, who opened the scoring with a first-half sacrifice and rallied in fifth to help set up Raimel Tapia’s triple-double in Saturday’s 6-3 win over the Baltimore Orioles. “This is the kind of baseball you have to play if you want to win the playoffs, because not everyone will go in there and just hit the bat. In the playoffs, pitcher and defense take you a long way. This is the kind of baseball we need to play if we want to go a long way.”

From the 13-4 so far this month after August 13-14, the wild card Blue Jays (83-63) are emerging as a team that has the potential to do just that. Now seven games ahead of the fourth-placed Orioles (75-69), and they’re nearly stuck in the post-season berth that they can shift their focus to maneuvering in order to position the wild cards with the Seattle Mariners (80-63) and the Tampa Bay Rays (80- 64), who played later on Saturday.

Their latest victory, in front of a raucous Rogers Center crowd of 44,448 people, was the product of the formula Chapman described, in which Jose Berrios pulled off six pass-packed rounds thanks to the safety net given him by several massive defensive plays.

The first came with only six pitches in the game when Cedric Mullins drove a weight to the wall on the left where Tapia jumped to grab it. In the second, Bo Bichette collected a pop-up shot by Rougned Odor though he stumbled on second base and hit Terrin Vavra, the runners froze in second and third, Santiago Espinal hit to collect a swamp of smell in the right field to finish third, George Springer also made a catch He dipped on Ramon Ureas’ glow in the fourth and that break ended when the Blue Jays noticed a late double steal alert and Bichette came home when Mullins broke away from third, eventually leading to Chapman’s mark.

With Berrios forced to work around contact as he allowed seven strokes and two runs with only three strokes on his six tires, that was the margin between a good start and an early exit.

Naturally, hitting in time has brought everything together.

Chapman’s sacrifice flew into the first singles match followed by Springer and Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bessette’s pick that put a man third with less than two, while Springer’s two-stroke double made the match 3-0.

Gunnar Henderson’s single on the third set quickly narrowed the margin, but Berrios managed to hold the lead and in the fifth, Guerrero hit a miss, Chapman, Teoscar Hernandez and Tapia, seemingly in the middle of the big time spots and again for the Blue Jays Recently, they’ve tripled them all.

Interim manager John Schneider previously noted how often Tapia did the things, big and small, that factored into the score, saying, “It’s crazy.”

“He has a very unique skill set,” he continued. “We joke that the holes find him, he doesn’t find the holes. He just ended up getting the base. He walked twice more than usual recently. It’s just a different component of the skill set than we usually bring up every day in terms of hand control, connection ability and all That kind of thing… finds itself in the middle.”

Tapia’s fifth-half run on Friday helped form a game-changing three-game-old Springer side who turned a 2-1 deficit into a 4-2 lead, an example of the attacking approach that Sneijder hopes his side will continue in October and beyond.

“I love when the squad keeps showing up and getting hits, walking into action, and then, if that happens,” he said. “(Friday) was the perfect storm of damage with a full-fledged Homer, two out, three-stroke George with (Jordan) Lyles kind of out there, right. Tough decision. I got it all. We have the ability to flip the impact of the game in a blow. One. Obviously (Friday) was telling us that. When you’re playing in very meaningful games against really good shooters, that kind of thing has to happen in addition to the Tapia walk. All of those things have to go the right way.”

For now, it’s a Blue Jays thing.