After all of that, the Toronto Blue Jays finish half a game out of the second Wild Card spot. The Blue Jays finish with a 91-71 record, giving them their best winning percentage since 2015. However, breaking down the numbers of the Blue Jays season is something else. It makes one wonder why they didn’t make the playoffs, but there is a lot to be proud of with this team moving forward. Here is a breakdown of the Blue Jays 2021 season.
Blue Jays 2021 Season
Comparing 2019 vs. 2021
W-L: 2019 (67-95), 2021 (91-71)
The number of the stadiums Toronto played in. This number is a friendly reminder of all of the things this group has gone through in a 162-game season. Toronto had to call home in three different cities due to the pandemic. The Blue Jays called home at TD Bank Ballpark in Dunedin, Sahlen Field in Buffalo, and the Rogers Centre.
Toronto became the first team since the Atlanta Braves in 2003 to have four different players have 100 or more RBI. The Blue Jays are the first team in the AL with four right-handed batters with 100 RBI in a season. Of the four, Teoscar Hernandez led his teammates with 116 RBI, Guerrero with 111 RBI, and Marcus Semien and Bo Bichette with 102 RBI.
Signing Marcus Semien to a one-year, $18 million was a steal for the Blue Jays. A finalist for the 2019 AL MVP, Semien set a record for home runs by a second baseman. Semien hit his 44th homer off of Gerrit Cole of the New York Yankees. Although four of Semien’s home runs have come from playing shortstop, he made 85% or more of his starts at second, his primary position. The home run was on the 12th of September. He is the first player in Blue Jays history to hit 12 in a single month of September.
Vladimir Guerrero hit 48 home runs. Good enough to pass Hall of Famer Eddie Mathews for the most home runs in a season for a player at 22-years old. Mathews has held onto the record since 1953. Guerrero Jr. now sits atop the list, including Joe DiMaggio, Johnny Bench, and Juan Gonzalez. Vlad’s Hall of Fame father’s career-high for home runs was 44.
The Blue Jays finished the season with a 180+ run differential. It’s a substantial number for a team to make the playoffs, but not in a division where the Jays were one of four teams to win 91 or more games. Toronto is the first team to miss out on the playoffs with a +180 run differential since the Boston Red Sox in 2002.
Robbie Ray set two franchise records this season. The first is having the most strikeouts by a left-handed pitcher in a season with 248. Ray also set the record for most strikeouts in a game by a leftie by punching out 14 batters against the Chicago White Sox. He led the AL with a 2.84 ERA, 1.045 WHIP, and 193 1/3 innings pitched. Ray is third all-time on the Blue Jays list for strikeouts in a season, only behind Roger Clemens in 1997 and 1998.
The number of home runs the Blue Jays hit in 2021. It’s five more than the previous franchise record, which was 257 back in 2010.