Jays will need to pitch for the playoffs

R.A. Dickey of the Toronto Blue Jays delivers a pitch during MLB action against the Minnesota Twins...

R.A. Dickey of the Toronto Blue Jays delivers a pitch during MLB action against the Minnesota Twins July 6, 2013 at Rogers Centre in Toronto. (Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images/AFP)

KEN FIDLIN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:33 PM ET

A month ago, the modest goal for the Blue Jays, then wallowing nine games below .500, was to get back to .500 by the all-star break. From there, they might be able to build a platform for even greater challenges.

A funny thing happened on that quest. The Jays went on an 11-game winning streak, reviving hopes and expectations and lifting the team to a season-high two games above .500, three weeks ahead of schedule.

Now, though, the intervening malaise of just five wins in their past 14 has made it seem as if they are further away than ever from playing meaningful baseball later in the season.

With six tough road games remaining before the all-star break, the goal is once again to get back to .500 but even if they succeed, it could be a hollow accomplishment.

For those who believe there are too many teams between the Jays and a playoff spot, consider this. Thirteen games ago, on June 23, the Tampa Bay Rays were in last place in the AL East.


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