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NEW YORK – The Blue Jays entered Thursdays series finale at Yankee Stadium losers of eight of their last 11 games. Ron Stackhouse Jersey . Theyd dropped 15 in a row in the Bronx dating back to 2012 and had seen their lead over their pinstriped rivals in the American League East dwindle to two and a half games. This is a slump. Its lasted for about two weeks. The downturn comes on the heels of a terrific May, when Toronto won 21 of 30 games and Edwin Encarnacion captured the imagination of fans with his 16-home run month. This is not is the end of the world, nor does this slump suggest a long-term trend. This is on the offence and thats a good thing because theres too much talent in the Blue Jays lineup for the widespread malaise to continue. To wit: The starting pitching has been fine. You could say its been good and you wouldnt be wrong. In the last 11 games, Jays starters have allowed four or more earned runs only twice and have pitched to a staff ERA of 3.71. The starting pitching was supposed to be the weakness. So far it has held up. The Jays have hit only four home runs in their last 11 games. Not surprisingly, three of the home runs came in two of the three victories. Toronto continues to lead baseball with 93 team home runs, which is crucial to the clubs attack. Of the 338 runs the Jays have scored this season, 147 (43.4 per cent) have come via the long ball. Jose Bautista hasnt hit a home run in 11 games, his longest power drought of the season. Hes still hitting for a respectable average, .275 with five of his 11 hits going for doubles, but the Jays miss his power bat as the club struggles, having scored three or fewer runs eight times in the span. This is a phase, both for the individual and for the ballclub, Bautista said, that was bound to happen. "If you can execute every single day for 162, youd probably win 140 games," said Bautista. "We dont expect to execute every single day. But we do have to pick it up. Its one thing, were running into some St. Louis good pitching, some other pitching staffs. I dont want to speak badly or worse about the Yankees or the Orioles but its not the same. We faced much better pitching at home during the last homestand than we have on this road trip, except for Tanaka, who did a tremendous job. So we shouldve won some of these games that we lost." It hasnt helped, either, that Edwin Encarnacion has hit only one home run in the last 11 games. "Weve lacked some timely hitting," said Bautista. "Our pitching has been there enough, I think, that we shouldve won some of these games that weve lost. We just need to keep going on offence. We got really hot at one point and kind of hitting a little cold spurt now. Weve just got to overcome it and not get 10 hits a day but get them when you get the baserunners on." Bautista has repeatedly acknowledged hes bought in to hitting coach Kevin Seitzers philosophy of using all fields. The slugger has become a better all round hitter. His 1,000th career big league hit, achieved in the eighth inning of Wednesday nights loss, was a double to right field. That alone would have been a story last season. This year its commonplace. "I think Im more aware of some situations where people are going to keep challenging me inside, especially when Im behind in the count or theres the right situation when theres a defensive shift," said Bautista. "Why not try to go over there and it ended up working out again? But the previous at bat I tried going that way and I hit into a force out, when Melky got forced out at second. So it works sometimes, sometimes it doesnt." Its difficult to watch a team go into a funk, especially when it had become customary for fans to watch Toronto out-slug and, often, out-pitch opponents. Despite the recent struggles, the Jays offence remains top 10 in important statistical categories: Home runs – 93 (1st)On-base percentage - .329 (5th)On-base plus slugging percentage - .760 (2nd)Walks – 243 (9th) Kevin Stevens Jersey .J. -- New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning is going to start the off-season training program with a surgically repaired left ankle. Zarley Zalapski Jersey . Kelli Stack and Alex Carpenter also scored for the Americans, who avoided a repeat of Finlands upset at the Four Nations Cup in Lake Placid, N.Y., in November. Finnish goalie Noora Raty made 58 saves in that one, but the three-time Olympian could stop just 40 of 43 U. https://www.cheappenguinsjersey.com/194 ... guins.html . Groves signed with Cleveland as an unrestricted free agent last year after a season with Arizona. He was in the linebacker rotation and had a sack in the season opener against Miami.At a press scrum last Thursday, the day before the Redblacks were to play their season home opener and officially open the new TD Place Stadium, one of the owners, Roger Greenburg, was asked why he decided to become the co-owner of a football team. His answer just may be the best example of why football will work this time, when it didnt on two previous occasions in Ottawa. Im paraphrasing, but the chairman/CEO of Minto Developments said that he believes there are four pillars that make up a strong community. The first is the medical system. Second, is the education system. The third is the arts and the final one is the sports culture. He went on to say that the Senators have contributed to the sports culture, but it was time to add to that with the return of professional football to the city and the addition of professional soccer. Greenburg and his partners John Ruddy, William Shenkman and Jeff Hunt wanted to be part of building and strengthening one of the pillars of a strong community. In other words, this ownership group has done all of this for the right reason - to strengthen the community that they live in and they were rewarded on Friday night for all their hard work and perseverance. Fridays home opener was an unforgettable experience and, hopefully, showed one of our other major cities in the country, that happens to be only about four hours away, just what is possible. The Redblacks didnt score a touchdown on the field, but they did in the stands and that is what mattered most. Jeff Hunt said the team could have sold another 15,000 tickets to the game and that will translate into demand. Based on the in-game experience on Friday night, nobody should be surprised to hear that the next home game will be sold out soon. The atmosphere was electric. It was a young energetic crowd, who partied like they were attending a rock concert. In fact, in what was an ingenious move, there was also a rock concert going on before the game to get people pumped up for kick-off at what was a Canadian-style tailgate party. TD Place Stadium is fantastic with great sightlines and a design that not only looks outstanding, but is designed to enhance the fan experience for soccer and football, specifically. It doesnt feel like an all-purpose facility that accommodates many, but pleases none. The game itself was not a masterpiece, but it had an exciting finish when, down by two, Redblacks QB Henry Burris hit Kerrie Johnson on a deep ball to set up the game winning field goal. It wasnt a walk-off winner by Brett Maher, but when Ricky Ray was intercepted in the dying seconds, it was game over and the crowd erupted. The games MVP was the crowd, that included Prime Minister Steven Harper, who sat beside CFL Commissioner Mark Cohon and Rough Rider great, Russ Jackson. In fact, one of the highlights of the night was when our TSN cameraa caught a fan walking by the PM and the commish to shake hands with Jackson. It was not a slight to our country leader or the leagues top man, but a show of respect for history of football in Ottawa. And speaking of the telecast, I owe the football fans in Ottawa an apology for mistakenly saying that the five Grey Cup teams in the 60s and 70s were alll coached by Frank Clair. Juuso Riikola Jersey. My intention was to say that all the Cup teams in the 60s were coached by Clair. Jack Gotta was the coach from 1970-1973 and George Brancato was the coach when the Rough Riders beat Saskatchewan to win in 1976. The telecast wasnt perfect and neither was the night - apparently, some of the concessions ran out of beer and the traffic was a bit tricky, which, of course, was pointed out by some sportswriters...I swear some people would complain that their ice cream is too cold. I recently went to a George Strait concert in Dallas at AT&T Field, one of the most elaborate and state-of-the-art stadiums in the world and it had traffic issues, as well. In fact, it was so jammed up, I ended up tailgating in the parking lot for almost two hours after the event waiting for it to clear. On Friday night, the small issue were just that - small - and didnt, in any way, take away from the success of the event. It was a look at what is possible, even in Ontario ,when it comes to CFL football. The capacity of TD Place Stadium is 24,000, which just may be the perfect number and a blueprint for a possible stadium in Toronto. Our country has great football fans, but just not the volume to consistently fill a 40-to-50,000-seat stadium and at 24,000 in the stands, owners are making money. For those who would say that, if the NFL were in Toronto, they would sell out the old SkyDome, I would remind those people that the NFL regular season games played in Toronto were not sell-outs and not even close. In fact, sources have said that upwards of 20,000 tickets to the games in the Buffalo Bills series were freebies, handed to people on the street. No, 25-30,000-seat stadiums are the perfect size for CFL football, professional soccer and summer concerts and, for proof of that, look no further than Friday night in Ottawa. It can work in Toronto, as well, with a stadium at a realistic capacity and one built for football and soccer, specifically. It worked in Montreal, it is working in a big way in Winnipeg and, after Game One in Ottawa, it looks like it will be a huge hit there, as well. The answer may be BMO Field, which seems to still be part of the plan for the Argos. On our TSN set in Ottawa, Commissioner Mark Cohon had this to say when asked what it would take to replicate the Ottawa plan in Toronto: "The answer is a smaller stadium like BMO," said Cohon. "We know that they have a four-year deal left with Rogers Centre. Were talking to Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, were talking to the city of Toronto and were working to see if we can move [the Argos] into BMO Field and replicate what we have [in Ottawa.]" The blueprint for the correct business model has now been created and now all that is needed in Toronto is for David Braley, or whomever buys the Argos, to start building the fourth pillar in that community. Congratulations again to the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group and, on behalf of the football fans in our country, thank you. At the end of the night in Ottawa, the scoreboard read Redblacks 18 - Argonauts 17, but the true winners were the fans and the community in our nations capital. ' ' '