The 2006 Oilers team was as confident as this one is. And they went into Game 7 with every bit as much momentum. But we all know what the result was for that team.

CLEVELAND — The presumed leadoff hitter and highest-paid player on the team has the league’s lowest OPS among qualified hitters. The starting shortstop with more hits than anyone in the AL over the prior three seasons is on the IL after hitting .237 through his first two-and-a-half months. The slugging first baseman has single-digit home runs 77 games into the season.

The all-star closer had to halt his throwing progression while recovering from his second elbow issue of the year. One of his set-up men is out with an elbow issue of his own; another was demoted to triple-A due to performance; yet another, a once-reliable lefty, is no longer trusted in leverage and has been searching for his velocity since spring.

The fifth starter who challenged for a Cy Young award two years ago and embodied a rare developmental pitching success story just had elbow surgery. The top prospect who leads all minor-leaguers in home runs since 2021 popped up for a performance-enhancer and was suspended 80 games. The most impactful off-season addition is a utility player with an 83 career OPS+. 

Oh, and the Toronto Blue Jays just suffered their second consecutive series sweep, have lost six in a row for the first time in three years, and are now seven games under .500 following a 6-5 defeat to the Cleveland Guardians. If Sunday isn’t the nadir of this hapless season, what will it be? 

It began with Orelvis Martinez, the recently promoted top prospect who represented a glimmer of hope for the ballclub’s near future, being suspended after testing positive for a banned substance. It ended with a frustrated and battered Blue Jays club, which has been outscored 37-18 during this six-game skid, limping off to Boston for a return engagement with the Red Sox club that came into Rogers Centre last week and beat them in three straight.

“We signed up for this. And it’s going to be hard. These guys get it. They understand that it’s another tough series in Boston. You’ve got to keep going,” Blue Jays manager John Schneider said. “And these guys are doing it. My tone would be different if it was for a lack of effort or lack of prep. It’s a tough stretch. … You keep on moving. You’ve got to try to attack tomorrow for tomorrow. And put the last three here behind you. It sounds easy to say. It’s tough to do. But these guys, they’re working at it. And I’m proud of the way they’re fighting through this tough time.”

Sunday’s game itself was certainly an eventful one. The Guardians hit two homers; the Blue Jays hit three, including a pair of solo shots from Spencer Horwitz. A 40-minute rain delay knocked both starters from the game in the third inning, at which point each team’s bullpen took turns putting itself in problematic situations.