On Saturday afternoon, the Blue Jays complete a walk-off win against the Royals at Rogers Centre. As Blue Jays announcers described the electric win, they called it a “character win.” It was. The Toronto Blue Jays have not had the July they had hoped for, depleted of hope and wins alike. The Kansas City Royals lack depth but playing relatively well. However, the Blue Jays earned the win today. Altogether, the character win was needed. It not have come at a better time for a team who has been struggling as of late.
Blue Jays Walk-Off
A Character Win
The Blue Jays’ walk-off win is what they needed. The disastrous West coast trip somewhat unveiled who this Jays’ team is. Social media raved about how maybe “they just aren’t as good as we thought.” The players looked frustrated, even heading into this series against the Royals at home. Their character had taken a beating as players. They have not looked as confident as before the road trip.
Guerrero’s Hit Changes the Energy
It is tough to be down by two runs heading into the bottom of extra innings. A few days ago, winning a game like today would have seemed undoable. In Seattle, they lost three very close games. It quickly became known to everyone watching that today would be different. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. saw a pitch that was very inside. He stepped away to gather himself, but when he returned to the plate, he had a fire in his eyes to get it done. A flash of Jose Bautista, perhaps? A double by Guerrero Jr. put the Jays within one.
The energy changed as the crowd stood up to applaud Guerrero Jr., and he was virtually exploding with passion standing on second base. At that moment, the Blue Jays players and fans felt something they had not thought about for a long time. In one period lasting a minute, the Blue Jays got the energy boost they were searching for. The energy shift happened so quickly, but it was everything they had wanted as of recent late to change how they had been playing. That energy and confidence led to Teoscar Hernandez scoring the run for a Blue Jays walk-off win.
Timely Hitting Improved
The Blue Jays’ walk-off win proved more than just character. The success broke through a barrier of issues, including; hitting with runners in scoring position. An example of this comes from their game on July 10th. After the Seattle Mariners series concluded, they had left 5.33 runners on in the last three games. Overall, the team leaves an average of 3.59 on a game, which is one of the worst in the league. So it is unsurprising that the confidence may not have been there at the start of extra innings to get their runner starting on second base home.
However, they broke the untimely hitting when it mattered most. The Jays are at the top of the league for hits. In contrast, it may be surprising considering how terrible the bats were to start the season. However, as a team, they have only scored 424 runs based on an average number across the league. They should be scoring more runs, which has to do with stringing hits together. Their timely hitting has proven to be a hindrance in many potential wins.
Blue Jays Walk-Off Win
As frustrating as the Blue Jays hitting has been in key situations, today was different. Hopefully, this energy boost and timely hitting can continue into Sunday. The series finale will be the last game before the All-Star break. The Blue Jays will look to take what they learned from today into tomorrow for one last win before the break.