This Is How The Toronto Blue Jays Should Have Played All Season
I know that everything in this world is easier said than done, especially when it comes to the sport of baseball. With 162 regular season games to play, it is physically impossible to play in your prime every single day… but there is still the chance of being above average for the majority of your games.
On Friday night against the Minnesota Twins, the Toronto Blue Jays teased the baseball universe with glimpses of what an all-star team should play like. Ultimately, it is exactly what everyone expected from this club since the beginning of April. Toronto was the perfect example of how a team should be able to win the majority of outings that they play.
R.A. Dickey had his knuckleball dancing, and hitters were struggling to knock the ball anywhere. Our defense sparkled right from the initial pitch with Rajai Davis getting all three outs of the first inning, even making a spectacular snag to save extra bases. However, the Blue Jays’ entire key to victory last night were the bats that they swung.
Toronto has always been known as a powerhouse, slugging away moon shots most of their seasons as if it was a star-studded home run derby, and that just may be a “problem”. Sure, seeing balls leave the yard is an incredible sight and is enough to make your heart pound and your pulse rush like the Grand Canyon rapids. The concept is simple though: home runs do not win ball games… base hits do, and that is exactly how the Blue Jays won on Friday. When this team can string hits together, more often than not they will score multiple runs in an inning. With runners on base regardless of how many outs there are, it will rattle a pitcher’s mind and he will not be able to focus so clearly anymore on the task at hand, which is ultimately the batter at the plate. Mistakes will be made, pitches will be left up in the zone, thrown dead across the plate too aggressively, or so bad that anybody could draw a walk. Take note, major leaguers.
The fact of the matter is even if any team at all played this way every day, they won’t win every day but they will surely win more, and the worst thing to any defense is an aggressive offense. Small ball is what gives the upper hand in any baseball game… and I hope the Blue Jays keep that in mind for 2014.