It shouldn’t come as a big surprise to those of you who visit this space regularly that the Blue Jays are off to a 6-2 start this season and sit in first place in the AL East Standings.
Jays’ kids shine in comeback victory
The most obvious difference in the surprising Blue Jays and their league-leading offence this April comes down to two guys that weren’t even on the roster last April. Travis Snider, 21, began the year at Dunedin, while Adam Lind, 25, had been exiled to Triple-A Syracuse.
Last night Snider, the rookie left fielder, smashed a pair of tape-measure home runs to right field, and Lind, who has 12 RBIs in the first eight games, chipped in with a pair of doubles, leading the way to an 8-6 win at the Metrodome in front of 16,410 fans, moving the Jays’ division-leading record to 6-2.
Snider capped off a late-inning rally, rebounding from a four-run deficit, by crushing a two-run homer through an open exit in the upper deck in right field. It was his second homer of the game and his third of the season. The first was a line drive off the concrete façade in the same area of the upper deck that got out in a hurry.
After pounding out 19 hits, including 3 doubles [Lind/2 & Barajas] and 3 more home runs [Snider/2 & Overbay], the Jays now lead the major leagues in Batting Average, Hits, Doubles [tied], Runs Scored and Overall W’s … despite having just 1 reliable Starting Pitcher on their active roster, at the moment, and a wonky Bullpen, anchored by their still struggling Closer.
If the team can somehow get a second consecutive solid start today out of rookie pitcher, Ricky Romero [LH], and then maintain their live bats on Wednesday, with almost-rookie pitcher Scott Richmond [RH] on the mound, there is every possibility that Toronto might just get to Thursday with their ace on the hill against the Twins’ top dog, Francisco Liriano [RH] – who is off to a slow start himself thi season - and have the chance to establish themselves early-on as a legitimate contender for at least a Wild Card spot this year in AL.
Considering the list of injuries which the Jays have sustained to their staff of young quality starting pitchers during the past 12 months alone … i.e. Casey Janssen, Dustin McGowan, Shawn Marcum and yesterday Jesse Litsch … it would simply be a remarkable achievement if they could somehome manage to contend this year for a spot in the AL Playoff race, on the strength of their coaching, hitting prowess and the singular arm of their pitching ace.
Have stranger things happened at different times over the course of MLB history?
e.g. Like the refreshing initial appearance of this once young man on the mound for the Detroit Tigers in the glorius summer of 1976.
You bet they have.
R.I.P. Mark “The Bird” Fidrych … you were one of a kind. :-)