logo

Blue Jays show signs of life with shocking comeback win over Twins

alt
Photo credit:© Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports
Veronica Chung
1 month ago
Starting pitcher Kevin Gausman was doomed from the start. With the Minnesota Twins consistently pestering Gausman for nearly two years, the odds were already stacked against the Toronto Blue Jays. To put it bluntly, Toronto hadn’t much hope as the team continued its inglorious slide with an unimpressive 18-21 record. Facing the red-hot Twins didn’t seem to help the Blue Jays’ case either. 
Unfortunately, Gausman wasn’t the Blue Jays’ crown jewel on Saturday. In a span of only three innings, he surrendered seven singles, two doubles and a home run and gave up seven runs. Thankfully, shortstop Bo Bichette launched a home run to get the Blue Jays on board, but that didn’t change the fact that Minnesota was up by six runs. 
The Twins were up with a score of 7-1 when the top of the third ended. At that point, there was no doubt that Minnesota would hand the Blue Jays another agonizing loss. But then, Toronto’s offence started clicking as soon as the bottom of the third began. Right fielder Davis Schneider and centre fielder Daulton Varsho doubled, and first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. singled to bring the score up to 7-3. 
Even with a sign of life from the Blue Jays’ offence, the Twins were ready to sap their energy as catcher Ryan Jeffers homered at the top of the fourth inning to increase the Twins’ lead to five runs. As Toronto failed to score at the bottom of the fourth, all hope seemed lost.
Oddly enough, something sparked within the Blue Jays’ lineup as Schneider opened up the bottom of the fifth by clubbing a home run into Toronto’s bullpen. Shortly after Guerrero Jr.’s single, catcher Danny Jansen lobbed a home run to a practically identical spot as Schneider to bring the score up to 8-6. 
By the time the bottom of the sixth rolled around, the Blue Jays’ lineup executed their at-bats meticulously and patiently waited for their pitches. Toronto’s offence forced the Twins’ relievers to earn their outs as they took advantage of every chance to make meaningful moves for the team. The Blue Jays yielded three singles and one walk against relievers Cole Sands and Steven Okert. Consequently, Toronto’s productive plate appearances successfully erased Minnesota’s lead and brought the score to a tie of 8-8. 
The momentum was now with Toronto and the Blue Jays’ offence didn’t miss a chance to cash in the runs they desperately needed to come on top of the Twins. With four hits and one walk, Toronto finally took the lead with a score of 10-8. While the Blue Jays’ offence remained quiet for the last two innings, relievers Trevor Richards, Erik Swanson, Yimi García and Jordan Romano collectively silenced the explosive Minnesota lineup for five innings. 
With Twins’ shortstop Carlos Correa’s weak pop-up in foul territory at the top of the ninth, Toronto completed an improbable comeback. This was the vindication the Blue Jays sought for a long time. They needed their version of “it was 8-1” to boost their morale and reclaim their narrative. Savvy offence, stellar pitching from top to bottom and smooth defence – this was who they were supposed to be all along and Saturday’s win showed a glimpse of who the Blue Jays can be at their best.
Although the Blue Jays restored cautious optimism on Saturday with a compelling victory, the harsh reality is that they still occupy the bottom of the immensely competitive American League East division. Nevertheless, plenty of teams have come back from the abyss and there’s no rule that the 2024 Blue Jays can’t be part of that history. 
However, the duality of the 2024 Blue Jays is also undeniable. Toronto has gone through stretches of scoring droughts and pitching woes while showcasing their contender-calibre talents in the past 38 games. There’s still a world where the Blue Jays continue to underperform and disappoint, given their erratic performance and inconsistencies. 
Ultimately, there’s nothing scarier than a team with nothing to lose. The pressure may be on the Blue Jays to prove themselves, but the fact of the matter is that more teams around the league shoulder lofty expectations as they become more successful. This is the time for Toronto to put the pressure back on their opponents instead of crumbling under it. 
Failure isn’t the issue here. What matters is whether the Blue Jays are learning from their bitter losses and errors. Toronto’s enthralling comeback on Saturday has to become the catalyst to reignite the season. Fall down seven, stand up eight – that’s the only way forward. 

Check out these posts...