Kevin Kiermaier is an absolute vibe and is quickly becoming a Toronto Blue Jays fan favourite
Photo credit:Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports
By Zach Laing5 months ago
After a quick first inning that saw both the Detroit Tigers and Toronto Blue Jays go three-up, three-down, Alek Manoah returned to the mound for the top of the second.
First up to bat for the Tigers? Kerry Carpenter. The 25-year-old is in his first full year in the bigs, and has had quite a bit of power.
That was on display as he connected on Manoah’s third pitch to him and sent it deep for the centre wall. While six months ago that may have been been a solo shot, yesterday, Kevin Kiermaier made a highlight reel play climbing the wall and stealing the score.
That wasn’t all we got from Kiermaier during the game, either. In the bottom of the fifth, he blasted a solo shot over the wall in right centre field tying the game up at 3 all.
“Ever since I signed back in December, so many times the wall is brought up,” Kiermaier told Sportsnet after the game. “And I sit here and keep saying, all I want is opportunities. I want to make those plays. And baseball works in mysterious ways sometimes. Tonight, my second inning out there, I make that catch.
It’s one I’ll go back and watch probably 10 times tonight. And the Rogers Centre reaction to it was amazing. I was on Cloud Nine the whole night.”
For Kiermaier, it’s the latest antics that are already making him a fan favourite in the six. Hi three-hit, five RBI performance against the LA Angels on Sunday night was another huge moment for him.
Topping it all off, he hasn’t been shy about his excitement to even come to Toronto in the first place. Before Tuesday’s game, he did an on-field interview talking about his excitement to be home — namely, the fact that he loves the Canadian anthem and would even like to sing it one day.
The one-year, $9-million investment into Kiermaier is already starting to pay off. He’s got 13 hits in 34 at-bats this season, is hitting .382 and even got the water bath after the game last night, as seen above.
The Jays needed help in the outfield. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and Teoscar Hernandez — as much as they were fan favourites of their own — never provided anywhere near the defensive value that Kiermaier, as well as Daulton Varsho, are already providing to the lineup. And for what it’s worth, bumping George Springer out to right-field could have huge implications for this team as well.
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Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at email@example.com.
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