The Toronto Blue Jays are currently 8-4 and boast the 4th best record in the American League thanks in large part to their timely clutch hitting late in games.
Curtis Granderson‘s solo shot of Darren O’Day of the Orioles in the 9th inning of last nights contest not only propelled the Blue Jays to victory but it also marked the 26th run the offence has scored from the 7th inning on in their first 12 games of the season.
The timely hitting is a welcomed change for a team that batted .229 collectively last season with runners in scoring position. It also took the Blue Jays until April 30th to secure their 8th win of the 2017 campaign so things are looking up for John Gibbons and company early on in 2018.
Not only are the Jays having the good fortune of clutch hitting they are doing it with the long ball late in games as Yangervis Solarte, Russell Martin, Aledmys Diaz, Josh Donaldson, Curtis Granderson and Justin Smoak all have all hit bombs from the 7th inning on pacing the Jays to victories. Smoak actually has a pair if you recall his dramatic heroics versus the New York Yankees in the first series.
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The most promising sign of the Blue Jays hot start out of the gate is they have done it predominantly without any production from Devon Travis and Randal Grichuk who have both been mired in dreadful slumps to start the season. You can imagine what the offence will look like when everyone is firing on all cylinders.
Travis had a month of May for the ages last year swatting 16 doubles so don’t be surprised if he starts to warm up sooner than later. The same can be said for Grichuk who looks like he is pressing a little too hard to make something happen offensively for his new team.
Along with the timely hitting, the Jays have been blessed with great starting pitching thus far making them a tough team to beat. Hopefully, the Jays can build on their impressive start and keep pace with the surging Boston Red Sox who have gone 9-1 in their first 10 out of the gate.
You cant win a championship in April but you sure can lose one as the Jays were a testament to last season going 8-17 for the month and never climbing out the AL East basement until the final day of the regular season. So far so good in 2018.