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Blue Jays: George Springer- The straw that stirs the drink

Aug 30, 2021; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays designated hitter George Springer (4) and first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr (27) celebrate a win over the Baltimore Orioles at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 30, 2021; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays designated hitter George Springer (4) and first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr (27) celebrate a win over the Baltimore Orioles at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports /
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George Springer returned to the lineup for the Blue Jays on Monday, and based on the big day for the offence it would appear he’s the straw that stirs the drink.

For those that have never heard the term, I’ll provide an example from one of the best weekends of my early 20’s. I met four friends at a cabin in Northern Alberta and we had an absolute blast. I was a day or two late to join the group, and I later came to find out that there wasn’t a whole lot of fun being had before I arrived. I was the fifth wheel that weekend, and for whatever reason my arrival was enough to break the tension and get the party started.

Just as my presence magically changed things for my friends (trust me, I didn’t do anything special), I think it’s possible that Springer’s return has done the same for the Blue Jays.

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about how Springer’s injury felt like the season flashing before our eyes. You can’t physically see momentum, but it felt like watching him limp off the field sucked the energy from the rest of the Blue Jays roster, especially as they were making a push for a postseason spot in a very competitive Wild Card race.

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At the time the Blue Jays were 9-6 for the month of August, and that includes the three games in a row that they lost before the injury that put a dent in their impressive record for the month. They went 6-7 in Springer’s absence, but that’s largely due to the impressive performance of the pitching staff, especially from the starting rotation. Without it the ice-cold offence likely would have led to a much worse record, and all but buried them for this year’s postseason race.

It’s only one game, but Springer’s return on Monday felt like an emotional lift for a lineup that has been struggling to score some runs. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. has his best game in more than a month with a multi-home run effort, and Teoscar Hernandez came up with a huge two-run hit that will hopefully bring him out his own funk.

It wasn’t a perfect game, and we also have to remember it came against the lowly Orioles, but it felt like the start of some renewed hope for a team that looked dead in the water last week. The Red Sox lost their game on Monday, so now the gap between the Blue Jays and the 2nd Wild Card spot is just 4.5 games. It’s still a tall order with just 32 games left to go, but it’s not out of the question.

Next. His career was almost over, and now it's just beginning. dark

To get there the Blue Jays are going to have to play up to their fullest potential, and they’ll need Springer’s contributions to do that. If his presence can help get some of their talented youngsters going as well, all the better.

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