Blue Jays receive production from unexpected places in epic sweep over the Red Sox

Boston Red Sox v Toronto Blue Jays
Boston Red Sox v Toronto Blue Jays / Mark Blinch/GettyImages

After receiving some otherworldly production from Matt Chapman and Whit Merrifield, two players on expiring contracts, to start the year, Blue Jays fans were quick to come up with potential contract extension figures for the two players. While it can be difficult to temper expectations and wait to see how things shake out, it was exciting to see the two, especially Chapman, come out of the gates firing on all cylinders to begin the 2023 campaign.

Since a hot month of April, Chapman has come dramatically crashing down to earth. Not only has he had a few trips to the injured list recently, but his bat has cooled off to the point where it's almost worth wondering if handing over the starting third base gig to someone like Cavan Biggio would be the smartest move for the Blue Jays. In August, the defensive wizard hit just .197 with 29 strikeouts in 21 games and he's hitting just 2-for-13 (.154) through four games in September.

Just when the frustration amongst Blue Jays fans was starting to hit its peak, he provided the offense when it mattered most on Sunday, hitting his 37th double of the season to give the Jays their second consecutive walkoff win. At this point of the season, every single game should be viewed as "must-win", so having the 30-year-old come through in the clutch was - in a word - epic.

Just the night before, it was Merrifield, another (likely) pending free agent, who came up big. He was beginning to look like this year's version of Santiago Espinal in that he earned an appearance in the All-Star Game only to have a significant second-half collapse, prior to Saturday's walkoff single.

Hot months of April (.320 average, .790 OPS in 21 games) and July (.356 average, .997 OPS in 27 games) have carried Merrifield's stat line throughout the season, but he had a dreadful month of August and is in the midst of quite the slump. However, he, like Chapman, played "hero" on Saturday and all of a sudden is earning back the trust of fans.

Chapman and Merrifield have both been the most frustrating kind of consistent all year long, which will likely make their departures in free agency something that the fans get over fairly quickly. Just when followers of the club are about to rip their hair out and call for these players' removal from the starting lineup, they come through in big situations. Neither of them are likely to come back next season, with Davis Schneider set to replace Merrifield and someone like Addison Barger replacing Chapman, but it's nice to see the two veterans doing what they can to earn a bit of trust back from the fans.