Over the past few seasons, the Toronto Blue Jays have been well known for their ability to hit the long ball. The club has repeatedly finished at the top of the ranks when it comes to overall home runs hit as a team, and it looks as though this is going to be the case once again in 2014.
The Jays managed to sneak by the Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday night as their lineup all of a sudden exploded late in the game with three-run shots hit by Edwin Encarnacion, Brett Lawrie and Melky Cabrera. The final score of 9-3 in favor of the Jays doesn’t exactly show just how close this game really was until the latter stages of the ball game. The long ball once again brought the Jays another victory.
A staggering four out of the nine batters in the Jays’ lineup are currently hitting under .200, yet the club has still managed to muster up a respectable total of 11 victories so far on the season. If it wasn’t for the team’s ability to hit the ball out of the yard, they could very well be sitting in the basement of the AL East.
Instead, they are only one game back of the New York Yankees for top spot in the AL East. In order to stay afloat this tough division, the Jays will have to continue to play like the Bronx Bombers of the past.
The Jays currently rank just 22nd in MLB in batting average, with the club hitting a less-than-stellar .240 on the season. Although this is definitely a cause for some concern, the Jays rank a solid 10th in the league in home runs hit with 21, a stat that will undoubtedly continue to help land them atop the scoreboard if they can somehow manage to get those late great hits by a certain few in their lineup.
If the Jays want to continue to make noise when it comes down to divisional play and stay competitive in the gauntlet that is the very tough AL East, they are going to have to continue to crush the ball over whatever outfield wall stands in their way. Although they don’t hit for average and struggle with leaving runners in scoring position as a whole, coming up with those clutch bombs down the stretch seems to be the way this team is going to survive, at least for the time being.
Whether the team’s pitiful overall batting average begins to creep up the ranks or not, the Jays will continue to live and die by their fortunate ability to hit the ball out of the ballpark.