The Toronto Blue Jays offence has been a talking point all season long because of their struggles to produce runs, especially in critical spots in the game.
This was especially true in Game 1 against the Minnesota Twins, producing just a single run while leaving nine men on base.
With the stakes even higher in a do-or-die scenario in Game 2, there are concerns about the Blue Jays offence being able to get going with pressure on them to keep the season alive.
One person who believes the team has the ability to turn things around is former three-time AL MVP and World Series champion Alex Rodriguez. The 10-time Silver Slugger Award winner thinks it’s just a matter of time that Toronto puts it all together.
For Rodriguez, he believes that a lineup with Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is going to be tough to keep off the scoreboard.
“I think they’re sleeping giant. I think their worst baseball is behind them and I do think that with a right-handed dominant lineup, especially with the best hitter and Guerrero, who was fairly pedestrian this year, “Rodriguez said on the Fan 590 Morning Show. “All he needs is a little bit of momentum. He hit the ball well, he had a really good approach. He had a good double, and he also almost had a home run to right centre field. He looks good.”
The biggest hurdle the Blue Jays face is that time isn’t on their side and they don’t have much room for error.
“The challenge for the Jays is this a sprint, not a marathon now and it’s a best out of three,” Rodriguez explains. “I do think that if they can win today and build a little momentum, the longer they play, the scarier they are. And I do think that this is a team that has bats, the defence and the bullpen. Plus they have a primetime player, both in Vladdy and Springer with post-season experience that can go the entire way. But the key is you got to get going today.”
Guerrero Jr. finished the game with a single hit, a leadoff double in the eighth inning that Toronto could not take advantage of.
In order for the Blue Jays offence to find success in the game and to get back into the series, the former batting champions believes it starts by not trying to do too much.
“I think that the approach has to be to think small and big things will happen. There’s two keys to the Jays offence, number one, the lefties have to step up. Belt and Biggio break up the righties nicely, so you need those guys to step up,” Rodriguez explains. “Then with Vlad and company, you have to be able to pass the baton and not try to do too much. You have to stay within yourself and there’s no such thing as a grand slam with nobody on so trusting your teammates is going to be vital for them.
“They also need trust the process. Gausman was fairly pedestrian yesterday, but he gave him an opportunity to win and I do think on the road, it’s important in the first three innings they have to come out of the gate on fire and make sure that you get these Minnesota Twins fans to bed early.”