Vladimir Guerrero Jr breaks racket after strike against Yankees

NEW YORK – When Vladimir Guerrero Jr hit his left knee racket after the fifth inning on Wednesday in the Bronx, it looked like he could have cut down the entire tree.
My week-long frustration scattered about this wood. With the 5-3 loss, the Blue Jays lost their fourth game in a row, missing that extra hit or “thing” they always seemed to find in April.
Toronto has lost the same games for the same reasons, hence the frustration. The offense didn’t play to its potential, especially with runners in the scoring position, which is exactly what happened with Guerrero where Bo Bichette was left stuck at second base in fifth.
Vladi was by no means alone. Nine Blue Jays stranded and went 0-7 with the two runners in scoring on Wednesday. Their average .181 in those positions still ranks last in baseball and manager Charlie Montoyo sees a lineup “pressing” to break through.
George Springer sees the same thing. He’s been there and done it, so he knows that 110% effort doesn’t always work out in baseball.
“At this point in the year we just have to slow down a few things and not try to do too much,” Springer said. “Don’t try to hit the Five-Run Homer if there’s no one at base. Slow down, stay inside – because there’s a long way to go and plenty of time to correct the ship.”
If you are looking for shuffle? Keep waiting.
A year ago, Montoyo could have made this change. That was before the Blue Jays’ success with this new roster in 2021. Montoyo believes Toronto’s role as the aggressor, so responding to a small sample of results during a streak of losses would be a “panic move”. These are moves other teams must make.
“The lineup changes all the time down below,” Montoyo explained on Tuesday. “I have the best hitters at the top, so there’s no reason to move people. I have the best forward hitter in baseball. Bo had a great year last year where he finished second. The guy who scored the third hit was almost the top hitter, and the guy who did the cleanup was the hitter Silver”.
There was internal talk of Springer moving to the cleanup when Teoscar Hernandez fell with a tilting injury. The same goes for Guerrero, who could have gone from third to second in the standings. The two stars love getting to where they are, even though Montoyo not only supports him, but wants to see him.
“If you play this game and aren’t comfortable, you already have that excuse built in,” Montoyo said. “It’s all about the comfort of people wherever they are.”
Even at the age of 17-15, a record close to being disastrous on May 11, every game has a lot of pressure and every round has a lot of leverage. The Blue Jays have written a string of matches against the Yankees, Red Sox and Astros. The Guardians, who appeared on paper to represent a weakness in the table, took three of the four of them. It’s unusual for the “hard” part of the schedule to come so early, but Toronto hasn’t been able to catch its breath.
“I think what a lot of people miss is that we’ve played a long time and played some very good teams,” said Springer. “We’ve had a few close matches, we’ve had a lot of mind-draining games and body-draining games. That’s not an excuse for not doing what we expect to do as a team, but it does happen. We’ve played 30 out of 31 days to start the year against really good teams. It’s hard to do so.”
The good news? There are 130 games left.
Springer calls for patience, and he’s right, but adds that there has to be “a little bit of urgency.” Having missed the postseason with one annoying game in 2021, it will be on fans’ minds all season when the Blue Jays lose close matches, fair or not.
Nothing has changed until Toronto’s numbers improve with runners in the scoring center.
Until then, the Blue Jays family will continue to search for answers and hope that all this swing in time will change everything. Montoyo is an absolute believer that batting is contagious, and the club hopes that will be true, whether for his May record and for Guerrero’s racket group.

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