Finally, here we are. On the season’s final Saturday, in an afternoon up in Toronto, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. kicked things off against the Baltimore Orioles by hitting a ball into the upper deck for his 47th home run of the season. It was a 450 foot blast that should go down as one of his most memorable of 2021. Guerrero Jr. had not homered since the middle of September.
Now the Blue Jays have brought things down to the final day with their 90th win of the regular season. Still, they will need a win and a loss from either the New York Yankees or Boston Red Sox to force a one-game playoff for the final Wildcard spot.
Alek Manoah was like a veteran ace on Saturday, striking out ten Orioles in seven innings and allowing just a run. It’s nice to see a huge crowd in Toronto with people actually sitting in the upper deck with the roof open. The Blue Jays have had an immensely successful season. They brought this down to the wire, and they did it in exciting fashion with the long ball.
Most home runs in a season by a player age 22 or younger:
💥 Vlad Jr. – 47 (2021)
💥 Eddie Mathews – 47 (1953) pic.twitter.com/wb5o4o90lO
— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) October 2, 2021
There isn’t a lot more you can ask for if you follow the Blue Jays. If someone had said on Opening Day that they were going to go into the season’s final day just a game behind the Red Sox and Yankees, everyone would have signed up.
Now in the mont of October, Guerrero Jr. ran this down to the very end. In a season where he began by singling off Gerrit Cole on Opening Day, he joined Eddie Matthews as the only player to ever hit 47 home runs in a season in their age-22 season. While he may not win the AL Most Valuable Player, Guerrero Jr. has surpassed the wildest expectations anyone would have had of him, and he’s shown durability and longevity during a long season.
Toronto has one lone game remaining. Customary for MLB to start all games at 3:00 PM ET on the final day of the season, we will see if the Blue Jays can play like they have house money on the line and put a little pressure on the Yankees and Red Sox to get wins respectively. It seems like this Toronto run will fall tragically short, but they put everyone on notice and will go down as a memorable team for years to come.