Who knows if the Toronto Blue Jays will ever play in Dunedin, Florida in the regular season again (our bet is on ‘yes’), but on Monday afternoon these bandits died as they lived in their final appearance at TD Ballpark.
Surely, it’s been a hitter’s haven for the Blue Jays and opposing teams. Without question it’s too bad that Toronto will be migrating to Sahlen Field in Buffalo, because the legend of TD Ballpark was just beginning to grow.
It was a game of streaks, Toronto entered losers of five straight while Tampa had won 10 in a row quietly. Indeed, both streaks continued after a while shootout concluded. However, the Jays got two more home runs from Vladimir Guerrero Jr. who is up to 15 on the season. The first cleared the batter’s eye in centerfield and was measured at 461 feet.
Truly, that was one of the most beautiful and majestic blasts Guerrero Jr. has hit this season in what is becoming a season of pure dominance by the 22-year old.
Then, late in the game the Rays were forced to pitch again to the monster. In the bottom of the 8th down 5-3 with two outs, and a 2-2 count, a breaking ball of some sort caught too much of the plate. Check out the blast and the raw emotion when Guerrero Jr. tied the game.
Certainly, Guerrero Jr. did his part in trying to pump up his squad, and for a few innings it sparked some rallies. However the Jays would end up losing this one 14-8 with their own park yielding a lot more runs than it probably should have within the final few innings.
In a season that Coors Field has been mellowed out either by change in the baseballs or a poor Rockies squad, TD Ballpark in Dunedin picked up the slack.
Now Guerrero Jr. has matched his career high in home runs at 15 to lead the American League, and has 39 RBI to go along with it with an average in the .330’s and an OPS at almost 1.100.
We knew the Blue Jays weren’t really going to hang in there in the standings, but the way they swing and score coupled with things down in the Florida sunshine has been a lot of fun in the season’s first two months. Let’s hope that Sahlen Field does a nice impression of things for the rest of the year.