Blue Jays 2, Orioles 1
At last! The Blue Jays are on their way to a 153-9 season record.
What a relief.
The story of the game, naturally, is Kendrys Morales and his second home run as a Blue Jay…which is an even bigger deal than his first, which was (if you can remember that far back) a grand slam that came, not coincidentally, in the Blue Jays’ only other win this season. It’s a simple equation, really: Morales homers…Jays win.
Who the man? Kendrys. Kendrys is the man.
Estrada was pretty awesome too, and as usual there was solid work by the bullpen and a nice bit of defence. But, let’s be clear about this, it was the offence that won this game, in the end. In particular it was the long ball.
There’s been a lot of chatter about the need for “small ball” (whatever that is: it’s proponents never seem able to define it very clearly) and for “manufactured runs”. It’s this crowd that would have gleefully pointed to the run driven in by Schoop in the ninth when the Orioles managed to tie it up… “would have” I say, if the Orioles had won. Which they didn’t. Because Kendrys hit a bomb.
And make no mistake, he was trying to hit that out of the park because hitting it out of the park would win the game (which it did). And you know what? He was doing exactly what the Orioles had been doing when they tied it up.
“Hold on just one minute there, Little League Dad!” I hear the acolytes of smallness in the ball cry. “They didn’t hit any home runs! They had to manufacture their one and only run!”
To which I reply, smugly, “Yep. And they lost.”
And to which I further add, “In any event, they weren’t trying to ‘manufacture’ anything. Hyun Soo Kim and Jonathan Schoop weren’t trying to hit sacrifice flies. They were trying to hit the ball as hard and as far as they could. If they gave up an out and advanced the runner, well, good. But when that happened, I can personally assure you they didn’t think ‘Whew, sure am glad that didn’t get outta here!’ They, like Morales just one half inning later, were doing what they should be doing in that circumstance: swinging for the fences. If either of them had put it out, then, guess what? The Orioles may very well have won that game. But they didn’t. All they could manage was a bit of ‘small ball manufacturing’ which, yes, did tie the game. But it was Morales’ home run that won it for the Jays. Again.”
How did the Orioles beat the Jays in the first two games of the series? By hitting home runs. How did the Brewers beat them? The long ball. Tampa? Smacked the ball right out of the Trop.
The Jays have won two games, and how? On the long ball.
So say it with me: the home run is good. It is right. It works.
And Kendrys is the man.