The Bronx Bombers meet the Toronto Blue Jays tonight to begin a critical three-game series that could eliminate the Jays from the Wild Card hunt. Marcus Semien and crew trail the Yankees by two games for the top Wild Card spot and Boston by 1, with six games to go.
Toronto Blue Jays outfielder George Springer knows a thing or two about playing past September.
The three-time all-star is looking for his second World Series title in his first season with the Blue Jays. His first title came in 2017 with the Houston Astros and he also was named World Series MVP. When Springer joined the Blue Jays this season he made an immediate impact and brought that championship mindset with him to the team.
Now that the season is coming to an end, the Blue Jays are fighting to secure a wild card spot in the American League and Springer is playing a big role for the team.
The @BlueJays trailed by 3 in the last inning…
George Springer changed that! pic.twitter.com/fD8UdV92jU
— MLB (@MLB) September 11, 2021
Having a player on your team that has won a title already is very key because they know what it takes to be in that position.
“He’s been there and done that,” Jays shortstop Bo Bichette told the Toronto Sun. “Obviously, he’s had so many big home runs when he was with Houston. He knows how to turn it on in the blink of an eye, which is obviously super important when we’re trying to win big ball games at this time of the year.”
At 31, Springer has gained a lot of experience in the league and can provide a wealth of knowledge to the young players. He’s the perfect fit for the Blue Jays and has shown that his presence on the team is contagious, and definitely in a good way. Despite missing some time during the season due to injuries, Springer is hitting .258 with 17 home runs and 38 RBI through 62 games
It was bad news for Toronto fans when he went down with a sprained knee during a game against the Seattle Mariners on August 14th. His return was earlier than expected and in perfect time for the Blue Jays to make a playoff push.
“I just think everybody feeds off of one another,” Springer said. “We just understand that it’s going to take every single person to get to where we want to go…I know everybody has each other’s backs. We’re all aiming for the same goal and to have everybody playing for that is awesome.”
Blue Jays coach John Schneider has been pleased with the 2017 World Series MVP’s return and knows the caliber of player he’s dealing with.
“The experience he’s had this time of year and in the post-season obviously are big,” Schneider said. “But just having him at the top (of the batting order), seeing pitches, getting on base and the damage potential and all that stuff … it’s great for us and it’s great for the guys behind him.”
Springer made the playoffs his last four seasons in Houston and he’s looking to continuing that streak. His numbers have been impressive during the postseason. He’s got a career batting average of .269 and a .546 slugging percentage in the playoffs.
So Springer is a player you definitely want on your team during the postseason and he always comes ready to play.
“This is a huge stretch for us as a team,” he said. “Our team understands what it is we need to do. It understands who we are as a team but we also understand this is not on the back of any one guy.”
This will be an exciting finish to the season and look for Springer to step up in a big way for the Blue Jays.
The American League Wild Card race is packed with MLBbros looking to make a big impact on this year’s playoffs.
We’ve already told you about the Bros from the Bronx leading the Yankees surge to the top of the Wild Card standings, and they currently hold a one-game lead over the field.
The Boston Red Sox and Yankees are pulling away from the pack and headed on a collision course for a one-game Wild Card playoff. But with at least 25 more games remaining for all teams involved, the final spot is still up for grabs.
The recent marriage of Josh Harrison and the Oakland A’s is an example of a player whose swagger is perfect for the City he represents. Harrison, who was acquired at the deadline, has been “Mr. Do It All” for the A’s.
Harrison has taken the majority of his reps at second base, but he also plays third, shortstop, and left field for Oakland. He’s also efficient at the plate.
Over his last seven games, Harrison has racked up 12 hits, is batting .375 and slugging .469. His latest contributions have been particularly important to the A’s because they’ve come from the leadoff spot.
Harrison has hit leadoff before, and his approach to the process gives you a look into his mindset as a ballplayer.
“I take pride in being leadoff,” Harrison said when asked about his new role with his team.
“More than anything, it’s going to take one through nine, if we can jump out early and set with hitters up front, I think — I don’t want to say makes the job easier — you still got to play 27 outs, it’s all about getting to that pitcher and getting to that bullpen.”
Harrison and the offense will be key to any run the Athletics are able to make, as their pitching staff has certainly done their part.
J.P Crawford and the Seattle Mariners have overcome offensive inconsistencies to end up in the thick of things as we wind down, but one of the major boosts they were expecting for the playoff push, may not be arriving at all. Seattle sits 4.5 games out of the Wild Card slot with 27 games left.
With a healthy 2020 NL Rookie of the Year Kyle Lewis, the Mariner’s had a puncher’s chance. Unfortunately, Lewis, who has been recovering from in-season surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee, suffered a setback in his rehab putting his return this season in doubt.
“He’s not feeling that great,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said when asked about Lewis’ rehab. “He’s had a little setback here the last few days. He really picked up his activity level there, trying to get to the point where he could go out in a rehab.”
What a tough break for a guy who was a popular preseason pick for American League MVP. If he doesn’t return, Lewis would finish this season with a disappointing 130 at-bats. He had 206 at-bats in 2020 in an MLB season shortened to 60 games by COVID-19.
The setback to Lewis puts more pressure on Crawford and the remaining Mariners as they battle for the final playoff spot. The Gold Glover Crawford is slashing .276/.364/.310 over the past seven games but will need to take it to another level if Seattle really stands a chance.
Toronto Blue Jays
Marcus Semien’s Blue Jays were extremely active at the deadline, but they’re still just treading water in the Wild Card race. Despite going 6-4 in their last 10 games, Toronto remains 5 games out of the final playoff spot.
If it’s any small consolation, Semien got a bit of revenge on his former squad with his walk-off 3-run bomb on Saturday, but that stands as one of the lone bright spots for the Toronto second basemen of late.
Hopefully, the return of fellow MLBbro George Springer can provide a spark for Semien and the Blue Jays. An ignited Blue Jays offense would provide the fireworks we want to see heading into this fantastic finish. Playing in the toughest division in the American League doesn’t help either.
October is right around the corner, and the playoff picture is slowly but surely becoming clearer. As we wind down the year, let’s keep an eye on these MLBbros as they make the final push for playoff glory.
You Ain’t Seen Bouncing Back…
Toronto Blue Jays outfielder George Springer has missed 80 games this season, and was expected to miss more than a few more after spraining his left knee in a game against Seattle on Aug. 14.
Toronto put him on the 10-day injured list, and fans were worried that Springer could be gone with another extended absence.
Instead, Springer is back after missing 13 games.
🔹 OF George Springer reinstated from 10-day IL and is active tonight
🔹 OF Josh Palacios optioned to Triple-A pic.twitter.com/3gEouv7iy2
— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) August 30, 2021
It was his third trip to the IL since joining the Blue Jays as a free agent this past offseason.
He has been such an important part of the Jays’ success, helping lead his team to a 29-20 record in games he had started.
— MLBbro.com (@MLBbrodotcom) May 2, 2021
As Toronto surged back into the playoff chase, posting an 18-9 mark from July 11 through Aug. 11, Springer was one of the top hitters in baseball.
He slashed .377/.402/.779 in those games, absolutely crushing the baseball. Springer collected 35 hits, 23 of them going for extra bases. He also scored 30 runs while driving in 24.
The 2017 World Series MVP smashed 11 of his 16 home runs during that stretch.
"Light Tower Power" explained, courtesy George Springer 🤝
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) July 28, 2021
Toronto has gone 6-10 since, falling five games back of the Boston Red Sox for the second Wild Card spot. The powerful Blue Jays offense was held to three or fewer runs in 12 of those games.
Rejoining the Blue Jays’ lineup on Monday night, Springer made an immediate impact, serving as the designated hitter and leading off.
He went 1-2, with a walk and two runs scored. He even stole a base in Toronto’s 7-3 win over the Baltimore Orioles.
Toronto has to be hoping that with Springer back at the top of the order they still have a shot to make the postseason in back-to-back seasons for only the third time in franchise history.
— TSN (@TSN_Sports) August 31, 2021
“George is a proven, very professional (hitter) with plate discipline and elite ability to swing at pitches he can drive, so that will be a big add to the lineup for sure,” said Toronto general manager Ross Atkins prior to the game.
For now, Springer will only be a DH for the Jays, while he continues to rehab his knee.
Toronto players and fans are ecstatic to have Springer on the field in any capacity. He could have taken the money and chilled this season. Instead, he returns in time to help Toronto make a late push to the postseason.
He’s a true leader.
Bad news for the Toronto Blue Jays. Star outfielder George Springer is heading back to the 10-day injured list with a left knee sprain, manager Charlie Montoyo said Tuesday. There is no specific timeline for Springer’s return.