Springer’s historic success elevates Blue Jays above cards in opening day thriller

George Springer had a dream night at the Dish for the Blue Jays on Thursday. (Getty)

After six weeks of spring training, the Blue Jays’ 2023 season got off to a dramatic start on Thursday as Toronto walked away with a thrilling 10-9 win over the St. Louis Cardinals.

But this would not have been possible without the historic achievement of George Springer.

Springer, beginning his third season with Toronto, led the way offensively and went 5-on-6 on the afternoon’s four-run plate – becoming the first Blue Jays player to score five on opening day.

The 33-year-old also became the first player in American League history to score five goals and four runs on opening day. He joins Hall of Famer icon Billy Herman, who had five hits and four runs in 1936 only MLB players who accomplish this feat.

Springer found himself on the right side of a favorable batting distribution as four of his five singles produced an exit velocity of less than 83 mph. But as the Blue Jays right fielder noted after the game, luck is occasionally an important part of the game.

Toronto’s offense wasn’t just aided by Springer, however, as the top three in batting order, including Springer and young superstars Bo Bichette and Vladimir Guerrero Jr., made a combined 11-for-16 and drove in five runs.

Daulton Varsho made a solid first impression on his debut with the Blue Jays, conceding in the first run of the game for the team. The torch was then passed to Alejandro Kirk, who hit two more runs with a single and gave Toronto a 3-0 lead in the top half of the first inning.

Overall, the club’s revamped offense played against each other throughout the game, hitting 10 runs for 14 goals – and they needed it all to emerge victorious.

While ace Alek Manoah struggled to consistently find the striking zone, the 2022 AL Cy Young finalist gave up five runs with a career-high nine hits (two homers) and two walks over 3.1 innings, making for the second-shortest outing of his career stands. It snapped a streak of 39 consecutive starts throwing five innings or more.

Aside from scoreless performances from Canada’s Zach Pop, Erik Swanson and Adam Cimber, Toronto’s bullpen couldn’t hold back St. Louis’ talented lineup, leading to a wild heavyweight back-and-forth in the later innings.

The Blue Jays and Cardinals traded shots in the seventh and eighth innings, matching each other’s offensive performance until an RBI single from Springer and a sac fly from Guerrero Jr in the ninth gave Toronto a one-run lead.

As Toronto took a 10-9 advantage into ninth place, Jordan closed in on Romano, who finished things in just 12 places and prompted his first pair of strikeouts of 2023 to complete the win – a contest he nearly eludes she would be more than a few times.

(via Baseball Savant)

(via Baseball Savant)

The Blue Jays’ regular season opener lasted 3:38, by far the longest game in the majors to date.

Source : sports.yahoo.com

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