Jays need a change of luck against lefties in Game 2


What should happen if the Blue Jays beat Seattle on Saturday to force Game 3 in their wildcard playoff series:

Score some runs

Not to stress this too much, but you can’t win if you don’t score, and not a single Jay made it past the board in the series opener. The offense is too good to be stopped for too long, but they no longer have the luxury of time.

In Friday’s series-opening loss, the Jays only had one extra hit, and it came with two outs and no one in the ninth inning. Their other six hits were singles, including five with two outs.

It’s hard enough to score runs with a good pitch, but even harder when you constantly need two hits to do it.

don’t be a hero

On occasion this season, when the Jays have struggled offensively, some of their young hitters have hurt the cause by trying to do too much.

When a player feels like he’s the one to hit hard, it often leads to poor results. The best thing to do is to keep the line moving. Take what the pitcher gives you, and if you don’t get what you want, pass the baton to the next batter in order.

It’s a formula that worked extremely well in September and early October, when the Jays went 21-10 to secure the home-field advantage they’ll need to advance to the next round. They scored 5.4 points per game over that span, an average that would have led the league all season, and they did so with contributions up and down the lineup.

Bo Bichette may have been the brightest star of the streak, but players like Danny Jansen, Teoscar Hernandez and Whit Merrifield also threw their bats into the ring pretty hard.

Hit a lefty

Surprisingly, with a full roster of high-quality right-handed hitters, the Jays have gone 12-20 this season against a left-handed starter.

They’re having a pretty good Saturday with Robbie Ray, the reigning AL Cy Young Award winner, on the mound.

Despite the disappointing results against left-handers, the Jays have actually hit left-handers about as well as right-handers this season, posting a .753 percentage against them versus .762 against right-handers.

The roster should be bolstered by the return of Santiago Espinal, who hit .301 against lefties this season with .826 OPS. He has been out since September 22 with an oblique stump.

Mike Wilner is a Toronto-based baseball columnist for The Star and host of the « Deep Left Field » baseball podcast. Follow him on Twitter: @wilnerness


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