During the past two years, I compiled a list of the best moments from the Blue Jays’ seasons because it seemed necessary to help drown out the horribleness. (2017’s can be found here, and 2018’s here). It can be debated whether this season was the worst of all (Edwin Jackson, anyone?), but there were some good things that happened too, and it’s important that we commemorate them. So I will now bring you the Best Moments from the Blue Jays’ 2019 season.
The Blue Jays dove into their 2019 season with a brand new manager, an overwhelming anticipation for Vladdy’s arrival, and not all that much optimism for what was the come. After dropping the opening day game to the Tigers, the Jays grabbed a hold of some upward momentum and by April 28th they had managed to climb back to .500.
Charlie Montoyo got his first big league win, and received a celebratory shower. Trent Thornton sizzled in his major league debut, capping off a franchise record for the most straight shutout innings (24) recorded by starting pitchers to begin the season.
The Jays set a MLB record on the same day when Elvis Luciano made his major league debut, becoming the first player born in the 2000s to do so. The Jays made a splash on the news again when our very own home plate lady showed off her nerves of steel, then trolled us all a few days later.
Games against the Red Sox haven’t been much fun to watch in the last couple years, but in their first series in Boston this year, Rowdy Tellez (who slashed .372/.440/.930 against them) hit a “505 foot” homer. Then up against Chris Sale, Lourdes Gurriel Jr did something incredibly fun:
Home's on sale and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. just stole it. pic.twitter.com/NRWJSCpHGC— MLB (@MLB) April 9, 2019
Down in Minnesota, while taking 3 of 4 games from the eventual contending Twins, the Jays’ showed off their defensive prowess in a nail biting victory behind closer Ken Giles:
After much speculation, Vladimir Guerrero Jr finally made his major league debut on April 26th. He collected an almost homer, and a double in his first game:
After being swept in the season series by the A’s last year, the Blue Jays repaid the favor by taking all six games from them this year. This was helped in large part by Brandon Drury, who hit /.500/.538/1.125 against Oakland this year. On April 29th, the Jays were down 4-1 in the 11th, until a little late inning magic by Drury and Justin Smoak brought out the brooms:
May was not a glowing month for the Toronto Blue Jays, so this section will be brief.
After what felt like far too many games, Vladimir Guerrero Jr hit his first homer in San Francisco, then a few innings later, he hit his second:
Also in May, Buck taught us water is wet and shiny, the Jays showed their support for the Raptors, and Cavan Biggio was called up to the majors. Two days after his debut with his parents in attendance, Biggio hit his first big league bomb as part of a three hit game and his friends were very excited for him:
Find friends who support you like Vlad Jr. and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. support Cavan Biggio pic.twitter.com/gj1lqUHQ5s— Ben Porter (@Ben13Porter) May 26, 2019
The 2019 season also brought us major league pitching debuts from two unlikely candidates: Luke Maile, who had two separate scoreless outings, and then later in August, Richard Ureña.
Here's the Maile he never fails....— Cut4 (@Cut4) May 25, 2019
( (> PLAYER
<) )> PITCHING
/ \ pic.twitter.com/qUBeXOQ3JU
June was an equally grim month, but there were some positive takeaways. Cavan Biggio hit his first career grand slam, the Jays drafted both Braden Halladay and Canadian Dasan Brown, bringing this moment from seven years ago full circle:
At the Little Trop of Horrors (where we are used to only weird and awful things happening), Jonathan Davis saved the game with this beauty of a catch:
Vladdy’s got his first taste of team heroics when he powered the Jays to take down the Evil Empire by smashing an impressive go-ahead 3-run homer in the 8th off Zack Britton:
The All Star Game hasn’t given Blue Jays fans much to be excited about the past couple years, but in 2019 it provided what was arguably the best moment of the entire season when Vlad Jr joined Marcus Stroman in Cleveland and (un)officially won the Home Run Derby:
#BlueJays Vlad Guerrero Jr. is the youngest player in baseball history with multiple career grand slams (via @StatsBySTATS).— Ryan M. Spaeder (@theaceofspaeder) July 31, 2019
Age on date of second career grand slam:
Vlad Guerrero Jr. - 20 years and 136 days
Vlad Guerrero Sr. - 30 years and 162 days
The Jays also had one heck of an epic comebacks against one of our favorite teams to comeback against - the Rays. Down 9-3 headed into the 8th, Drury and Teoscar Hernandez both hit solo home runs, then in the 9th, Vladdy added a 3-run homer of his own. Drury followed with another solo homer to tie the game, then Teoscar topped it off with another solo shot in extra innings to walk off the game.
The last few days of July were rough as Jays’ fans endured a painful trade deadline, but one Bo Bichette played the knight in shining armor when he made his major league debut. Bichette collected a hit in his first at bat, then two days later, he hit his first homer:
Bo Bichette was the best part of the Blue Jays’ August. The records piled on as he kept on churning out extra base hits and launching homers:
Another from Bo Bichette.— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) August 9, 2019
The #BlueJays' No. 1 prospect launched his fourth home run, and third in his last five games, a 441-foot blast off the facing of the third deck.
Bichette's 12 extra-base hits are a new #MLB record for a player's first 11 games. pic.twitter.com/1j5Hc4xczX
In Baltimore, Vlad Jr had another two homer game, and in Toronto, this majestic at bat versus Aroldis Chapman:
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Aroldis Chapman have a great 13 pitch battle, a breakdown pic.twitter.com/IEBPs8JzEU— Jomboy (@Jomboy_) August 12, 2019
The Jays, dressed as Storm Troopers in Seattle, had a monster four run 7th inning to come back and seal in win in front of a dedicated home crowd at the “Rogers Center West”, Jacob Waguespack became the Blue Jays’ team ace when he held the best team in MLB to one hit in 7 innings of shutout ball, and Rowdy Tellez hit a game tying homer in the 9th inning off Kenley Jansen.
Oh, and Bo Bichette hit two homers off Clayton Kershaw.
Bo Bichette is the 6th player with a multi-HR game off Clayton Kershaw and the 1st rookie to do it pic.twitter.com/ibwbszUhCr— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) August 21, 2019
The Jays played out the dog days of September behind a series of rookie pitchers, “openers and a guy” and a ton more dingers. Toronto fans said farewell to Justin Smoak, and Breyvic Valera hit his first career home run, and the rookie records kept on coming:
That Billy McKinney homer gives the #BlueJays a 6th rookie with 10 or more home runs this season.— Keegan Matheson (@KeeganMatheson) September 22, 2019
A new MLB record.
We should really take a moment in this post to thank the Orioles for providing us with so many of our best moments this season. One late September day in Baltimore, the Jays were down 9-6 with the bases loaded in the 9th, and Grichuk at the plate looking for his 30th home run of the season. He found it:
Of course, also in Baltimore the day before, Cavan Biggio hit for the cycle (like father, like son):
1B ✅— MLB (@MLB) September 18, 2019
Cavan Biggio has hit for the cycle! pic.twitter.com/yqNYCz0jVW
Lastly, with just a few games left to go in the season, the Jays learned good things happen when you PLAY ANTHONY ALFORD. No better time for your first career home run than to walk off the game in the 15th(!) inning:
When Anthony Alford decided to drop football and go for baseball full-time, this moment probably appeared in a few of his dreams.— Sam Dykstra (@SamDykstraMiLB) September 24, 2019
That’s how to hit a first career Major League homer. #BlueJays pic.twitter.com/EvDS4qcaN5
Heading in 2020, the Jays have a shiny new rotation topped by prize offseason acquisition Hyun-Jin Ryu (bonus best moment from 2019?), a young and talented core, and aspirations of .500 (or higher!) baseball. Only time will tell whether the highlights will be plentiful next season, but at the very least, this post should be a bit longer next year.
What was your favorite highlight of 2019?
This poll is closed
All the rookie dingers
Cavan Biggio’s cycle
Vlad Jr’s 91 homers in the all star derby
Bo Bichette’s extra base hit streak
Sweeping the A’s
Epic comeback against the Rays
The defensive gems