7. Hitting bombs in Buffalo
If your love language is baseball and you want to find a game that encapsulates the entirety of 2020 into 10 innings, boy, do I have the game for you.
For starters, neither the Miami Marlins nor the Blue Jays were in any way ready to play. The Blue Jays were one day removed from arriving at their new home ballpark for the first time, while the Marlins were on their last day of a three-week road trip prolonged by an extended quarantine in Atlanta due to a team-wide COVID-19 outbreak.
So it’s only right that a Miami team made up of taxi-squaders and prospects jumped out to an 8-0 lead right? Right. Nate Pearson allowed four runs through 2.1 innings pitched before Jacob Waguespack said hold my beer and permitted four more Fish to cross home plate in a disastrous third inning.
Not deterred, the Blue Jays pulled their socks up and started hitting bombs. All told, the Blue Jays hit seven home runs on the evening, with jacks hit by six different players. Of all people, Travis Shaw was the one to double up.
No two dingers were bigger than the back-to-back bombs hit by Bo Bichette and Shaw in the eighth. Down 11-9 at the start of the inning, Bichette took Brad Boxberger‘s slider out to left, while Shaw took Boxberger’s fastball out to right, to square the affair. Somehow, the Blue Jays had dragged this game kicking and screaming into extras.
Upon reaching the tenth, and with the ghost runner rule in effect, who else could it be other than former Blue Jays farmhand Jon Berti at the plate. And of course, Berti laid down what has eluded Blue Jays hitters for so long; the perfect bunt. Berti managed to advance the runner while reaching first safely, setting the table for Magneuris Sierra. Sierra laced a single to right, plating both Eddy Alvarez (a former Olympic speed skater because 2020) and Berti, to put the Marlins ahead for good.
The Blue Jays had a chance in the bottom half following a Bichette leadoff walk, but came up empty. At the time, the loss moved the Blue Jays to 6-9, and killed their momentum for the rest of the season.