TORONTO- Earlier this season, Josh Donaldson was known to be a clutch hitter for the Toronto Blue Jays with three walkoff hits. Edwin Encarnacion and Chris Colabello each had a walkoff hit earlier this season. Last Tuesday, the Blue Jays pulled off their 6th walkoff victory by an unlikely hero. Ryan Goins, who was known more for his glove than his bat, blast a walk-off 2-run homerun to give the Blue Jays a 5-3 victory against the Cleveland Indians. They also maintain their 1.5 game lead over the New York Yankees in the American League East Division.
People are used to see the 27-year old middle infielder making highlight reel defensive plays like the sliding catch he made in foul territory on Tuesday. Hitting hasn’t exactly been the forte of a player who batted .188 with a .479 OPS last season.
Considering Goins’ history of struggling at the plate, the Blue Jays didn’t expect any offensive production from him when Devon Travis was placed on the disabled list with a shoulder injury for the second time this season. Instead, Goins has turn into a hitting machine. Since August 1, Goins has a .301 batting average with 3 home runs, 17 walks and 16 strikeouts. Not to mention that he is currently on an 11-game hitting streak.
With the help from hitting coach Brook Jacoby, made some adjustment at the plate to hit for more contact and improve his on-base discipline. Shorting his swing to create more bat speed and hitting for hard contact. In result, he crushed a hanging slider that was in the middle of the plate from Bryan Shaw in the 10th inning and won the ball game for his team. He improved his seaon numbers with a .246 batting average with 5 home runs and a .676 OPS.
Goins’ special moment was made possible when Roberto Osuna blew his first save since taking over as closer. Also Edwin Encarnacion’ snapped his 26-game hitting streak. 41,356 fans roared at Rogers Centre when Goins smashed the game-winning dinger and became the unlikely hero. Thanks to Goins’ surprising power the Blue Jays scored when it mattered most.
There no doubt that Goins has been the most improve Blue Jay the season. He has prove to be a solid major league player who can step up when needed.