Guerrero Jr. belts first two homers for Blue Jays
May 15, 2019
By Jay Blue
Blue Jays from Away
A bust? Needs to go back to the minors? For those calling for Vladimir Guerrero Jr.'s demotion after a couple of weeks of struggles at the big league level, their questions were answered with a couple of giant punctuation marks as Vlad went deep for the first two times in his major league career on Tuesday night as the Toronto Blue Jays visited the San Francisco Giants.
With a .191 batting average coming into Tuesday night's game, Vlad Jr. went deep not once but twice, going 3/4 with a walk and raising his batting average 44 points to .235. You can see footage of both home runs here.
As I mentioned on the last edition of the The Cardy Show with Brent Cardy, I thought Vlad was going to be fine. Pitchers hadn't been giving him much to hit and, when he did, he was just missing them. When he got a couple of pitches in the strike zone on Tuesday night, he didn't miss, blasting a couple of legit, big league home runs.
If you watched the video clips, you'll notice that his first home run went to straight-away centre field and had an exit velocity of 111.3 mph and traveled an estimated 438 feet (according to Statcast). In the sixth inning, Vlad would go deep again, hitting the hardest ball of the game, at 113.7 mph on a ball that traveled an estimated 451 ft. On his single, Vlad hit the ball 111.3 miles per hour, giving him the top three hard-hit balls in the entire game.
Statcast noted that Vlad is the first Blue Jays player to register multiple 110-plus mph home runs in a single game since they started tracking exit velocity in 2015.
Vlad's performance overshadowed Trent Thornton's performance on the mound and(!) at the plate where he was 2/3 with two runs scored. He also threw 5 2/3 innings, allowing two runs on three hits with five walks and seven strikeouts.
For Vlad, the first two home runs are out of the way and the pressure is off. If he was letting it get to him, he can now focus on being a productive member of the Blue Jays' lineup and help them win games (like he did last night). But he'll need a lot of help to make this a winning team.
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