KidsportsmtMLBRaleigh’s Dominance: Blue Jays’ Achilles Heel
KidsportsmtMLBRaleigh’s Dominance: Blue Jays’ Achilles Heel
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Raleigh’s Dominance: Blue Jays’ Achilles Heel

As Cal Raleigh stepped up to bat in the 10th inning of a tied game, Toronto Blue Jays fans couldn’t help but feel anxious. The Seattle Mariners catcher had developed a reputation as a formidable opponent against the Jays over his four-year MLB career, and he only solidified that status during Wednesday’s game in Toronto.

Facing left-handed pitcher Tim Mayza, Raleigh, a switch-hitter batting from the right side, wasted no time, sending the first pitch he saw into the Mariners’ bullpen in right field. This pivotal home run ignited a five-run surge in the 10th inning, ultimately securing the victory for Seattle.

This wasn’t the first time Raleigh had haunted the Blue Jays. It was his ninth regular-season home run against them and his 10th overall, if you include his postseason contribution during the 2022 AL wild-card series.

Raleigh’s dominance against Toronto is evident in his career 1.043 OPS and his impressive eight home runs against the team, the most he’s hit against any MLB opponent.

Even after a standout performance against the Blue Jays last season, Raleigh faced criticism from Jays manager John Schneider, who questioned his batting skills. Responding to these remarks, Raleigh didn’t mince words, suggesting that others in the league share similar sentiments about the Jays skipper.

Since his MLB debut in July 2021, only Aaron Judge and Anthony Santander have hit more home runs against the Blue Jays than Raleigh. His extra-inning homer in this game was the 24th home run allowed by Toronto pitchers this season, tying a franchise record set by the 1978 Blue Jays for most home runs surrendered through the first 13 games.

While the 2024 Blue Jays have had a slightly better start than their predecessors, it’s clear that they need to address their vulnerability to the long ball, particularly against players like Raleigh and other MLB opponents.

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