Blue Jays Stat of the Day: Sept./Oct. 2021

October 3rd, 2021 is keeping track of a Stat of the Day for the Blue Jays this season, highlighting a unique, interesting or fun nugget from each game.

Oct. 3: Blue Jays 12, Orioles 4 -- Toronto is odd man out
Best division in baseball? You bet. The American League East featured four teams with 90-plus wins -- the Rays, the Red Sox, the Yankees and the Blue Jays -- which had never happened since MLB switched to a three-division format in 1994. Prior to that, the only division with four teams to reached that mark was the 1978 AL East. Because of the depth of the division, however, the Blue Jays' 91 wins weren't enough to push them to an AL Wild Card spot, as the Red Sox and Yankees won 92 games apiece.

Oct. 2: Blue Jays 10, Orioles 1 -- Manoah starts mean 'W's
Sending Alek Manoah to the mound has proven to be a winning formula for the Blue Jays, who've won each of his past eight starts. Manoah is 4-0 with a 3.08 ERA in that span. The last time Toronto won eight or more consecutive starts by a pitcher was 2016, when it won 12 of J.A. Happ's outings in a row.

Oct. 1: Blue Jays 6, Orioles 4 -- Springer drives in 500th run
George Springer drove in the 500th run of his career, and he'll spend the next five seasons in Toronto trying to make a run at 1,000. Springer has missed time this season with quad and knee injuries, but he has turned a corner recently and showed yet again why he's one of the game's best leadoff men when he's healthy. With him at the top and four 100-RBI bats behind him, the Blue Jays boast one of the best offenses in baseball, one they hope will be enough to carry them into the postseason over the final weekend.

Sept. 30: Yankees 6, Blue Jays 2 -- Semien reaches 1,000 hits
With a shallow single in the third inning, Marcus Semien collected career hit No. 1,000. It was also his 170th hit this season, putting him in a tie for sixth in the American League (teammates Bo Bichette and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. are ranked first and second with 186 and 185, respectively). The first-time All-Star has given himself every opportunity to collect all those hits, given that he's played every game and leads the Majors in plate appearances (709).

Sept. 29: Blue Jays 6, Yankees 5 -- Four players with 100 RBIs
Bo Bichette launched his 27th and 28th home runs of the season on Wednesday night, giving him 101 RBIs. By joining Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Teoscar Hernández and Marcus Semien -- who crossed 100 RBIs with a home run of his own -- Bichette gave Toronto four players with 100 RBIs for the first time in franchise history. The Blue Jays are the first team to accomplish this feat since the 2003 Braves, and according to STATS, they are the first team since the RBI became an official stat in 1920 to have four hitters reach 100 RBIs for the first time in their careers in the same season.

Sept. 28: Yankees 7, Blue Jays 2 -- Bichette rakes in the clutch
When his team needs it most, Bo Bichette comes through. The Blue Jays shortstop has been among the best in the bigs at cashing runners in scoring position with two outs, and he continued that trend on Tuesday. Bichette is batting 28-for-70 (.400) in such circumstances, which is second in the Majors -- minimum 60 plate appearances -- behind Atlanta's Freddie Freeman (.458).

Sept. 26: Blue Jays 5, Twins 2 -- Red-hot Jansen
Danny Jansen launched a three-run home run, and he's been playing some of his best baseball as of late. Jansen is hitting .333 over his last 25 games, having committed to his pull-side power. There's still a time and place to hit to all parts of the field, Jansen says, but he knows that pulling the baseball is his strength, and that's what he wants to do when he sees a pitch out over the plate.

Sept. 25: Blue Jays 6, Twins 1 -- Ray the workhorse
Robbie Ray hasn't just pitched better than anyone in the American League this season, he's done more of it, too. The left-hander leads the American League in innings pitched with 188, and after his outing against the Twins, he ranks second in the AL for the most games with 100-plus pitches thrown. Combine his dominance with his ability to be a workhorse, and Ray has emerged as the true ace of the Blue Jays.

Sept. 24: Twins 3, Blue Jays 1 -- Semien's torrid season
Marcus Semien accounted for half of the Blue Jays' four hits against the Twins, including a home run and a double. That extends Semien's MLB lead for extra-base hits to 83, which is trailed closest by Shohei Ohtani, who entered Friday night with 75. The home run was Semien's 42nd of the season, putting him just one back of Davey Johnson (1973) for the most by a second baseman in a single season in MLB history.

Sept. 23: Twins 7, Blue Jays 2 -- Teoscar joins 30-HR club
Teoscar Hernández has put together a huge season at the plate, and with Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Marcus Semien in the same lineup as him, he's been able to do that quietly. Hernández launched his 30th home run of the season, which gave him 110 RBIs. This also gives the Blue Jays three players with at least 30 homers for the first time since 2015, when José Bautista, Josh Donaldson and Edwin Encarnación all pulled it off.

Sept. 22: Rays 7, Blue Jays 1 -- Vladdy keeps stinging ball
After smacking hits with exit velocities of 115.5 and 112.7 mph, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. has 81 batted balls of 110-plus mph in 2021. That's more than any other player, with Giancarlo Stanton's 70 in second place. After going 2-for-3, Guerrero is batting .323, giving him the lead over Houston's Yuli Gurriel for the American League batting title with 10 games remaining.

Sept. 21: Blue Jays 4, Rays 2 -- Romano's 20th straight save
Jordan Romano's 20th save of the 2021 season wasn't smooth by any means, as he walked the bases loaded against the Rays on Tuesday, but the Canadian right-hander still found his way to the third out and a Toronto win. This gives Romano 20 converted saves in a row, making him just the seventh pitcher in Blue Jays history to accomplish that. Romano has been dominant this season for Toronto, and with the American League Wild Card race looking tight down the stretch, he'll be a busy man in the coming days.

Sept. 20: Rays 6, Blue Jays 4 -- Gurriel heating up in September
Lourdes Gurriel Jr. has always loved hitting in September, but he's taking that to a different level this season. Gurriel launched a solo home run for his 20th of the season, which gave him 28 RBIs in the month of September. That's the second most in Blue Jays history, trailing only Kelly Gruber's 30 in 1990, and given that it's only the 20th, Gurriel could claim that record over the next 10 days.

Sept. 19: Blue Jays 5, Twins 3 -- Bo ties mark for HRs by a SS
With his 26th home run of the season in Sunday's win over the Twins, Bo Bichette tied Tony Batista (1999) for the most home runs in a single season by a Blue Jays shortstop. Bichette has a chance at 30 this season, and with 97 RBIs, he should also cross the 100-RBI threshold for the first time in his young career. Bichette says that he doesn't consider himself a home run hitter, but with the amount of hard contact he makes, the All-Star will be a threat to reach 30 home runs annually.

Sept. 18: Blue Jays 6, Twins 2 -- Semien, Vladdy in 40-HR club
Marcus Semien's 40th home run in Saturday's win over the Twins moved him into fourth place among MLB's home run leaders, a race led by teammate Vladimir Guerrero Jr. with 46. The dynamic duo also became just the fourth pair of Blue Jays teammates to hit 40 home runs in the same season, joining José Bautista and Josh Donaldson (2015), Carlos Delgado and Tony Batista (2000) and Delgado and Shawn Green (1999).

Sept. 17: Twins 7, Blue Jays 3 -- Vlad's 46th HR ties DiMaggio
With his 46th home run of the season in Friday's loss to the Twins at Rogers Centre, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. moved past Salvador Perez for the MLB lead. He's also making some history for his age, tying Joe DiMaggio (1937) for the second-most home runs in a single season by a player age 22 or younger. Guerrero is only one away from tying Eddie Mathews (1956) at 47 for the most all-time by a player age 22 or younger.

Sept. 15: Blue Jays 6, Rays 3 -- Bichette in exclusive company
Bo Bichette carried the offense with five RBIs, and it all started with his three-run home run in the first inning. That was homer No. 25 for the 23-year-old, making him just the second Blue Jays shortstop to hit 25-plus homers in a season (Tony Batista hit 26 in 1999). Bichette's five RBIs matched his career high, which he set on April 10 against the Angels.

Sept. 14: Rays 2, Blue Jays 0 -- A rare shutout
This marked only the third time the Blue Jays have been shut out this season, which is two fewer than any other team in baseball. On the other end of the spectrum, the Rockies have been blanked an MLB-high 15 times.

Sept. 13: Blue Jays 8, Rays 1 -- Vlad Jr., Bo hit unique home runs
The Blue Jays have hit more home runs than anybody this season (232), but not all big flies are created equal. Bo Bichette's solo shot in the fifth inning came on a changeup that was just 0.85 feet off the ground, marking the fifth-lowest pitch to turn into a home run since the Statcast Era began in 2015.

One frame later, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. scorched a solo shot of his own on a ball hit at a 15-degree launch angle. That's the lowest launch angle for the home run in Guerrero's career, and it's tied for the lowest launch angle on an over-the-wall home run hit this season. (The other belongs to Manny Machado on Aug. 20.)

Sept. 12: Blue Jays 22, Orioles 7 -- Gurriel Jr.'s slam
Lourdes Gurriel Jr. was the star of the show in Toronto's incredible win over Baltimore at Camden Yards on Sunday, capping a series where the Blue Jays scored 47 runs, a new club record for a four-game set. Gurriel launched a grand slam in the first inning, which was his fourth of the year, and set a new Blue Jays record for the most slams in one season.

He wasn't done there, though. Gurriel homered again, a two-run shot, and walked three times in the win, finishing his day with seven RBIs. The entire Blue Jays offense was on fire over the weekend, but the emergence of Gurriel in recent weeks has deepened the lineup even further, making it one of the most dangerous in all of baseball as the Blue Jays skyrocket up the AL Wild Card race.

Sept. 11: Blue Jays 11, Orioles 10 (G1) and Blue Jays 11, Orioles 2 (G2) -- Record day
The Blue Jays made history, scoring 11 runs on 11 hits in the seventh inning of Game 2. The 11 runs tied a franchise high, reaching that number for just the fourth time in history, while their 11 hits in an inning happened for just the second time. Four of those hits were home runs from Bo Bichette, Alejandro Kirk, Marcus Semien and Teoscar Hernández, marking just the second time in franchise history four Blue Jays had homered in the same inning. With George Springer's go-ahead homer in the seventh inning of Game 1, this was the first time in MLB history that a team hit go-ahead home runs while trailing in the final scheduled inning of each game in a doubleheader.

Sept. 10: Orioles 6, Blue Jays 3 -- Bichette's 48th multihit game
Bo Bichette tends to hit in bunches. With two hits on Friday, Bichette extended his team lead with 48 multihit games, and only Jonathan Schoop of the Tigers has more with 49. Bichette is now hitting .290 with a .798 OPS in his All-Star season, providing the Blue Jays with offensive value whether he's at the top of the lineup or batting cleanup. Currently sitting at 22 homers and 22 steals, Bichette has a chance to go 25-25 and is now 15 RBIs away from 100.

Sept. 9: Blue Jays 6, Yankees 4 -- Vlad Jr.'s historic 100th RBI
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. just keeps on rolling. The 22-year-old star seems to have caught a second wind for the stretch run, and he launched his 42nd home run of the season -- one behind Shohei Ohtani for the MLB lead. The homer also gave Guerrero his 100th RBI of the season, the first year he's reached that milestone but surely not the last. He is the third player in AL history with a 40-homer, 100-RBI season before age 23, joining Joe DiMaggio (1937) and Juan Gonzalez (1992). With three home runs in this Yankees series, Guerrero has hit three homers in a series eight times in 2021, the most in AL history and second-most in MLB history (Giancarlo Stanton, 2017).

Sept. 8: Blue Jays 6, Yankees 3 -- Vlad Jr. vs. Chapman
Vladimir Guerrero Jr.'s home run gave the Blue Jays some valuable insurance, and anyone watching knew it was absolutely launched. At 114.3 mph, it was actually the hardest-hit ball that Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman has allowed since Statcast began tracking in 2015. The previous high, on a Mike Zunino double in April of this year, was 112.6 mph. Guerrero's 41st of the season put him just two back of Shohei Ohtani in the home run race and one RBI short of 100.

Sept. 7: Blue Jays 5, Yankees 1 -- Matz's superb last 7 starts
Steven Matz has quietly been one of the most valuable players on the Blue Jays' roster during August and the first week of September, posting a 1.63 ERA over his last seven starts. Whether you call Matz the No. 4 or No. 5 starter, having this production alongside Hyun Jin Ryu, Robbie Ray, José Berríos and Alek Manoah gives Toronto a rotation worthy of a postseason run. Not only is Matz helping the Blue Jays make their run in the American League Wild Card race, but as a pending free agent this offseason, he's also boosting his own value at the best possible time. Matz pitched in the postseason as a rookie with the Mets in 2015 at 24 years old, but he has a chance at another run now at 30.

Sept 6: Blue Jays 8, Yankees 0 -- Guerreros join Fielders
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. continues to make history with his breakout 2021 season, and the 22-year-old star launched his 40th home run of the season on Monday afternoon at Yankee Stadium. Not only did Guerrero become the youngest Blue Jays hitter to 40 homers and one of just 10 in franchise history, but he and his father are now one of just two father-son duos to hit 40 home runs, joining Prince Fielder and Cecil Fielder. Vlad Sr. hit 42 home runs when he was 24 with the Montreal Expos and reached the 40-homer plateau once more the next season, totaling 449 in his Hall of Fame career. Vlad Jr. has a long way to go, but he is now third in the Majors in home runs this season behind Salvador Perez (41) and Shohei Ohtani (43).

Sept. 5: Blue Jays 8, A's 0 -- Vladdy's career-best hitting streak
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. extended his hitting streak to 13 straight games in Sunday's win over the A's, setting a new career high while Toronto completed the series sweep. Guerrero cooled down through early August, but he has found his groove again and looks re-energized for the stretch run. The Blue Jays will need his game-changing bat, too, as they try to make a run in the AL Wild Card race.

Sept. 4: Blue Jays 10, A's 8 -- Teoscar's 100th career homer
Just after the A's cut the Blue Jays' lead to one run in the top of the seventh, Teoscar Hernández launched a three-run shot in the bottom half of the inning to give Toronto some breathing room. Hernández's 24th long ball of the season was also the 100th home run of his career. There should be plenty more to come for the 28-year-old, who has developed into one of the game's most underrated power hitters.

Sept. 3: Blue Jays 11, A's 10 -- Gurriel joins three-slam club
Before Marcus Semien walked it off with a three-run shot in the ninth, it looked like Lourdes Gurriel Jr. would be the hero on Friday night in Toronto. The Blue Jays scraped across a pair of runs in the eighth to get within four before Gurriel came up with the bases loaded and delivered one of his biggest moments in the big leagues, a game-tying 421-foot grand slam. Gurriel is now one of just four Blue Jays players to hit three grand slams in a season, joining Carlos Delgado (1997), Darrin Fletcher (2000) and Edwin Encarnación (2015).

Sept. 1: Blue Jays 5, Orioles 4 -- Guerrero Jr. sets mark
This week has been all about Vladimir Guerrero Jr. getting his power stroke back, with three home runs in the Orioles series getting him to 39 on the season after a quiet August. However, it was Guerrero's wheels that stood out on Wednesday, as he beat out an infield single in the fourth inning and was measured at 29.6 ft/sec sprint speed, per Statcast, well above his average of 26.8 ft/sec and the fastest he's been clocked at in his career. A sprint speed of 30 ft/sec is considered "elite," so while this isn't going to be the norm for Vladdy by any means, it showed that he's still got something left in the tank for September, which has been a challenge for him early in his young career.