It shouldn’t have been a surprise that Toronto lost yesterday, despite the many things working in their favor. After all, the Blue Jays had won eleven of their last thirteen at home, there was a sold-out crowd at Rodgers Center, and they were playing a Detroit Tigers club that had just suffered a thirteen-game losing streak.
Unfortunately, the game turned out to be Canada Day, a national holiday for the northern neighbors of the United States. It also turns out to be, according to the story, an unlucky day for the Canadian baseball team.
The Blue Jays have played thirty Canada Day games at their local park throughout their forty-year history, and all thirty have been national holiday celebrations. In general, however, the baseball team has had little to celebrate on the field.
In that score and a half of contests since 1977, Toronto has won just nine and lost twenty-one. There have been eleven times the Blue Jays played on the road on Canada Day, and they probably want an away game much more often after the calendar changes from June to July.
Unsurprisingly when looking back on past occasions, the Blue Jays seemed doomed to miss Canada Day again in 2018. They followed the Tigers in their last at-bat, and were actually one hit away from another holiday. lost.
At that point, pinch-hitter Justin Smoak walked with the bases loaded, allowing Toronto to tie the score and send the game into additional innings. That free pass stirred up the crowd at Rodgers Center, who were sure this Canada Day would break history and see their team triumph.
That hope turned out to be short-lived, as the Tigers fought back on their next at-bat. Shortstop Joe Iglesias hit a sacrifice fly that gave Detroit a 3-2 final score.
Ontario fans can take comfort in the idea that the one-run loss wasn’t as bad as the one in 2001, when divisional rival Boston Red Sox defeated the home team by a score of sixteen to four. A decade and a half before the Blue Jays suffered an almost equally bad loss on Canada Day, the Seattle Mariners lost 11-2 to Toronto.
Despite the poor Canada Day record in club history, there is still reason to be happy when the Blue Jays play at home as July begins. Toronto’s two World Series Championships came in 1992 and 1993, both seasons in which the Blue Jays won on Canada Day.