August 1, 2022
By Kevin Glew
Cooperstowners in Canada
With his 24th save of the 2022 campaign on Sunday, Toronto Blue Jays closer Jordan Romano (Markham, Ont.) broke the record he shared with ex-Montreal Expos reliever Claude Raymond (St. Jean, Que.) for most saves in a season by a Canadian pitcher for a Canadian major league team.
Raymond recorded 23 saves for the Expos in 1970. Romano had also collected 23 saves for the Blue Jays in 2021.
A Junior National Team grad, Romano worked a 1-2-3 ninth inning, striking out two of the batters he faced, to secure the record-breaking save in the Blue Jays’ 4-1 win over the Detroit Tigers at Rogers Centre on Sunday.
It marked the second straight day that Romano registered a save. He preserved a 5-3 victory for the Blue Jays on Saturday when he retired the Tigers in the ninth.
Romano’s 24 saves are a new career-high for him and they lead the American League.
Prior to Romano, right-hander Paul Quantrill (Port Hope, Ont.) held the Blue Jays’ record for most saves in a season by a Canadian with seven in 1998.
Raymond was a well-established big league reliever when he was sold to the Expos by the Atlanta Braves on August 19, 1969. With that transaction, he became the first Canadian to play for a Canadian major league team. It was in his second season in Montreal that he registered 23 saves, which stood as a record for a Canadian with a Canadian major league team for 51 years.
The record for most saves by a Canadian for an American League team is held by John Hiller (Toronto, Ont.) who collected 38 saves for the Detroit Tigers in 1973.
Right-hander Eric Gagne (Mascouche, Que.) owns the major league record for most saves in a season by a Canadian. He secured 55 for the Los Angeles Dodgers in his National League Cy Young Award-winning campaign in 2003.
Leblanc belts first major league home run
What a weekend it was for Charles Leblanc.
After the 26-year-old Laval, Que., native received his first big league call-up from the Miami Marlins on Friday, he made his big league debut on Saturday and recorded a double off New York Mets right-hander Carlos Carrasco in the eighth inning for his first big league hit.
For an encore on Sunday, the versatile Canadian, starting at third base and batting eighth, doubled again and then hit his first major league home run. It was a solo shot in the sixth inning off Mets right-hander Taijuan Walker in a 9-3 Marlins’ loss.
You can watch it here:
After two major league games, Leblanc is 3-for-7 (.429 batting average) — with all three of his hits going for extra bases.
Please support Kevin Glew and Cooperstowners in Canada
For close to 12 years, I’ve been offering my articles and blog posts for free on Cooperstowners in Canada. I’m now asking for your support to help fund my writing, research and the ongoing costs associated with this site to keep it going. Please consider making a donation.