Summer 2024

Bo Bichette breaks out of slump with 4-hit game, relies on prayer to deal with pressure

Toronto Blue Jays shortstop Bo Bichette ended his 0-for-18 slump in emphatic fashion Tuesday night, collecting four hits in Toronto’s 8-7 extra-innings loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers. He was a triple shy of the cycle by the fifth inning and added another single in the 10th.

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His two-run home run in the third inning gave the Blue Jays a 3-1 lead. It was his 17th home run of the season, tying him with Home Run Derby champion Vladimir Guerrero Jr. for the most on the team.

Bichette’s 4-for-6 night gave him an American League-leading 134 hits, which are the second-most in baseball behind the Miami Marlins’ Luis Arraez through Tuesday’s games. Bichette is one of only three players with at least 130 hits, 17 home runs and 55 RBIs.

The 2016 second-round pick has finished in the top 12 of MVP voting the past two seasons and recently played in his second All-Star Game. His father, Dante Bichette, was a four-time All-Star who spent most of his 14-year career with the Colorado Rockies.

A career .299 hitter, Dante was recently asked what he thought was the best hitting book he ever read. His response: the Bible.

“Fear is what ruins any hitter, and the No. 1 most-used command by Jesus in the Bible is ‘do not fear,'” he explained. “And I’d take that to the plate, and at least you’ll play with whatever ability you’ve got. … If you take fear to the plate, you’re in trouble.”

Dante has passed that lesson down to his son, helping lay the foundation for Bo’s relationship with the Lord in addition to helping him develop as a baseball player. As Bo has leaned on his faith during his baseball journey, he’s said prayer has played an important role in helping him handle the pressures and anxieties that come with being a professional athlete.

“I deal with anxiety, nerves and everything just like everyone else does,” Bo said on Sports Spectrum’s “Table Forty” podcast in May 2021. “When you rely on yourself to get over those things, it doesn’t always work. Just, by prayer and petition, trusting the Lord, trusting God’s plan, that’s not always easy. It’s pretty hard sometimes, but just praying for His help to do those things I think has helped me a lot with dealing with anxieties and pressures and all that.”

When Bo started experiencing adversity and failure early in his major league career, it was all he could think about when he went home from the ballpark. One day, he decided he was not going to let his performance determine his happiness anymore. Focusing on playing for an audience of One has helped him keep his baseball career in perspective.

“I think that when you get that relationship with God, you can put things in perspective a little bit more, that really the only thing that matters is the effort you’re putting in, the person you’re being, things like that. I think that when you can understand that, it takes a lot of pressure off of your work life,” Bo said on the podcast.

In his third full major league season, the 25-year-old is part of an exciting young core hoping to deliver the franchise’s first postseason victory since 2016. The team was swept in the wild-card series by the Seattle Mariners last season, and is currently 1.5 games ahead of the Boston Red Sox for this year’s final AL wild-card spot.

The 56-46 Blue Jays finish their three-game series with the Dodgers on Wednesday. First pitch from Dodger Stadium is at 4:10 p.m. ET.

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