Jays Fall To Royals, Face Elimination

during game four of the American League Championship Series at Rogers Centre on October 20, 2015 in Toronto, Canada.

                     Harry How/Getty Images

Things got off to a rough start for the Toronto Blue Jays who were trying to tie up the series with the Kansas City Royals Tuesday afternoon at the Rogers Centre. The Jays would have the knuckleballer R.A. Dickey take the mound. Chris Young would be his counter part in today’s contest.

The game would start off with a leadoff bunt from Alcides Escobar. Escobar would be the first player to leadoff the first inning with a hit in four straight games of a series. Ben Zobrist would then step to the plate, and on a 0-1 count Zobrist would launch a shot to right field scoring both himself and Escobar making it a 2-0 game. That would open the floodgates for the Royals, as they would score two more runs before the half inning would conclude. After giving up a home run to former Jay Alex Rios, Gibbons would come to the mound and send Dickey to the bench. Dickey would only go 1.2IP giving up 4ER off 4 hits. It would be the shortest outing in post-season history. In his last eight starts, Dickey posted a 1.94 ERA striking out 35 batters with a WHIP of only 0.84. In today’s matchup, the numbers would be quite different, as he would leave with a 21.60 ERA striking out only one and holding a WHIP of 3.61.

Liam Hendricks would enter the game. In the bottom of the third, Donaldson would hit a ground-rule double, scoring Ryan Goins cutting the Royals lead to four. Jose Bautista would then ground out, but score Ben Revere, as they would only trail by three, winding right back up into the matchup. In the seventh, LaTroy Hawkins would come in, in hopes of ending the flood that was taking place. That would not be the case though as Hawkins night would be over at the start of it, as Hawkins would load the bases before being pulled in relief of Ryan Tepera. With the bases loaded, Tepera would see four additional runs score, now making this a 9-2 game.

Trying to save their bullpen for what could be the last game of the 2015 season for the Toronto ball club, Gibbons would go to position player Cliff Pennington in the ninth to pitch. On his first throw in his career, he would throw a 91 MPH fastball for a strike. By the end, two runs would score and the game would end, as the Royals would dominate a night of quiet bats, taking the game 14-2.

The Jays will have their backs up against the wall for the second time this post-season, facing elimination on home turf. They will send Marco Estrada to the mound in a game one rematch, as Edinson Volquez will be the starter for the Royals as he hopes to guide his team to a World Series appearance for the second year in a row. Estrada is hoping to be the speed bump on that journey as he will throw out the first pitch at 4:07EST,

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Jays Take Crown From Royals

Toronto Blue Jays' Kevin Pillar, left, dives for home plate as he scores in front of Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Perez during second inning game three American League Championship Series baseball action in Toronto on Monday, Oct. 19, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

             THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

Game three. Down 2-0 in the ALCS series against the Kansas City Royals. The Toronto Blue Jays were looking to get a win in hopes of staying alive in the series in hopes of going back to Kauffman Stadium to clinch down the road. For now, the Jays needed to take it game by game and tonight they sent Marcus Stroman to the mound to compete against Johnny Cueto who would be sent to the rubber for the Royals.

Things would get on a roll early as the Royals would strike first off Stroman as Alcides Escobar would manage to get home. It would also be the third game in a row where Stroman has given up the lead run in the first inning. Luckily, there were eight more innings for the Jays bats to wake up and go on display, and that they did.

The Jays would score three runs in the second thanks to Troy Tulowitzki going deep scoring Encarnacion and Colabello. After Russell Martin would come in thanks to a double from Kevin Pillar, MVP Candidate Josh Donaldson would step up to the dish and he would not disappoint. He would go long making it a 9-2 game. After just two innings, Cueto would get pulled with chants filling the Rogers Centre “We Want Cueto”.

Heading into the fifth, Ryan Goins would score his first post-season home run of his career. Marcus Stroman pitched into the seventh, as he would be in search of his first post-season win as well. He would go 6.1IP, giving up only four runs on eleven hits. In the eighth, Tulowitzki would complain about the strike zone, as he would eventually get ejected after continuing to chirp the home plate umpire, as he would go out to play defensively. After the game and evaluating the situation, a lot thought that Tulowitzki was selfish as he got ejected in what could have been an extra innings game.

Top of the ninth though, the Jays would be looking to close it out, however the Royals put all the nitro in their tank in hopes of coming back. They would score five runs, but would fall short, losing 11-8 to the blue birds. The team would be able to breath a bit of relief as they now have one win under their belt, and hoping for a second one Tuesday afternoon. Game 4 of the ALCS will take place Tuesday with first pitch at 4PM. R.A. Dickey (11-11) will be sent to the hill as he will be countered by Chris Young (11-6).

Jays Write History with ALCS Berth

TOM SZCZERBOWSKI/GETTY IMAGES

TOM SZCZERBOWSKI/GETTY IMAGES

It was a winner take all night at the Rogers Centre Wednesday evening. The Jays won game four, being able to bring the deciding game back to Toronto with a chance to clinch an ALCS berth in front of their home crowd. Going into the game, everyone knew it was going to be an exciting and electrifying night as it would be the same match-ups as game two, in hopes for the Jays the ending would be different.

Marcus Stroman would be sent to the hill as Cole Hammels was sent to the bump in hopes to end the fairy tale story. To start the game, Texas got on the board early scoring one run thanks to Delino DeShields. All of a sudden, memories of game two started to come to focus. All 52,000 people in the dome became steadily nervous, knowing this was going to be a tight game. The Jays would get on the board however in the bottom of the third by Bautista hitting a double, scoring Ben Revere.

Heading to the seventh inning, the emotions and intensity of the game would reach its peak. In the top of the seventh, Texas would get a man on but would get the next two out. Odor would then score after Russell Martin would throw the ball that would hit Choo’s bat. The Toronto faithful would show their displeasure by throwing beer cans on the field, which would hold the game for 18 minutes.

In the bottom of the seventh, Martin would get on first off an error by Andrus. Pillar would get on first, getting Martin on second as Mitch Moreland would commit a throwing error. Dalton Pompey would come into the game to pinch run for Martin, who would get to third off a bunt by Ryan Goins and would be called safe after Texas would commit their third error in a row. The Rangers were not being able to handle the ball to get any outs. After Ben Revere would reach first with a fielders choice as Moreland would throw the ball home to get Pompey out, Donaldson would step up to the dish and deliver a bloop single that would tie the game by scoring Kevin Pillar.

Bautista would follow, and on a 1-1 count, Jose would launch his 2nd postseason home run off Sam Dyson scoring three runs to take a 6-3 lead. Afterwards before Edwin would step to the plate, he would try to settle the crowd down. Sam Dyson took exception thinking he was trying to pump them up, and benches would clear. Tulo would strike out to end out the seventh, Dyson would then head to Tulo, slapping him on the butt. The two would exchange words, as the benches would clear once more. He would come out for the ninth as well, sitting all five players that came to the plate down to the pine, as Osuna would get his first career postseason save.

The City of Toronto would go insane. Their Toronto Blue Jays would be heading to the ALCS to face the Kansas City Royals. The Jays won the season series against the Royals 4-3, and there has been a lot of bad blood between the two clubs. In this writer’s opinion, I would not be surprised if both benches get warnings before game one, which will take place Friday night in Kansas City. Marco Estrada has been chosen to take the rubber, as Edinson Volquez will counter him. First pitch is set to begin at 8:07PM EST.

Jays Avoid Elimination, Take a 5-1 Win over Rangers

during game three of the American League Division Series on October 11, 2015 in Arlington, Texas.

                   Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

It was an all or nothing game Sunday night in Arlington. The Blue Jays were facing elimination and needed a win in order to see Game 4 Monday. Texas currently held a 2-0 series lead looking to send the blue birds back to their Canadian nest. Marco Estrada would be sent to the hill to face off against the Rangers Martin Perez.

Game 3 would be the first career post-season start for Estrada. The big question for Jay’s fans would be how would he do. Well through the first two innings, Estrada would keep the Texas bats quiet. He would not let up a hit thorough the first two innings. Heading into the third, Dioner Navarro would get things started. He would hit a double into center field and would later score after Ryan Goins hit into a ground out double play. Top of the 4th, the Jays would continue to look patience in the box as they would get bases loaded with Tulowitzki up. He would take his time, see the ball well, and take a walk scoring in the team’s second run of the game.

Texas would not get a base runner through the first four innings. Top of the 6th, Troy would be up to the dish again, and he would serve some heat. He would hit a 3-run home run into left field giving breathing room. Even though Troy has been on a bit of a rough stretch as of late, the FOX broadcasters said, “He’s still Troy Tulowitzki. Forget the numbers, that’s a bad man right there.” The home run would also be Tulo’s first since the 2007 NLDS.

Bottom of the seventh, Estrada would be pulled in relief of Aaron Loup after letting runners reach second and third. He would end up going 6 1/3, in line for the win. Texas would get a man home in that inning, as the Jays would still lead by four. We would then see David Price warming up in the bullpen, just in case he was needed for another left-hander to come in. That wouldn’t be necessary however as Roberto Osuna would come in to close it out as Elvis Andrus would fly out to Revere to end the game.

With the win, it would be the first ever playoff game that Toronto has won when facing elimination. Even though they won, Texas would get four double plays during the game. As the team looks ahead to Game 4 Monday, they will need to try and prevent that from happening as they look to get another must win, to head to Toronto for Game 5. First pitch in Arlington will be at 4:07EST. R.A. Dickey will represent the Jays in his first post-season game, as the Rangers will send Derek Holland to the mound.

Jays Clinch AL East, Split Series with Orioles

aptopix-blue-jays-orioles-baseball

               Patrick Semansky/Associated Press

All eyes were on the first game of Wednesday’s double-header between the Toronto Blue Jays and Baltimore Orioles. The game was supposed to be played Tuesday night, but due to Mother Nature, it got postponed and so did the chance of the clinching game for the Jays.

Heading into the 4:05 first pitch, all the Jays needed to do was win their game, and they would clinch the AL East. This would be the first time the ball club has done so since 1993, the last time they won the World Series. Marcus Stroman would be sent to the bump, as the Orioles would counter with Miguel Gonzalez.

Toronto would get on the board first in the top of the second scoring a pair of runs. Looking at the top of the fourth, the gates would open, as a second pair of runs would score before four more would round the bases in the fifth. Baltimore would overplay the ball a number of times and thanks to some high throws, the Jays would capitalize, sealing their fate as AL East Champs.

In the top of the ninth, Jorge Rondon would give up back-to-back home runs off Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion. The Jays would go ahead with five runs to defeat the Baltimore club in historic fashion to win the east by a score of 15-2.

It would then be time to give a toast inside the clubhouse before having to go out for game two of the double header where the Jays would lose 8-1. However, not a single member of the Jays club really looked like they cared for they wanted to celebrate the end of a huge drought that was bestowed upon them.

During the post-game interviews, there were a lot of hysterical moments. A couple to mention would be Josh Donaldson quoting WWE star Stone Cold Steve Austin by yelling, “1 beer, 2 beers, 3 beers, 4 beers” during his interview with Hazel Mae while with Barry Davis, Munenori Kawasaki would say, “I’m drunk” and when asked if ate his serving of banana’s today, he would reply by saying “I don’t need banana, I need champagne.” It was truly a surreal moment, not only for the veterans on the team such as Bautista and Encarnacion, but also for the rookies such as Stroman, Pillar, and Goins.

This has truly been a long time waiting and the Blue Jays faithful have only one man to thank. Alex Anthopoulos. Some of called him a god; others have referred him to an architect. For this writer, I simply see him as a man with a plan that was executed perfectly. The only thing to make it one for the books would be to bring home some shiny flags on a round stand. Otherwise known, as the World Series trophy.

Jays Put Tigers To Sleep with 9-2 Victory

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(Chris Young/The Canadian Press)

The Jays headed into Sunday afternoon’s game looking to sweep the Tigers out of the Rogers Centre before welcoming their new guests, the Cleveland Indians on Monday. Well, they got things started right away, wasting little time.

Josh Donaldson would take the first ball deep by launching a rocket over the left field wall on a 3-1 count. Shortly after, Edwin Encarnacion would take his own over the right field wall. This would not only be his 30th home run of the season, but it would be his 25th straight game with a hit.

With Encarnacion launching yet another bomb in so few games, he would do so in historic fashion setting another record. Eddie’s run in would set a franchise record for most RBI’s in a single month at 35. He has the opportunity to add a few more on when the Jays wrap up August, Monday night when they face the Indians.

Things would then continue however into the second at Kevin Pillar would go deep, followed by Russell Martin in the fourth. It was truly a spectacular scene as the first six runs for the Jays came off home runs by four different players. The Tigers would add a pair later in the game during the sixth and seventh innings, but that’s all they would get.

The home team would score three more runs in the eighth to finish the Tigers off with a 9-2 win. Mark Buehrle would get his fourteenth win of the season going six innings giving up only 2 runs, 1 earned, walking 2, and striking out 2. It was truly remarkable to see a weekend full of runs, as the Jays would outrun the Tigers 29-6. The defense was also a key part in the victories as the team gelled so smoothly, it was a sense of a feeling, similar to what some would say playoff baseball may feel like.

Russell Martin spoke post-game on this team on their recent success. “If this isn’t the feel of a championship team, I don’t know what is. I feel like we’re great offensively, we’re great on defense. We’re pitching great and our bullpen has depth”. Buehrle would also add that if the team doesn’t score eight runs, they feel like they’ve had a bad game. Considering their recent success and the final scores, that hasn’t been a feeling in the clubhouse as of late.

The Jays will now turn their attention to the Cleveland Indians who arrive in town Monday night for a three game series. The Indians are coming off a three game sweep of their own over the LA Angels. The opening series starters will see David Price (13-4) take the mound for the Blue Jays as he will be countered by Danny Salazar (11-7). There will definitely be some stat watching as Edwin will be going for his 26th straight game with a hit as well as Ryan Goins will be going for his tenth straight game with a hit. First pitch at 7:07PM est.