Alright, everyone, let’s take a deep breath.
After four of the most stressful yet exhilarating hours Toronto baseball fans have experienced in the last 22 years, it seems that the Toronto Blue Jays mean business and have seemingly come back from the dead to defeat the Texas Rangers in round one of the American League playoffs.
The Rangers started off strong with an early run, then Rangers’ Shin-Soo Choo hits a home run on his first pitch from Blue Jays’ Marcus Stroman, establishing a lead of 2-0 early in the game.
Blue Jays’ Kevin Pillar revealed his superpowers once again with yet another phenomenal diving catch to get the Jays fired up. A strong start from Rangers’ pitcher, Jason Hammel, left two Jays stranded on base to close off the second inning, leaving them [the Jays] swinging at an attempt to get on the board.
It was beginning to seem like an unwritten rule that whoever scores first, wins in this series between the Jays and the Rangers; luckily, the Blue Jays aren’t
There is no doubt that this Game 5 performance given by these two teams is one for the history books, but can we take a second to admire what could have quite possibly been the most interesting 7th inning baseball has ever witnessed?
In an almost one-hour long inning, there were protests, freak plays, and, at $20 a beer, probably the most expensive display of littering that the Rogers Centre outfield has ever seen, when the Rangers took the lead 3-2 on a bizarre circumstance that could only
happen to a Toronto team in the playoffs.
Jose Bautista seemed to take personal offence to this ruling, judging by the authority with which he swung for the fence with two Jays on base, and sent the ball into the upper deck, flipped his bat approximately 87 feet in the air, and ran like a goddamned hero rounding the bases.
This act of heroism brought the total score to 6-3 Blue Jays, and that is where it remained.
Now, let’s take a second to address the issues of officiating. The role of any umpire is a challenging one but these guys know what they are getting themselves into, and, let’s not forget, they are qualified individuals that know everything there is to know about the game and its rules.
They have to make tough calls in spite of the roaring crowd of the home team and in spite of the professional athlete screaming in your face, questioning your judgment.
The umpiring throughout this series has been a topic of controversy, as well as a couple of questionable judgments from the guys “upstairs”. (Odor’s foot was off the bag in Texas; we know, they know it, it all worked out, let’s get over it.)
Despite the ups and downs of Wednesday night’s game, the baseball gods were surely smiling down on Toronto, even with the roof closed.
Thanks to a couple of key plays by some of the Blue Jays’ top players, and some fortunate (for the Jays) errors made by the Texas Rangers in the 7th inning, the Blue Jays rose from what most thought to be an insurmountable 2-0 series deficit, and clinched the American League series.
The Jays will now advance to round two against the Kansas City Royals, starting the series off in Kansas City. With any luck, now that the Blue Jays have coined a new love for baseball in Canada, our citizens will be just as good as Americans at catching – despite our short season.