Blue Jays down but not out

on October 2016 | in Sports | by Dario Passarelli | @PapaDart | with No Comments

I’m sure it was a sombre flight in from Lake Erie for the Blue Jays as they find themselves down 2-0 in the American League Championship Series. Sombre yes, but not dire. Now I am not going to get all spirited (alcoholically speaking or otherwise) and say that the Blue Birds will come storming back and will win this series. I am not saying that at all. But I am saying that this series is still far from over and a lot closer than the 2-0 lead indicates. If we were to look back at the first two games of the ALDS between Texas and Toronto, well then yes, it was over for Texas heading into that third game. It wasn’t because they were 0-2, but because of two other reasons. Firstly, they were 0-2 at home and had to play the next two at the Rogers Centre. A little off topic here, but I can’t possibly tell you how many times I still keep calling it SkyDome. Which is unusual as I hated the name SkyDome and preferred TowerDome (CN Tower… see what I did there) instead. Truthfully though, there isn’t a name out there that I could hate more. Well, until I heard Rogers Centre. What an idiotic, good for nothing name of a – I digressed, sorry. As I was saying, the Jays two losses have come on the road, so they are in a better position than Texas was.

The second reason why we knew the ALCS series was over at that time was because of how Texas lost those two games. They were completely dominated. Heavily outscored 15-4, slightly out hit 19-17 and the Jays decided to play defence while we weren’t exactly sure what Texas was doing on the field. None of those attributes are the same in the two losses suffered by the Blue Jays. Yes they did get slightly outscored 4-1, but they are tied with Cleveland in hits and both defences have been excellent. Now they did deserve to win both of those games and they’ve won them by getting timely hits and slightly better overall pitching. If at the beginning of the series you would have told me that the Jays would only give up 2 runs in each of the first 2 games I would have taken it. With the way the Jays offence had been playing, at worst the series would be tied. What the Toronto pitching staff has done is nothing short of incredible and they should all be commended for their performance. On the other hand, what the Cleveland staff has done though has been pure perfection, minus of course that Josh Donaldson RBI double.

Everyone thought that Cleveland’s main issue would be their starting rotation, and although there is still time for it to falter, it has done what was needed through the first few innings of each game. What Andrew Miller and Cody Allan have done though in relief has been sick, nasty and should be outlawed in a majority of states. In a combined 5.2 innings they have given up just 1 hit, no walks and struck out 13 out of the 17 batters they faced. THIRTEEN! This basically means that from the 7th inning on, forget about scoring and forget about getting runners in scoring position because the Jays can’t even put the ball in play. You could even go so far (and personally I still wouldn’t) but you could even go so far as to put Rougned Odur and Elvis Andrus in the field and not have a care in the world. What? Too soon Texas?

Thankfully though, these two pitchers are men and not gods. There is still an opportunity, now that they are back at the dome, to light them up. The Blue Jays best 4 hitters can’t continue to go 1-for-14 like they did in Game 2 and expect to win a game, let alone this series. They have to start getting on base and driving in runs again. All they need is one little chink in that Cleveland pitching armour and they can put up more than enough offence to win games. They haven’t been outplayed and it is with that hope in conjunction with the 50,000 screaming home fans and the warm, friendly confines of however you want to call this stadium, that the Blue Jays can battle their way back into this series. I really believe they can because the one thing that the Blue Jays are not, are lollygaggers.

Greatest. Word. Ever.

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