Ed-Wing wins WILD battle of birds

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

As we were headed into the ninth inning last night, a few things had suddenly occurred to me. As unbelievably upset as I was at the Toronto Blue Jays fan who threw that beer can, it still did not deter from the incredibly exciting game of baseball that it was leading up to that point. There was great pitching, timely hitting, a couple of home runs, a change of leads and no lead was bigger than one run. There may have been a running mistake but all-in-all not a single error was made. It was good baseball made doubly exciting because of what was on the line. The question we nervously raised though was how good will it end?

Well, would extra innings make it good? Yeah, it would and it did as we went 11. Will analyzing every single pitch or player decision over and over again make you wondrously frustrated? Yeah, it would and it did when we saw Smoak and Liriano enter the game. Will a first-pitch, three run home run to win the game blow your mind? Yeah, it would and thanks to Edwin Encarnacion it ab-so-lute-ly did! What a great finish (yes, biased opinion here) to a great game! Mind you, the beginning wasn’t too shabby either.

It was the start we had hoped for. Marcus Stroman was perfect through three innings and Jose Bautista, with his usual flair for the moment, had a home run in the second for a 1-0 lead. But this is your 2016 Blue Jays and it isn’t how a game starts that worries you it’s how it ends. As flawed as the Baltimore Orioles are, you still have to acknowledge that they are a very good team and can easily put up numbers. On top of that, the story of this entire season for the Blue Jays is not once did they ever make things easy for themselves. So why should they stop now just because it is the 163rd game of the season, right? Therefore it wasn’t much as a shock, but a sad expectation as Trumbo hit the go ahead two-run home run in the 4th. Someone far smarter than me describes moments like that with a… Ruh-Roh. That’s right Scooby, the Blue Jays who scored the fewest amount of runs in September in the majors, were now behind and needed to score.

The Blue Jays issue is more than just not creating enough opportunities, it is that they can’t get enough out of the opportunities that they had. Yes, it was great they got the tying run in the following inning, but realistically they should have had the go ahead run as well. The Achilles heel of the Blue Jays has been that when they don’t Score with Runners in Scoring Position, they are dead in the water. For all you math & stat geeks out there, the formula looks something like this… RISP – S = RIP. The Jays should have ended this game earlier, but they hit into 3 inning-ending double plays. Thankfully, that didn’t come back to haunt them and instead set the stage for Encarnacion’s walk-off heroics.

This game will be remembered for many different reasons and really odd ones at that. For example, how about your offence comes from two big time home runs from players who are free agents and have a very good chance of not being a Blue Jay next year? Or debating if you were Gibby who would you start? Not only did most of us pick Liriano over Stroman, we got to see both pitch extremely well and Liriano actually get the win! We saw a single jerk of a fan throw a beer that not only could have injured the Oriole outfielder, but it embarrassed all Canadians and it was full beer. NO REAL Canadian would ever do that, especially at the price of $15! Finally, and most incredible of all, is the fact that this game was quite spectacular. It wasn’t just because of the Blue Jays either, so even though I can’t stand Showalter, the Orioles manager, kudos to him and his team for their performance. The entire Baltimore Oriole organization deserves a standing ovation and respect. My one wish for them would be a deserving fan base to match next year.

With the O’s behind us however, our attention turns to the ALDS. So get ready Texas… I certainly don’t Remember the Alamo and quite frankly, I don’t care, but we remember what happened the last time we met… we remember.

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