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Blue Jays Game Recap: Good Guys Take Game 1

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The Toronto Blue Jays entered this contest with a 4 game lead in the American League East. It is certainly not the time to get comfortable and take your foot off the pedal with a team that has been eliminated from playoff contention. This series will prove to be quite important for this club. As they compete for the division and the best record in the AL, they need to take as many as they can.

4. 39. Final. 3. 11

This contest flew by at a quick pace. Both starters had their game working this evening. The Blue Jays hitters could not get much going against Chris Tillman. He worked into the 8th inning and only gave up 5 hits. The only one of those that was not a single was a home run to Edwin Encarnacion (36)  in the 2nd inning. Other than that, it was a pretty frustrating match for the boys in blue.

Toronto Blue Jays
Toronto Blue Jays /

Toronto Blue Jays

That is until they came to the plate in the 8th inning and chased Tillman and got to their nemesis, Darren O’Day. They showed the kind of grit and fight that we’ve come to expect from this team.

Marco Estrada looked just as sharp save for a mistake to Ryan Flaherty in the bottom of the 2nd, which was deposited in center field for a 3 -run shot. He’d only given up 4 hits on the evening in a much more economical outing than his counterpart. By the time his team had given him the lead in the 8th, he’s only reached 76 pitches. He recorded one out in the 8th knowing that he’d only really had 3 bad pitches: the ones that led to 2 runners on and then the home run. He’d leave with a no decision.

But, Brett Cecil came into the game and continued to thrive in his role. He was a great bridge to Roberto Osuna, wh0 picked up the save and sealed the victory in the first game of the series.

The drama didn’t really start until the late innings. After a tough night at the dish, the Blue Jays broke out and tied the game in the 8th and used a crazy 9th inning to take the lead. With two runners on, Ryan Goins bunted them over. Justin Smoak came to the plate and grounded in Dalton Pompey. Kevin Pillar tried to “Superman” his way home and appeared to be safe. He was called out and the ruling was upheld. The replay didn’t look like they got the call right, though.

Reactions to the Game:

Estrada worked with a Mark Buehrle-esque pace and it was impressive.

Yet, despite giving up the 3 spot in the third, we all had the feeling that things would be just fine.

A highlight of this game was yet another smooth catch from Kevin Pillar. He ranged to his right, dove and slid to record the out. Another day, another catch…

That was until the matchup of 2015 showed itself again:

This time, Jose Bautista won the battle. It wasn’t as dramatic as we’ve seen, but an opposite field single to tie the game was still very pretty.

And, could we have enjoyed the game tying hit any more? Not really:

You had to know that this Blue Jays offense would not be satisfied with a single run to show for their efforts. They showed some life in the 8th inning when they tied it up at 3.

Brett Cecil entered the game in the 8th and was as reliable as ever. He recorded two outs and kept a rather nice streak going:

A-. Estrada deserved a much better fate than he got this evening. All together, he threw just 82 pitches in 7.1 innings. With the exception of the 2nd inning, he was great. His final line of 7.1 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, BB, 2 K were enough to keep his team within striking distance. His fast pace was working, too. We can add this start to the long list of outings that have been so good. He’s worked his way into the playoff picture and is facing free agency at the right time. . . Marco Estrada. STARTING PITCHING

OFFENSE . B. Kevin Pillar picked up another two hits after winning the AL Player of the Week. But, Jose Bautista is getting the game ball here for his ability to go opposite field to drive in a run for his 2nd hit of the night. As the club heads into the playoffs, they will need performances like this. The ability to drive in runs is paramount.. Game Ball. Jose Bautista

Brett Cecil. BULLPEN . A+. Cecil was absolutely great. He has really settled in since the middle of the season. He was used over a couple innings and was lights out. He got Chris Davis in the 9th inning to pave the way for Osuna to go to work. Cecil was credited with the win. . Game Ball

Next: Kevin Pillar, Blue Jays Player of the Week

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