Well, I did not think it would come down to this. Last weekend I thought maybe Mark Buehrle made his last start of the season. He has struggled through the last few months of the season but still pitched fairly well. He made a start on Friday and picked up 6.2 innings of work. That meant that he only needed 2 innings to reach his goal of 200. On only a single day of rest Mark wanted to go out and complete his goal. It turned out that John Gibbons was all for this idea. So, today marked Marks 32 start of the season and potentially his last of his career.
The fairly tale ending did not happen for Mark though. The Rays piled on top of Mark quickly. Ryan Goins committed a rare fielding error to open up the game as Brandon Guyer reached on the play. Mikie Mahtook reached base on a fielder’s choice for the 1st out. Asdrubal Cabrera hit a single to put 2 runners on base. Steven Souza reached on an Edwin Encarnacion fielding error to allow another run to cross. James Loney hit a fly ball for the 2nd out of the inning with the bases still loaded. Tim Beckham walked for a free RBI keeping the bases loaded with two outs. Joey Butler smashed the 1st grand slam of the season for the Rays. Luke Maile and Brandon Guyer had back to back hits to mark the end of the quest for 200 for Buehrle. Ryan Tepera entered the game to pitch for the Blue Jays. Mike Mahtook smashed the 2nd home run of the inning for the Rays to deep left field. Evan Longoria ground out to mercifully bring the inning to an end.
Drew Hutchison entered the 3rd inning to pitch for the Blue Jays.
The Blue Jays got on the board in the top of the 4th with a lead off solo home run by Chris Colabello.
In the bottom of the 5th inning Steven Souza led off with a single and advanced to 2nd on a wild pitch. James Loney singled putting runners on the corners. Another wild pitch allowed a run to score. Tim Beckham struck out for the first out of the inning. Joey Butler blasted his 2nd home run of the game to score 2 more runs. Liam Hendriks came in and picked up the next two outs.
In the 6th inning the Blue Jays made a myriad of defensive changes. Josh Donaldson, Edwin Encarnacion, Jose Bautista, Ben Revere, and Russell Martin were all replaced by Jonathan Diaz, Cliff Pennington, Ezequiel Carrera, Justin Smoak, and Josh Thole. Aaron Loup came in to pitch for the Blue Jays and picked up a clean inning.
In the bottom of the 7th inning the Blue Jays made more defensive changes. Troy Toluwitzki, Ryan Goins, and Kevin Pillar were replaced by Munenori Kawasaki, Dalton Pompey, and Darwin Barney. Aaron Loup picked up his 4th out of the game before Aaron Sanchez came in to pitch the rest of the inning.
Jeff Francis came in to pitch the 8th inning for the Blue Jays and was able to retire the side in order.
Enny Romero came in to pitch the top of the 9th for the Rays. Dalton Pompey hit a lead off double. Darwin Barney smashed a two run shot to deep left center field. Munenori Kawasaki followed that up with a single to left field. Jonathan Diaz picked up an infield single to put runners on 1st and 2nd with no outs. Cliff Pennington popped up to right field for the 1st out. Ezequiel Carrera reached on a fielder’s choice but Justin Smoak lined out to end the game.
- The obvious bullet here is Mark Buehrle. He failed in his bid for 200 IP. He only recorded 2 outs and was shellacked for 8 runs. The score card says none were earned but that may change. With already a huge lead and the AL East secured I personally would have left Mark in. He didn’t have much help with 2 error committed in the inning. Home field advantage in the post season was at stake but it seemed like a long shot with how quickly the Rays piled on the runs.
- Edwin Encarnacion finished shy of the 40 HR mark by just a single blast. He picked up 39 HR, 111 RBI, and 94 R on the season. Not too shabby.
- Jose Bautista was able to hit the 40 HR plateau though. He finished the season with 40 HR, 114 RBI, and 108 R. Jose was also able to pick up 110 total walks on the season which is good for 3rd in MLB.
- Last of the mashers is Josh Donaldson who reached 40 HR earlier in the season and was able to reach 41 in total. He also picked up 123 RBI and 122 R.