This week’s episode of the Jays’ Nest Podcast wraps up the 2015 regular season with a look at the season that was. We talk about the series against the Rays and the decision to let Mark Buehrle go for his 15th year of 200 innings and what it means for their efforts to gain home field advantage for the playoffs. We look at the postseason opponent, the Texas Rangers and our initial reactions to this matchup. We also discuss the highlights of the 2015 season. And, we wrap up with our weekly awards, as always.
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We opened our discussion with an examination of the decision behind letting Mark Buehrle make the final start of the season. The idea behind it was to allow him the chance to reach 200 innings for the 15th consecutive time. Buehrle very well may be retiring and this one last chance for him was a classy move on the part of manager, John Gibbons. Unfortunately for the team, it did not work out. Buehrle didn’t even get through the inning. What was supposed to be a historical outing to put a feather in his cap turned into a Matt Boyd type of outing.
Toronto Blue Jays
The outing led many to voice their displeasure with the club seeming to not be pressing for the best record in the American League and the home field advantage that comes with it. Instead, folks got the sense that the Blue Jays were quite content to risk losing games in favor of sentimental moves like that. Or, they were resting players. Regardless, some folks were rather upset with the lack of apparent effort to gain that home field advantage.
We looked at whether or not having this advantage was worth stressing about. The Blue Jays have the advantage in the ALCS already. They also have it for the World Series, should they get that far. So, really we’re talking about the ALCS. And, the format of it may not exactly dictate that there is that much of an advantage. Think about it. The format is as follows 2-3-2. So, depending on how things go, the two extra games may not even come into play. In this day and age of advanced analytics, do we really think the Blue Jays haven’t thought about this advantage and whether it is worth forgoing some of the above decisions?
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From there, we looked at the possibility of facing the Texas Rangers and how that would look for the Blue Jays. We looked at which players we should be careful of. With Cole Hamels and Yovanni Gallardo in the rotation, the Blue Jays could be in tough. And, the Rangers are coming into the playoffs hot, which can always lead to trouble. We looked at how these two teams match up. We talked about how the Blue Jays lineup would stack up with Troy Tulowitzki and who would man first base.
From there, we looked back at our favorite moments from the 2015 regular season. Obviously, the Trade Deadline was a turning point for this team. But, there were some great individual performances. From Kevin Pillar‘s highlights that started with his robbing of a home run to Devon Travis Opening Day performance to Jose Bautista‘s at bats against the Orioles, there were certainly many moments to choose from.
We wrapped up the show with our weekly awards. The Blue Jays Hitter of the Week went to the Bringer of Chicken Wings. The Pitcher of the week was split among our panel. As always, we welcome your thoughts. Feel free to leave a comment below.