Heartbreak. The Toronto Blue Jays dropped game two of the ALDS deep into extra innings on Friday, and now head to Texas needing to pull off three straight victories. After a turbulent opening inning, Marcus Stroman helped to calm the seas for the Blue Jays and turned in a fantastic playoff debut. Toronto failed to capitalize on multiple opportunities, however, which left them in a place where fractions of inches and controversy were enough to tip the game.
- This game was a wild ride from the word ‘go’. A double off the glove of Jose Bautista would soon be brought around on a single, and if it hadn’t been for the heads-up defense of Colabello, that first inning could have ended much worse than 2-0. On a ground ball to 1st base with one out, Colabello quickly tagged the bag, then identified Prince Fielder hung up between third and home. Fielder, more buffalo than gazelle, couldn’t escape.
- Josh Donaldson quickly unleashed a blast to centre field, putting the Blue Jays back on the board and bringing some calm to the game.
- Rougned Odor would continue to be a thorn in Toronto’s side. After taking a walk, he wisely advanced all the way to third base on a ground ball where he’d score on a brilliant slide around Russell Martin.
- After Toronto knotted it up 3-3 in the 2nd, Marcus Stroman began to heat up. Credit is due to Troy Tulowitzki, too, who recorded Stroman’s 12th out in a row with a highlight reel play at shortstop to end the 5th.
- Kevin Pillar and his speed would turn a fortunate blooper down the right field line into a double, and after a fantastic bunt from Ryan Goins, Pillar would be brought in by Ben Revere to push Toronto ahead 4-3.
- John Gibbons left Brett Cecil in to face Mike Napoli, an OK decision given their history. Unfortunately, Napoli hacked a single to the opposite field and against the shift, evening the score up in the 8th. The final out of the inning, a pickoff-turned-rundown, left Cecil with a calf injury. Stay tuned for updates on that.
- Toronto was 90 feet away in the 12th, with two stolen bases from Dalton Pompey putting him to third with two outs. A more productive at-bat from Russell Martin with Pompey on first and none out could have tipped that inning early on. I shouldn’t go without mentioning a defensive play in the top of the 13th, either, where Ryan Goins made an incredible throw back against his body to end the frame.
- Strangest scene of the game? After Josh Donaldson launched a foul ball down the left field line and watched it drift into the stands, he and reliever Keone Kela exchanged words. Both benches cleared, and Jose Bautista looked just about ready to brawl. Did Kela expect Donaldson to run the bases on the foul?…
- Edwin Encarnacion JUST missed a home run to end the 13th. Hit to anywhere other than the deepest part of the ballpark, that ball was gone.
- Jump to the 14th inning, and as Rougned Odor rounded second base, Bautista threw in behind him. It appeared that Odor’s cleats may have jumped off the base while the tag was applied, but it was deemed inconclusive on review. Feel free to debate away with this one. Odor would score the Rangers’ fifth run soon after. DeShields then made it 6-4 after beating out a routine grounder. I think we’ve all seen enough Rougned for one season.