Blue Jays Game 5 ALDS Preview: A Game We Never Thought Would Happen


The MLB Postseason has been nothing short of amazing so far, with three out of the four division series games have been forced into a game five situation! The Blue Jays have had no shortage of drama in their first four games of their ALDS, but now the series shifts back to Toronto this Wednesday, in a decisive Game 5 Wild Card format.

After all the debate over the decision of Price coming out of the bullpen in Game 4, the starters are set and we are onto the game five of the ALDS!

Toronto Blue Jays
Toronto Blue Jays /

Toronto Blue Jays

The Blue Jays in their last two wins have certainly looked like their regular selves at the plate again. In game three the Jays were able to work five walks (compared to 3 in the first two games). Troy Tulowitzki came up huge with a three run homer to seal the deal. In game four, the Jays came out of the gates swinging. Backed by a solid pitching performance by R.A. Dickey, the Jays would score 7 runs over the first three innings.

The early offence would allow the Jays to take a commanding lead, and knock opposing pitcher Derek Holland out early in the game. The Blue Jays have avoided elimination and knotted this series up at two a piece, nothing will be held back in this game, it’s win or go home.

Marcus Stroman (4-0 1.67 ERA)

After David Price pitched three innings in relief in game four, it will be Marcus Stroman taking the mound in game five. Stroman started in game two, after giving up some early runs in the first two innings, Stroman was able to settle in and have a solid outing.

*Marcus Stroman Game 2 ALDS

It’s amazing to think back on how this year has gone for Marcus Stroman. Personally, Marcus became my favourite player when he solidified a starting position last year. His energy and performance proved Blue Jays fans that this guy was going to be huge piece for this team moving forward. When news broke on his ACL tear in Spring Training, I didn’t know how this teams rotation was gonna survive. Well obviously a lot has happened since then.

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Stroman shattered traditional surgery recovery times, pitched in the AL East clinching game, and now will pitch in the biggest game for the Jays in the last two decades. Game five will obviously be Stroman’s biggest start of his career, however Stoman has shown us time and time again that he can pitch in these huge situation games.

Cole Hamels (13-8 3.65ERA)

Before the start of game two, I wrote a more in depth piece on Cole Hamels year/career, if you want to read a more in depth scouting report of Hamels I would start there. Hamels is set to take the mound in game five for the Rangers, making his 15th career Postseason start. Hamels had a solid start in game two in the Rogers Centre. The veteran presence on the mound defiantly paid huge dividends, as the Texas Rangers trade deadline acquisition was able to pitch seven solid innings and 114 pitches.

*Cole Hamels Game 2 ALDS  

Hamels and his lethal changeup will be no easy task for the Blue Jays offence. Hamels has pitched in four clinching games going 2-0 with was 2.05 ERA. If the Blue Jays approach the plate the way they did in games 3 & 4, the lefty Hamels might have trouble against the righty heavy Blue Jays lineup.

Player to Watch: Kevin Pillar

Pillar’s defence speaks for itself really. He is arguably the Jays’ most important/best defensive piece on their roster. Coming into the Postseason, Pillar has been his career best at the plate. He’s hitting for more contact in higher leverage situations (.296 AVG .319 wOBA), and those numbers have shown throughout the playoffs. In Game 4 Pillar had 3 hits and contributed 3 RBI’s. Throughout the season, Pillar has always hit lefties for higher contact and less power, working and getting XBH against Hamels will be vital for the bottom of the Jays rotation come game five.

Stats Provided by Fangraphs

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