Blue Jays ALDS MVP: Jose Bautista


MLB doesn’t actually name MVPs for the division series but here at Jays Journal we do. The Blue Jays just pulled off one of the most impressive comebacks in baseball history. They were down 0-2 in the series and become the 3rd MLB team to overcome such a deficit in a 5 game series. Not only that, but the win in game 5 was one of the most intense, emotionally charged and wacky games ever played. Unless you’ve been living under a rock for a few days, none of that is news to you. There were 4 or 5 reasonable candidates for series MVP and all of their contributions were integral to the team’s comeback.

The Blue Jays scored 26 runs in the series. Chris Colabello had a home run, two doubles, three singles, and a walk in 16 ABs. Edwin Encarnacion had a home run, a double, four singles and 5 walks in 18 ABs. Josh Donaldson had two home runs, two doubles, two singles and three walks in 18 ABs. Kevin Pillar had a home run, two doubles and 4 singles in 21 ABs. Jose Bautista had the biggest hit/home run by a Blue Jay in 22 years. He added another home run, two doubles, two singles and a walk in 22 ABs.

Defensively, Kevin Pillar, Ryan Goins and Josh Donaldson deserve special mention. Pillar made another sensational grab in centre. Ryan Goins had the series and season hanging on his glove a few times. His defence made up for his terrible showing at the plate. Donaldson showed once again that he might be the best at bare-handing ground balls.

The Blue Jays allowed 19 runs as a team. The starters posted a 1.00 WHIP and 3.48 ERA. R.A Dickey was excellent in his short start. He went 4.2 IP with 5 hits, 1 earned run, no walks and three Ks. Marcus Stroman, chosen over Price for the additional start, threw 13 IP, allowing 5 earned, 14 walks/hits and 9 Ks. At their darkest moment, Marco Estrada gave the team the start they needed to turn things around. He went 6.1 IP with 1 earned, 5 hits, no walks and 4 Ks.

Aside from LaTroy Hawkins, the bullpen was great. They had a 2.37 ERA and 0.95 WHIP. Aaron Loup sat down all the lefties he faced (in high leverage situations). Aaron Sanchez was a terror against righties. Roberto Osuna was Rivera-esque with 5.2 IP, 0 walks/hits and 6 Ks.

Osuna, Estrada, Bautista, Stroman and Encarnacion all were deserving candidates for series MVP. The Blue Jays’ comeback and series win would have likely have been impossible without what each of them accomplished. Take away Osuna’s relief and the Jays’ season is probably over, take away Estrada’s start and the season is probably over…etc.

Most Valuable Hitter: Jose Bautista

Most Valuable Pitcher: Roberto Osuna

Series MVP: Jose Bautista

The selections are likely to be controversial, especially Osuna as most valuable pitcher. Great arguments can be made for both Estrada and Stroman in this category. But consider this: he closed out all three Jays’ wins (one of which was a 5 out save). He had the highest win probability added on the team in the series. Yes, above Bautista (.426 for Osuna and .418 for Bautista). He did all of that without really breaking a sweat. But Bautista put the team on his shoulders and refused to let the season be tarnished by the throw back to the mound snafu. He defied fate with that swing. It looked as if events had been conspiring against the Jays the whole series. It seemed as if the Jays were bound to repeat the destiny of the 2012/2013 Maple Leafs. Sure they Jays had tied things up before his homer but surely some other misfortune was to strike and dash hopes nationwide. Bautista’s home run said, to hell with all of that.

Blue Jays’ ALDS WPA:

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Next: Osuna's Save Reflects Superb Rookie Season

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