Opposing pitchers on the wrong side of Blue Jays history
Ubaldo Jimenez – AL Wild Card 2016
In an exciting back and forth game during the 2016 AL Wild Card, the Blue Jays were trying to put together another playoff run after the “all in” 2015 season but were now under new management in general manager Ross Atkins and President/CEO Mark Shapiro.
At the Rogers Centre, the Blue Jays hosted the Baltimore Orioles in a game that required extra innings under the dome, with each team heading into free baseball territory with two runs apiece. All was silent until the 11th inning, with Orioles pitcher Brian Duensing leading off the inning. He retired outfielder Ezequiel Carrera and was replaced with veteran Ubaldo Jimenez, with the right-hander giving up back-to-back singles before leaving a fastball over the plate for slugger Edwin Encarnacion, who promptly sent a no-doubter over the left-field wall and sent the Jays into the ALCS for a second consecutive season.
The biggest controversy out of this game was that Zach Britton, the Orioles closer, was kept on the sidelines even with the playoffs on the line. The Blue Jays didn’t complain, as Encarnacion played the hero and trotted around the bases with his signature right arm in the air for all to see.
After the Wild Card game, Jimenez spent one more season with Baltimore, posting 6.81 ERA through 31 appearances and never appeared in a Major League game after the 2017 campaign. He attempted a comeback in 2020 with the Colorado Rockies on a MiLB deal but was released by the club in mid-July and retired shortly after.
For his career, Jimenez finished with a 4.34 ERA through 329 outings, with the best years of his career coming with the Colorado Rockies in the mid-2000s. He made one All-Star appearance in 2010 and finished third in Cy Young voting that season.