Toronto – Whatever happens from here on out, it’s always been an incomparable season for the Toronto Blue Jays. Extending playoffs or, capturing the eighth post-berth in franchise history, was a waterfall moment, a young team transitioning from club-on-the-rise to club-to-rise, completed at the shelter of Sahleen Field at Buffalo, home alone Without even playing.
At one point in these tumultuous epidemic days, barstorming the entire 60-game schedule was a real opportunity for Blue Jays. Instead, after free agent Ad Hyun Jin Rue silenced the New York Yankees over a seven-dominant innings in a 4-1 victory on Thursday, as they celebrated on the same triple-a field, many of their young stars traveled this route, empty for the cardboard cutouts of their most loyal fans.
It can be fun at best times. Amidst the worldwide devastation of COVID-19, there is no joy in the fight for normalcy. That’s why this year Blue Jays can wait until all the big movie discussions are over to say how much the 162-game schedule applies.
“We paint a picture of bringing a successful attitude and mentality to Toronto and to the big-league level, and what is going to make this unique is to be consistent and to do so in the years to come,” Cavan Biggio said. “In my mind, this is just the beginning of it. We’m going to enjoy it and have some fun with it.”
The Blue Jays (30-27) could still hold the Yankees (32-25) in second place in the AL East or overtake Cleveland (33-24 in the seventh (third tiebreaker)), but they finished eighth and face AL East Champion Tampa Bay on Tuesday at Tropicana Field. Race.
They went 4-6 on their nemesis, separating 10 games by just four runs.
“Pressure off, honestly,” manager Charlie Montoya said of his playoff outlook. ”Go out and play and have fun and have fun. That’s what we’re going to do, we’re going to enjoy every minute of it. We know what is coming and it is not so easy but good. The whole time was not so easy. ”
This playoff berth has some loose parallels to the club’s first AL East title in 1985, indicating age for the young core. By then it was George Bell, Jesse Barfield, Tony Fernandez and Dave Stebb, now it was Vladimir Guerrero Jr., who started scoring solo home run, Biggio and Bo Bichet, double in the third double. Leading along with Teoscar Hernandez and Lourdes Gurrial Jr.
The ’85 team played the normal schedule, won 99 games and had to deal with the exhibition stadium’s durery, the current team had to play by protocols, which became a growing limitation so that the game could continue through the epidemic.
When the Blue Jays assembled for summer camp in Toronto, Montoyo told his players that teams that work together and follow health guidelines thrive, but the wings fall off. In the midst of a long search for a makeshift home, a three-week road trip to start the season, COVID precautions postponed the entire series and the bevy of injuries, which could very easily wilt.
Montoya, who has not seen his family since July, said “they never complained.” “Initially homelessness, playing on the road, tough losses, masks you have to wear, hotels – they never complained. They have their minds set on approaching this moment right now. So I’m very proud of this team and they did as I was asked to do. They really did. “
Contributions came from 21 different players and 28 different pitchers, including two innings logged by the shortstop Santiago Espinal.
Alejandro Kirk, a 21-year-old catcher used at DH in the preview of the Lefty lineup for the post-season, added to his growing legend with a two-run double in sixth place and took the lead. Pinch-hitter Gary Sanchez almost eliminated a 4-1 deficit in the eighth over as he loaded the bases and struck out two, with Randall Grichuk running the ball over the wall in the middle.
Rafael Dolis closed things in on the ninth and Blue Jays poured into the field in ecstasy, avoiding the traditional dog pile on the mound for hi-fives, t-shirt pull-ons and finally hugs.
“It’s obviously a little weird but it doesn’t take away from the protocols and the excitement and energy we have from the game,” Biggio said. “It’s a little bit, I think you can say, awkward now hey know, should we pile the dog, should we not, or whatever.
Guerrero, who has had three hits and strong defensive plays in his most rounded games this year, tied himself to a headband with a mount camera to take part in the trial, then jumped into Montoya’s zoom call before shouting “Aw we did”.
– SportsNet (PortsNet) September 25, 2020
On the field, Guerrero said, “I wanted to hug all my teammates,” laughing all the time.
Montoya added: “I think it would have been great to have so many people in Toronto. This success is for them and for Canada as well. ”
Rue, who underpinned development within the Young Core, posted consistency in the rotation that did not throw the pitch in the seventh inning until Thursday. He was last hit in the left arm by the Yankees, but this time he relied heavily on his slider and changeup as he combined five pitches and kept them balanced.
“Having a good outing today is very important, because last year and even this year, the Yankees had my number,” said by Rue commentator Byron Lee. “I know and throughout the game, I know better and coming up with it with this kind of performance is definitely heavy on my end.”
The playoff opener is with Taiwan Walker and, if necessary, Matt Schumacher, Rue is in line to follow him.
“It’s worth it when you have an ace that you can run out in the first game of the series,” said his teammate Swingman Ross Stripping with the Dodgers last year and now, “and for 100 pitches he knows he’s going to work his tail, and we have a good chance to win Game 1 Grant, this is a huge deal in the three-game series. “
The Blue Jays have three more regular-season games to go against the visiting Baltimore Orioles. Activated Nate Pearson, who has been ruled out of the injury list, is out and will be closely scrutinized by Jordan Romano for throwing the bullpen on Friday. Rowdy Tellez will continue to recover from his knee injury, but he does not appear to be ready by Tuesday.
Either way, on Sunday they will leave Sahlen Field for the last time this year, not to go home, but to move on.
“We feel we have such an advantage at Buffalo,” Stripping said. “You can say the Yankees don’t like to be here. (Masahiro) Tanaka Buffalo (Wednesday) seemed to want to do nothing with the pitch at night. So I think we have a little bit of an advantage and we want to start the playoff series here. We are ready wherever we go. ”
The Blue Jays got themselves an open ticket in the post-season. How long it lasts is their choice.