Exactly a month ago today, the Jays were at the top of the AL East two games ahead of the Red Sox. Fast forward to today, and Boston has clinched the AL East, the Jays and Orioles are tied for the wild card spot with Detroit a game and a half back and Seattle two games behind. As Drake would say, things are hot up in the 6ix.
The 4-0 loss to the Orioles yesterday was a really tough game to watch. They were only able to collect three hits all night and fans and players were visibly disappointed. After the game, Encarnacion said, “I want to come back here again, one more time, I don’t want to leave here like that. I want to come back here to the playoffs and give everything I’ve got to the fans.” After hearing that statement, it really kicks in that that could have been upcoming free agents, Edwin and Jose’s, last game playing at home for the Jays. Of course, no Blue Jay fan hopes for that to be the case, but this weekend will decide everything.
The Jays will look to rebound tonight in Boston for the last series of the season. This three game series is crucial; this is make or break time for the Jays. Tonight, Estrada faces off against Rick Porcello, who has pitched very well for the Red Sox this year, going into his last start with a 22-4 record and a 3.11 ERA. The Jays’ bats will have to be extra hot tonight in order to get the win. Estrada will have to be as good, if not better, then Porcello. In his last two starts, he allowed one run through a total of 14 innings and registered 15 strikeouts. Performing a similar feat tonight will certainly be difficult, as he’s facing baseball’s best offense, but not impossible.
Looking forward, the scheduled pitching matchup tomorrow is J.A. Happ vs. Eduardo Rodriguez, and on Sunday, our debatable ace Sanchez takes on last year’s Jays’ ace, David Price, in what could be the biggest game of the season. To ensure a playoff spot, the Jays have to sweep, and if they don’t, it gets more complicated. Check out this Sportsnet article if you’re interested in all the potential outcomes: http://www.sportsnet.ca/baseball/mlb/wild-card-scenarios-blue-jays-can-clinch-weekend/.
All four teams in the race are in the same mindset right now: win. Everyone is going to step up and do whatever they can to make their team win. It will come down to whoever is able to come clutch in moments when it is do or die. Moments like Bautista’s three run go-ahead drive off of Sam Dyson last year. Moments that won’t be forgotten. These last three days of the season will be emotional, teams will clinch and other teams won’t. Some fans will be filled with joy and others will be heartbroken. Let’s hope we’ll be filled with joy.
Go Jays Go!
Image courtesy of Huffington Post.