What The Jays Did Wrong After Clinching The AL East: Never Take The Foot Off The Gas!
Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer) Follow @stokes_hunter21
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I take you back to Wednesday Sept.30th when the Jays had a slim lead against the Royals for the #1 seed in the American League. Their magic number was also down to one game in the AL East. The object was to clinch with a win in either game of a doubleheader at Camden Yards that evening.
The club responded with an absolute speed-bagging of the home squad – clubbing them 15 – 2 in front of a large Canadian crowd that had made the trip from North of the border in the 1st game. What they did in the next 24 hours might have actually sealed their playoff doom.
Since it was a Division clincher, John Gibbons used the biggest scrub lineup for the next two games in Baltimore – including game 2 of the twin bill, and the following day game.
Look, I get the players could have used a chance to celebrate. Even though a pennant win is so far less significant than it as 21 years ago, the last time Toronto made the playoffs – winning their 2nd straight World Series Title.
That was when only four teams qualified for the postseason, and not ten as it stands now. Okay. are you ready for this lineup..
Dalton Pompey, Cliff Pennington, Ezequiel Carrera, Chris Colabello (only decent guy), Matt Hague (who), Josh Thole, Munenori Kawasaki, Darwin Barney and Jonathan Diaz. They had no chance against the O’s in game two fielding and hitting that team.
The Jays lost the game and Kansas City won their game that night to pull within 1 game of them Here is where I blame the plan. Because the club had probably been on a champagne bender all night Thursday, they fielded the exact same guys on Thursday afternoon, with the exception of Ryan Goins coming out to play the second half of the game at SS.
Toronto lost a rain-soaked affair 6 – 4 to Baltimore for a second straight loss. Kansas City won again, and drew even with the Jays. No worries right, the Canadian Birds held the tiebreaker for the #1 seed vs the Royals.
Except for that Kansas City won their series versus the Twins, and the Jays lost their series vs the Rays.
If I were a player like Josh Donaldson or Jose Bautista, I would have had a player meeting, stating I would have liked to keep playing on the Wednesday night even after the clinch. Either that, or maybe not put themselves in a position where they could have played Thursday.
I am still waiting for the first club to just say ‘no’ to a champagne celebration over anything. It might be the old school philosophy in me. But I would never be pumped about just winning a Division these days.
To make matters worst, John Gibbons caved into a Mark Buehrle request to etch out 200 Innings for a 15th consecutive season by starting him on the Sunday – after throwing 6.2 IP on the Friday night. He was litup for 8 Runs before he could throw an inning. Since he threw 45 pitches on that outing, he was not even added to the playoff roster.
Hey Jays..Maybe you should have let Buehrle possibly continue on Friday night when you had an 8 – 4 lead in the bottom of the 7th? He had only thrown 103 pitchers, which he is capable of throwing a lot more. Isn’t it a chance he could have completed the game still, or netted his 8.2 IP?
Had you made another inning with him, you could have pulled him, and maybe gave him a token inning on the Sunday – in the later innings mind you. He was 2 innings short though, and threw even more pitches to warmup for the Start on Sunday – instead of coming in from the Bullpen.
Having said that, since it is accepted across the league with other teams, I am not faulting the Toronto brass about one of the two games. However, to tank two games, and then put your #2 or #3 through a grueling 148 pitches over the weekend is was not wise.
I may also be the only to have this thought process, but hey, this is what I do.
Toronto might have taken down the #1 seed had it worked out differently, and whose to say they would not have steam rolled the Astros.
If the Jays can muster three straight wins, and end up meeting the Astros instead of the Royals, then all of the article I just wrote is a moot point. But I highly doubt that they will win 3 straight against the Texas club.
With the majority of the squad coming back next year, perhaps they will take on a different tact after clinching.
Oh yeah.. David Price and Mark Buehrle are Free Agents.
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Posted on October 10, 2015, in Playoffs and tagged AL East, alds, alex anthopoulos, baltimore orioles, ben revere, Camden Yards, Chris Colabello, cliff pennington, Darwin Barney, david price, edwin encarnacion, Ezequiel Carrera, houston astros, john gibbons, Jonathan Diaz, jose bautista, josh donaldson, josh thole, kansas city royals, Mark buerhle, Matt Hague, minnesota twins, munenori kawasaki, Ryan Goins, tampa bay rays, toronto blue jays, troy tulowitzki. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on What The Jays Did Wrong After Clinching The AL East: Never Take The Foot Off The Gas!.