With just three game remaining in the regular season, the Toronto Blue Jays shipped up to Boston to play their ultimate – and by far most important – series of 2016. After having played 159 games, the Jays found themselves in a tie with the Baltimore Orioles for the wild card position, with Detroit and Seattle in hot pursuit. Win in Boston, and the Jays could control their own destiny. Lose, and the Jays would be at the mercy of the out-of-town scoreboard.
After waiting out a 27-minute rain delay, the Jays and Red Sox finally got down to business. The Red Sox got to Marco Estrada early, making him work through a thirty-four pitch first that included a walk, wild pitch and a RBI single to David Ortiz to give Boston an early 1-0 lead.
Through the first four innings, the Jays’ recent offensive struggles continued. Though they managed four hits and a walk off of Cy Young candidate Rick Porcello but, as has happened far too often in September, were unable to capitalize on their opportunities.
What transpired next serves perfectly as a microcosm of the Jays’ 2016 campaign.
Devon Travis led off the fifth inning with a double to centre field, subsequently scoring the Jays first run after a single by Ezequiel Carerra and Josh Donaldson sacrifice fly. After Edwin Encarnacion flied out, Jose Bautista stepped up to the plate with one on and two out and jacked what might was, in that moment, the Jays biggest home run of the season:
And then, like so many other times this season, it fell apart at the seams.
With Joe Biagini into the game, a lead-off double followed by a costly error to Russell Martin led to the Red Sox tying the game at three runs apiece with just one out and a runner on base. With Big Papi at the plate, John Gibbons called upon lefty Brett Cecil, who promptly gave up a go-ahead home run to Ortiz, from which the Jays would not recover.
Top Play of the Game by WPA
Down by two run with one out and a runner on base in the bottom of the fifth, David Ortiz – who is having just an incredible final season – put a Brett Cecil pitch over the right field wall to give the Red Sox a 5-3 lead and the top play of the game by WPA (.283).
Bottom Play of the Game by WPA
The Jays rallied in the top of the eighth, when a one-out Kevin Pillar walk and subsequent double by Devon Travis brought Carerra to the plate, representing the go-ahead run with a man on third. Carerra couldn’t get the job done, flying out to the short stop for the bottom play of the game by WPA (-.121).
Wake Me Up When September Ends
As has been the trend far too often this month, the Jays failed to take advantage of scoring opportunities, going 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position and stranding 13 men on base, while the bullpen failed once again to hold the lead. One hopes that as the calendar flips over to October, the Jays’ fortunes too will turn.
The Jays will try once again to help themselves secure a wild card berth when J.A. Happ takes the mound in search of his twenty-first win of the season. He’ll face Eduardo Rodriguez in what is truly a must-win situation for the Jays.
Lead Photo: David Butler II – USA Today Sports
1 comment on “Recap: Red Sox 5, Blue Jays 3; Ortiz Haunts Jays Again”
this is very much like 1987…though back then the team they had to beat to get into the post-season, was the team they were playing. Boston has nothing to lose…they could rest their starters, or some of them….which might give the Jays an opportunity…but they probably won’t…if we are out because of that, it is deserved….but I then hope that the Bosox suck a$$ in the playoffs…..