|Courtesy of Yahoo|
Baseball is a game of skill, but it is also a game of luck. As much as the best hitters and pitchers will make the most of their opportunities, sometimes lucky bounces here and there become difference-makers.
To say that lady luck hasn’t been very kind to the Toronto Blue Jays as of late would be a huge understatement. And generally, anything that could go wrong for them on the field has gone wrong. That was until last night.
The Blue Jays 8-7 comeback win over the Tampa Bay Rays was unlike any game the Blue Jays have played all season long. For one, they beat the Rays at Tropicana Field (which is a rarity in itself), but they did it in such a dramatic fashion.
For weeks now, the game recaps for the Blue Jays have essentially had same lede over and over; a lackluster starting pitcher performance combined with little to no run support, and some shoddy defense or a base running gaffe sprinkled in for good measure.
But for the first time all season, the Blue Jays finally bucked the trend. Despite a lackluster pitching performance by Mark Buehrle, they overcame a seven run deficit at Tropicana Field. The Blue Jays didn’t give away any outs, and their bats came alive for the second straight game.
If you decided to tune out after learning Mark Buehrle surrendered seven runs in the third, frankly I can’t blame you. History was bound to repeat itself, as the game was setting itself up for the anemic Toronto offense to come into play again.
Overcoming a seven run deficit obviously makes for an entertaining ball game, but that’s one thing the Blue Jays games haven’t really been as of late; entertaining.
The Blue Jays have not really been all that much fun to watch, so one can only imagine if a similar negative attitude has permeated into the Blue Jays clubhouse. After going 11-21 in the first 32 games of the season, it doesn’t seem like a culture that would breed positivity.
Nearly any deficit the Blue Jays have experienced early this season has seemed insurmountable, and experiencing that day-in and day-out must have had some negative side effects on the players.
From a managerial standpoint, this game started off as a bit of a head-scratcher. John Gibbons elected to start Henry Blanco over Mark Buehrle, which was a bit of a perplexing decision, but perhaps Gibby thought Mark Buehrle would work better with Blanco.
In the end, it worked out as mid-game defensive replacement provided the go-ahead home run. And who thought that Mark DeRosa’s pinch hit two-run home run in the fifth inning would be the rallying point for the Blue Jays? Because I certainly didn’t.
Although John Gibbons made some questionable moves prior to and during the game, ultimately it all panned out. He really did maximize his three-man bench and used it to the fullest, utilizing all position players in some shape or form in that game.
Of course another person who had a big hand in the Blue Jays comeback was Yunel Escobar. It’s kind of funny that Joe Maddon brought him in as a late-game defensive replacement because Escobar proceeded to miss a routine grounder and then what appeared to be an inning-ending double play ball.
There’s no question that was a huge win for the Blue Jays, and it was the first step which will hopefully be the Blue Jays ending a 17 series losing streak at Tropicana Field dating back to 2007.
Yes, the last time the Blue Jays won a series in Tampa Bay, T-Pain’s “Buy U A Drank” was playing on your radio and Spider-Man 3 was out in movie theatres. That’s a damn long time.
Aside from the starting pitching, it really was a full-team effort to
pull out that win. And it’s games like these that show the true
potential of this squad. After a comeback like that, one hopes this was truly the turning point for the 2013 Toronto Blue Jays.