Safe to Say, the Blue Jays Threw the First Punch in this Series – ALDS Game 1 Recap 2016

Texas fans started off the game booing Bautista, and they ended the game booing their own team.

The wild-card game was quite the heart attack, and this game was the exact opposite. If anything, it was an adrenaline rush! From the first pitch I was on my feet, and at one point I was jumping up and down (to be honest, more then one point).

On October 6, 2016, our Toronto Blue Jays started the first game of a five game series against the Texas Rangers. But this isn’t just any other series, this is the American League Division Series. Sound familiar?

The game started off pretty normal, which was surprising. No bench brawls (even throughout the entire game), no punches (thank goodness), and no beer throwing (speaking of beer throwing, read this). Although, throughout the first 3 innings, there were 3 plays that were challenged. All of the calls were upheld and remained the same call that was originally called on the field. All postseason MLB clubs are restricted to two play reviews per series, and since non of the calls were upheld, that does not affect the two reviews they own.

In the third inning, Carrera got on base with one out. And with two out, and one on, Donaldson hits a double to score Carrera… and it’s 1-0 Blue Jays! The Rangers challenged the play at second, as Donaldson stretched his single into a double, but the call was upheld and he remained at second (but not for very long!). Cole Hamels – Rangers starting pitcher – boggled the ball as it was hit near him, and this resulted in an infield single for Edwin Encarnacion. Joey Bats does his job and scores the MVP, runners on first and second, still two out for Russel Martin. Martin walks on a 3-1 count to load the bases for Tulo! Tulo absolutely BLASTS a shot into right field and clears the bases, the first one ever in BlueJays postseason franchise history! The third inning ended up being about 30 minutes long, and Hamels had thrown 42 pitches in just that inning. Blue Jays up 5-0 in the third!

Marco Estrada had a 12 pitch bottom of the third, and was on FIRE!!

Melvin Upton Jr. was the leadoff hitter in the top of the 4th inning for the Blue Jays. Upton sent a homer deep to left field, extending the lead to 6-0! After Carrera, Travis comes up to bat with one out. Playing shortstop, Elvis Andrus makes an odd throw to first baseman Moreland and Devon Travis ends up with a one out infield single. As Josh Donaldson is in the batters box, Lucroy (Rangers starting catcher) has a passed ball go in-between him, and Travis steals second base… scoring position for the MVP! Donaldson rips a single to right field and scored Travis, 7-0 for the good guys! After this happened, Hamels left the ball game with 5 er.

In the bottom of the fourth, Tulo made a spectacular throw to get the final out of the inning.

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Zooming into the top of the 9th inning, Donaldson and Edwin single back to back, and who other then Jose Bautista to score them… with yet ANOTHER THREE RUN HOME RUN!!!

In the bottom of the ninth, Estrada gives up his first and only run of the night, and Gibby replaces him with Teppera. Marco pitched a gem of a ballgame and you couldn’t have asked for anything more. “When you’re on the road, that’s something you want to do is quiet the fans, and I think we did a pretty good job,” Estrada said. “Obviously, we don’t want any momentum on their side, and scoring seven runs by the fourth — that’s going to keep a lot of people quiet.” He finished with 8.1ip, 4h, 1r, 0BB, 6k’s.

“In reality, we were due to break out,” Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. “I thought we worked Cole really tough, because he’s one of the elite pitchers in the game. That third inning, we made him work and got a couple of big, big hits. … But that’s one thing we do even when we’re struggling with at-bats — we make starters work.”

Jose Bautista sure was a happy camper after today’s game. “I feel happy that we won the ballgame,” Bautista said. “Coming off having to claw our way back into the playoffs and the Wild Card Game and putting up a lot of runs early feels good, especially when you’re backing a start like Marco had today.”

This game is what I consider to be a glimpse into the future of the postseason for the Blue Jays. There are many differences from this ball club to the 2015 one, but it’s safe to say we should be very confident with this team. Last year, after the Jays clinched, we didn’t play anymore meaningful regular season games. This season however, we didn’t know our fate until the very last pitch of game 162. We are coming into the postseason with a bang, and I sure think it’ll stay with us until the very last out of the World Series.

Alyssa Cohen

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