After struggling their way to the ALCS by defeating the Baltimore Orioles in the AL wild-card game and sweeping the Texas Rangers, the Blue Jays fell victim to a dominant performance from the Indians pitching crew, which ended in a 3-0 Game 5 loss.
The Jays may have been talented enough to advance to the World Series, but they did not play well enough to advance to the final level, shut out by the Indians twice and scoring a total of just eight runs in five games
If you want to be a championship team, you can’t score eight runs in five games. You just can’t do that and succeed. And if Carlos Carrasco and Danny Salazar had been there, yeah, then you’re losing to their best. But the Jays couldn't hit Josh Tomlin, Dan Otero, Ryan Merritt, or Jeff Manship. Hardly the best of the Indians staff. The only area that Toronto performed to championship level was in the bullpen.
“I’m proud of these guys as well as the coaching staff,” Gibbons said of his speech. “I know the organization is proud of them. Hopefully the fans are just as proud. They put on a good show. We just got beat in the series, plain and simple.
“When the fans chanted that even after we lost . . . it’s difficult to smile after a game like that, but they were incredible,” catcher Russell Martin said. “Great fans. To react like that, even in defeat, I tip my hat to them.”
But after another rally fell short in the ninth inning, after the loud chants for Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion, and then for the whole team as 49,000-plus broke out in a funereal “Let’s Go, Blue Jays,” we still hold on and support this team, we never give up.
The question looming over the whole scene was: how many of them will be back? Encarnacion said Toronto is his first choice in free agency. He also said he was “really sad,” because he “doesn't know what’s going to happen.”
Bautista said much the same thing. Manager John Gibbons said of his two sluggers: “They’re good guys.” As he was holding back tears. “I hope they’re back,” he said.
Millions of Blue Jays fans feel exactly the same way.
So where does this leave us? Its kind getting boring. And that’s fine. It works for them. But for the general interest of baseball, we probably just watched the last of the Blue Jays we were just getting used to.
They’re probably not showing up next year, even if the same players do. The Blue Jays might be back in the ALCS next season, but this memorable collection of talent will be in a different place.
The Blue Jays were never going to have the same blueprint, the same DNA, and we knew it. We knew it last year when they were flipping bats and we knew it this year when they were popping off.
I think they got way ahead of themselves. And they tried as a team, they tried to make it for the city, but they went at it the wrong way. They did not play the game right.
Hopefully next year it will be different. I will never give up on any of my teams but sometimes we fans get very frustrated with constant disappointment.
Till next year Blue Jays.