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HomeCanadian NewsBlue Jays stroll it off in playoff-like duel with Yankees

Blue Jays stroll it off in playoff-like duel with Yankees


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In navigating the bumps of what might be considered as an often irritating season of fluctuation, the Blue Jays have discovered a slightly efficient coping mechanism.

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It has labored in maintaining confidence at a excessive and competitiveness sharp. And it has them getting ready to clinching a post-season spot, after a convincing 3-2 extra-innings win over the AL East-leading New York Yankees on Tuesday evening.

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Playoff baseball anybody?

That’s what it’s beginning to really feel like round right here as Vlad Guerrero Jr. ripped a clutch base hit to left area with two out within the tenth inning, scoring Cavan Biggio from second to stroll it off.

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“This final week has been playoff video games just about for us,” Guerrero stated of the temper the Jays are creating. “It teaches us we’ve to organize ourselves we’ve to be prepared for these moments.”

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And it has additionally confirmed them one thing else. As Guerrero danced in jubilation following his sport winner, the gang of 34,307 roared its approval. And maybe it’s an indication of extra to come back.

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 “I used to be speaking to (Jose) Bautista and (Edwin) Encarnacion they usually each advised me you haven’t seen Toronto but,” Guerrero stated of two stars who’ve had the T.O. post-season experiences to the fullest.

With the win, the Jays not solely denied their division rivals an opportunity to clinch the AL East title, however they lowered their magic quantity to safe a playoff spot to 3. 

In addition they are surging nearer in direction of securing the highest spot within the AL wild-card race, shifting 2.5 video games away from Tampa Bay within the wild-card race and three in entrance of Seattle. Each have been idle on Monday.

It’s clear that’s on the Jays gamers’ minds, as effectively. Jays starter Kevin Gausman stated as a lot following a 6.1-inning outing wherein he surrendered simply two runs.

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“We all know that they should win another to have fun right here and clearly we’d prefer to win all three right here and never allow them to try this,” Gausman stated.

The mindset within the Jays clubhouse proper now and for the previous a number of weeks? Deal with each sport as its personal entity and each sequence as a must-win.

Relating to playoff-style baseball just like the staff has confronted over the previous a number of days, it may serve them slightly effectively.

And the tactical, extra-innings duel with the Yankees was the most recent instance because the Jays fought their manner out of a 2-0 deficit, compelled extras and seized the second by the hands of one in all their most dynamic bats.

“I do know that we imagine in ourselves and in our struggle it doesn’t matter what the scenario is,” shortstop Bo Bichette stated of the staff’s locked-in look. “If that scenario happens within the playoffs, I like our possibilities to compete and struggle there.”

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As a snapshot of what’s to come back, Monday’s scene in entrance of a loud crowd at a closed-roof Rogers Centre had a lot.

There was the super-hyped presence of Yankees star Aaron Decide and his pursuit of a historic 61st residence run.

There was Decide’s Bronx Bombers on the verge of clinching the AL East title.

And there was the Jays trying to additional improve their prospects of locking down not only a playoff spot (their magic quantity coming into the evening was 4) however the prime seed within the AL wild-card race.

It turned out to be fairly a battle, an attractive trailer for the drama that awaits. It started with very good pitching as  Gausman allowed a run in every of the primary two innings and nothing extra earlier than exiting within the sixth and Luis Severino answering for the Yankees.

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As potential playoff previews go — and these two groups may meet as early because the second spherical — this one was a dandy, full with a dramatic conclusion.

“We talked about it earlier than the sequence,” supervisor John Schneider stated. “Simply preserve your foot on the gasoline, preserve going, preserve grinding. To (report an enormous win) in our constructing with the gang like that … it’s been two years within the ready.”

Again to that singular deal with every passing sequence. The Jays total this three gamer towards the Yanks on a run the place they’re undefeated of their previous eight sequence (6-0-2).

“This staff is preventing and we’re taking part in good baseball,” Jays reliever David Phelps stated as his staff improved to 87-67 and boosted its report in extra-innings video games to 8-7. “We’re beginning to get all of the items working collectively and clicking on the identical time.

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“This time of yr, you get extra centered on profitable sequence. Clearly you deal with the sport at hand, however in the event you deal with every particular person three- or four-four-gamer, the aim is to have that carry over into the put up season.”

It truly is a realistic strategy, as effectively. At numerous occasions through the season, the Jays’ lack of beginning depth has  been uncovered, the bullpen has taken its lumps and bats have gathered ice. However zoning in on getting a win the subsequent day to even a sequence may serve them effectively.

“That’s been the collective outlook for lots of days and months and weeks in a row,” stated Schneider, whose staff improved to 17-8 in September. “It’s a great factor to have going into a 3, 5 or seven-game sequence for positive.

“And in the event you get to that time, every little thing is magnified. Each pitch. Each play. Each at bat. You simply attempt to proceed to do what you’ve been doing and perceive you’re in that place for a purpose and hopefully simply proceed with that mindset.”

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BULL-ISH EFFORT

Complementing starter Gausman’s glorious evening was some clutch work from the Toronto bullpen. A procession of 5 relievers made appearances, with the most important efforts coming from nearer Jordan Romano (who struck out the aspect within the ninth) and Anthony Bass (who had a pair of Ks within the tenth).

And what drama it was in that tenth, when Schneider went to Tim Mayza to alleviate Bass and promptly issued an intentional stroll to Decide to load the bases. A grounder ended it although, setting the stage for Guerrero.

GAME ON

Because the Decide present hit city, the Jays, led by starter Gausman, principally adopted Schneider’s sport plan for the person on the lookout for his historic 61st homer — proceed with warning. In order Decide slapped a single within the first, walked within the third and struck out wanting (on a horrible name from residence plate ump Laz Diaz within the sixth) and went down swinging to Yimi Garcia within the eighth … Gausman on the project:  “I don’t wish to surrender 61. Making an attempt to make good aggressive pitches. Simply don’t wish to be the reply to a trivia query.” … Gausman additionally favored Schneider’s name on the intentional stroll of Decide within the tenth. “Smartest transfer is to not let one of the best man on their staff beat you.” … The massive blast of the evening for the Jays was an enormous shot to proper area from Teoscar Hernandez within the fourth that was inches from a grand slam. The double (even with Hernandez admiring his handiwork for 4 or 5 seconds too lengthy) drove in a pair of runs and the entire Jays scoring so as … Extra on Romano: The Canadian nearer struck out the aspect within the ninth — setting down Josh Donaldson, Giancarlo Stanton and Oswaldo Cabrera.

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