So, About That Wild Card Game…

Congrats are in order for our friend NBJays! For obvious reasons, Scout will not be commenting on this game. But I will. Please remember I am a NL girl first and foremost and watched this through those glasses.

This was an intense game. The matchups at first were fantastic. Tillman gave up a homer to Joey Bats, but then Mark Trumbo came back with a bomb of his own and put the Orioles up 2-1 in early goings. When the Blue Jays came back to tied it up, I figured it would go into extra innings because that’s the way it felt it was going to go. It was too close all night. Edwin Encarnacion smashed a huge home run to bring it home for Toronto.

But that’s not the reason this game is going to be remembered. Nope. Not in the least. The reason this game is going to be remembered are for two reasons:

A Blue Jay fan threw a full beer can at Hyun-Soo Kim, nearly hitting him; and Buck Showalter decided to do the AL version of the Great Fredi Gonzalez-Craig Kimbrel Fiasco of 2013.

First things first – according to Twitter, the area that the trash throwing Blue Jays fan was sitting in were hurling more than full beer cans at the Baltimore outfielders. Reports were that several Toronto fans were screaming racial slurs at both Kim and Adam Jones. This would explain why Jones was losing his mind after Kim was nearly beaned by the can. If this is true, it’s unacceptable. Throwing at an opposing player is also unacceptable. As a Braves fan, I know our fanbase has an unfortunate history of throwing shit onto the field of play during a hotly contested wild card game, but at least we had the decency to throw our trash at umpires and after play was stopped. I sincerely hope that the ushers at Rogers Centre were able to identify this person (I don’t want to call him a fan, because a true baseball fan would never throw at a player’s head) and escort him out of the stadium. The few Jays fans I have known aren’t nasty like that.

The other major event, and the one that will be talked about for years to come, is that Buck Showalter inexplicably decided against using the best closer in baseball – and a possible Cy Young candidate! – to give the Orioles the edge in this one-and-done game. The Orioles were still very much in it. Darren O’Day pitched beautifully, and then Buck decided to put in… UBALDO.

Please, search the deepest parts of your minds and just imagine poor Scout, screaming in agony, when Ubaldo came jogging out to the mound. I mean, I was sitting on my sofa yelling at the television myself. Why would you choose a flaming dumpster fire to save your season? Why? But I’m not the only person who felt this way. Here’s but a smattering of tweets from my TL, both from baseball people and my friends alike.

And of course, there was my smart ass chiming in as well.

Anyway, we now have our ALDS set up – Toronto vs Texas. Two teams that have major beef with one another. Oh, boy. This will be fun.

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35 thoughts on “So, About That Wild Card Game…

  1. You’re forgetting the third thing we’ll be talking about. Why are you pitching to Edwin Encarnacion? The game losing run is 90 feet away at third. Load the fricking bases! At least establish a force out at home.

    From the 9th inning onwards the Orioles might as well have been managed by Robin Ventura.

    I can think of no greater insult.

    Liked by 4 people

    • I think it’s because Joey Bats was immediately behind, wasn’t he? And he’d already hit a homer in the game. I just don’t understand why you’d go with Ubaldo in a do or die. I understand he’s been good this month – his ERA for Sept was 2.80 or something like that. But Britton’s for the same period of time was 0.00. NO BRAINER.

      I don’t think even Robin would have made the choice to not go with Britton in this case. It’s hard to fault anything done with Baltimore’s incredible bullpen, except for PUTTING IN UBALDO. Hell, if Vance Worley was available it would have been more understandable. Ubaldo melts down like Three Mile Island in these situations.

      Somewhere, Craig Kimbrel is weeping.

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      • But heres the thing. They faced the same situation in the 9th and Walked Encarnacion. They had one out only so you probably still had to face Joey Bats anyway, remember the infield was playing in they weren’t at DP depth so why are you making it harder for yourself to get the out at home? Load the bases, enable a force out at home which lets you play the infield further back. You know a deep fly ball is death sentence anyway.

        I think the benefits of loading the bases outweigh the risks of facing Jose. I mean Encarnacion is a slugger he can hit home runs just as good as Bautista can.

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  2. Putting aside Showalter’s insanity regarding Britton, that was a damn entertaining game. That aspect just made it even more entertaining.

    I was definitely pulling for the Blue Jays, although the assbag fans throwing shit on the field yet again made me question that for a while. The Blue Jays are my AL team for this postseason, for purely selfish reasons. I can buy tickets to both Games 1 and 2 of the World Series in Toronto in the upper deck for roughly a third of the price combined of getting a standing room only ticket for a single WS game at Wrigley. If you haven’t already, take a look on stubhub or wherever and see how insane WS ticket prices are at Wrigley. In some cases, and even ignoring some of the “joke” prices at the extreme upper end, you could literally buy multiple brand new fucking cars for the price of a single ticket.

    My best hope of seeing a Cubs World Series game live and in person this year rests on the Blue Jays. Besides, my love of a road trip has been previously established.

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    • I have a soft spot for the Indians this year for the AL. I think I’ve said this before but my rule of thumb for playoff baseball is to root for my team(s) until they aren’t in it anymore (so, Cubs or Braves, sometimes Brewers if applicable). Then I root for the NL teams that are left unless they are the Giants or Cardinals, and the Nats under duress if they are the only ones left I suppose. If the only NL team left are the Giants or Cards, I immediately switch to the AL team regardless of who they are. I would root for Satan and his minions if they were playing against the Cards or the Giants, and that’s God’s truth.

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      • I could go for the Indians too. Would certainly be a shorter drive for me.

        But I think they are arguably the weakest team in the postseason this year. The loss of Carrasco and Salazar seems like too much for them to overcome. I wouldn’t be surprised if they got swept in the first round, but I also wouldn’t be surprised if they lost in 5 games, with Kluber winning Games 1 and 4.

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  3. I feel bad for Scout in this… as soon as Edwin hit that pitch last night, my first thought was of Scout, sitting on his couch, yelling “OMG!!! Ubaldo, you fucking SUCK!!!” at his television. In fairness to Ubaldo, though, it was one of the most efficient meltdowns I’ve ever seen… it took him just 5 pitches to cough up those 3 runs.

    And Zach Britton rotting in the bullpen was definitely a head-scratcher. Did Buck forget about Fat Fredi and Kimbrel so soon?

    Anyway, we’re off to Texas, and this series promises to be intense, to say the least. Gotta love playoff baseball.

    Liked by 2 people

    • It’s been awhile, nbjays. I want to thank you. You have shared bits and pieces about your daughter here and learning about your daughter helped me realize that I really do have ADHD. You will be shocked to know my therapist agrees. I remember you saying something about music, your daughter cannot stand silence. If I don’t have earphones or music playing, I can’t focus. I also have energy that would rival a person half my age. I sleep 3 hours and it feels like 8. I am aware there is a genetic component. My daughter has it. Looking back, I see my father had it but that generation was not diagnosed. I had coping mechanisms but as life got more stressful, my mechanisms failed me. Again, thank you. Sometimes, you have no awareness what effect your words will have on someone, even a stranger.

      In any event, best of luck to your Jays. I live minutes from Jays spring training facilities so I have a hard time staying angry at them. Stroman, Donaldson, Encarnacion etc. You can’t help it if a few fans act like jerks–as if any fan base is completely free of them. I root for an exciting series and Game 7s most of all. 🙂

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    • I walked away before Edwin even came to bat. I knew the game was over the second Buck let Ubaldo groove a fastball down the middle of the batter before. To be honest I didn’t even see the home run, I was too busy trying to get my TV to turn off.

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  4. I don’t think the problem was going to Ubaldo, the problem was in bringing him in with a runner on base. The guy is a starting pitcher, not a reliever. If you’re going to use him in extra innings, let him start the inning.

    As for Scout screaming in agony when Ubaldo was brought in, here’s what he wrote yesterday in the “Breaking Down the Postseason Matchups” post:
    “Interestingly enough there was a lot of debate over starting Ubaldo Jimenez as he has just been pitching out of his mind the past few months. Crazy right?”
    That doesn’t sound like someone dreading the sight of Ubaldo coming into the game.

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  5. There was a point in which Britton was warming up. I was there… so I don’t know if TV caught it… but it at least said on one of the score boards that he was now warming. Must have been the 9th if I’m not mistaken.

    I don’t get the throwing stuff on the field thing… not only that… after the game when everyone is going nuts people are throwing full beer cans… a lot of which DIDN’T make it to the field. So I got to drive 1.5 hours home soaked in beer. Thanks jerkwads.

    Also… that was absolutely the loudest anything I have ever heard in my life when Edwin hit that ball. The second the ball cracked the barrel the place went absolutely insane.

    Fun times.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Down here in the lower forty-eight throwing objects on the field is a criminal misdemeanor. I hope they give that idiot a blunt shovel and tell him not to come up again until he’s finished digging the rail tunnel under Eglinton Avenue.

    One commentator this morning asked whether Showalter suffered a senior moment. I would advise you, sir, that “senior moment” is no longer politically correct. The correct term is the medically recognized “cerebroflatular episode.”

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    • No fan base is immune. Even the well-behaved-to-the-point-of-boring Houston crowd had some idiot throw stuff at Carlos Gomez the last Rangers trip through. That’s not on the fan base, it’s the statistical deviant in any large crowd.

      As to racial slurs – disclaimer here. I hate it. But put on your big boy pants Adam. If it’s verbal and it rattles you, it’s fair game. Especially in 21st century America.

      As to cerebroflatulance, I resemble that remark!

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  7. I think I’m going to take a day or two away from baseball to recover from last night’s came. The game was very exhausting and may wind up being one of the better games of the post-season. Every pitch nearly gave me a heart attack and today I’m just very tired and numb. I’m sure you all can guess my thoughts about leaving a Cy Young candidate on the bench all night. As well as my thoughts on a team that collectively swung at more shit in the dirt than a drunken monkey.

    I’m still pretty livid about the beer incident. The entire section should have been tossed out if you ask me. If it wasn’t the first or even the second time this bullshit has happened in Toronto. Completely classless and inexcusable. I’ve seen a lot of Toronto fans apologizing for the actions of a few and it’s incredibly sad. Makes the entire fan-base look bad. Booing Adam Jones, making racial comments and that one gem of a person who I saw flipping him off did not help the situation. If I were Jones I would have been just as livid, if not more so. I also did not find the Odor posters very funny or classy either, but whatever, it’s just a sign I guess.

    For all the blame that Buck and Ubaldo are getting right now, let’s not forget that Manny Machado, Chris Davis, Matt Wieters, Jonathan Schoop, Hyun Soo Kim, and Adam Jones did little to nothing at the plate. No offense to Toronto pitching, but the game should not have gone 11 innings. 12 strike outs and a collective 4 for 37 is unacceptable in a playoff game.

    I was very happy for Mychal Givens, a player who had a VERY impressive performance and is still just a few years away from being a failed Short Stop.

    Rookie Donnie Hart (Who was the organization’s top minor league pitcher this very year) also had a really good day, and has a very bright future ahead of him.

    It was nice to see Darren O’Day pitch well. Injuries completely wiped out all but 2 months of his season.

    I was shocked they pulled Stroman as he looked very much in control and his sinking pitches were not only hitting the corners, but has the absolute best set of weapons to dismantle our offense. He had a big day when they really needed it.

    Chris Tillman still does not look right and probably should not have started. His command is still all over the place, (despite what Buck said in the mid-game interview), his velocity is down, and his pitches are up. His shoulder is not right, and I imagine he’ll be visiting a doctor tomorrow.

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    • For my money, the play that won that game for the Jays was not Edwin’s home run, but the Superman catch that Kevin Pillar made on Manny Machado in the 4th. If that drops, Jones scores and Manny is on 2nd, if not 3rd, and then Trumbo homers and it’s 3-1 Baltimore and we never get to extra innings.

      Like

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