I write this with such a heavy heart. Waking up to the news of Jose Fernandez death was a shock and you almost couldn’t believe it. Not that José Fernandez? Isn’t he like 24? My brain was flooded with questions like this but as I scrolled through my Twitter feed it became clear that the answer I would get was the one I didn’t want.
It was all kinda surreal. He was 24. You know who’s 24? My baby brother. The brother who I was going to see instead of watching the game live. During my long commute to Downtown instead of thinking about the game I was missing I could only think about Fernandez, his family, his girlfriend and unborn daughter, and his teammates, and found myself crying on the bus.
He played in the NL, the Jays weren’t facing their division this year, and the Marlins weren’t leading their divisions so you could easily forget about the team. But easily forget about Fernandez, that was impossible. As a Tumblr favourite it is easy to find a GIF of him, smiling, joking around, and even quarrelling with opposing teams. But beyond the GIFs was a spectacular pitcher than was the ace of his team despite being only 24 years old. We all heard the jokes that he would probably be a Yankee in 2018, along with Bryce Harper, and as a Jays fan the joke probably didn’t land as well. And for the baseball world to lose such a young talent and personality, it’s not fair and breaks my heart.
And my while heart hurts to thinking about Fernandez, the game that he loved and risked his life to play continues to be played, including the Jays’ third game of a four game series against the Yankees.
On the mound for the Jays is my favourite, and really should be yours, Marco Estrada, who was coming off a spectacular performance in Seattle where he had a no hitter into the 7thinning. And again did not disappoint today.
There were some anxiety-inducing moments early in the game where Estrada had bases loaded in the 2nd with only 1 out, but he did his Estrada-magic and allowed no runs to score. In fact, after the Headley single that loaded the bases Estrada sat down 14 straight Yanks. I don’t know if anyone caught it but after, what would be, his last batter, Estrada did a little “yay.” It’s so weird to see but I guess showed that it was September the magnitude of every out.
Overall Estrada pitched 7 innings, gave up 4 hits, 1 run, 2 walks, and struck out seven. The one hit was a home run to Gregorius that unfortunately meant he couldn’t get, albeit with no help from the offence who also had only 1 run at that point from another Bautista solo shot, number 21 kids!
Despite the 2 HRs the game was mostly lackluster offensively. Well until the bottom of the 8th. The Jays were able to go on top with some awesome base running by Donaldson and a RBI single from, who else but Bautista. In the top of the 9th Osuna, chose to pitch not Osuna-like and allowed 2 runs to give the Yanks the lead. And then the bottom of the ninth…
We had the bottom of the order up: Upton, Pillar, and Carrera, which doesn’t really give you (or at least me) great feels. But Betances struggles continued and walked Upton which yanked him out of the game. Clippard, yes that Clippard who got the L yesterday, came in to take over to face Pillar. Pillar then hit a single that got speedy Upton to third, with no out. Carrera, who comes to the batters’ box waving a “I’m gonna bunt” flag, still manages to single on a bunt that scores Upton and due an error charged to Clippard advanced both Carrera and Pillar to second and third, respectively.
After a Travis strikeout and a base open, Donaldson was intentionally walked to load the bases. Again, I get that it’s because they wanted to induce a double play, but they do know who Encarnacion is, right? Just in case they didn’t Encarnacion gave them a friendly reminder by hitting a first pitch walk-off single that scored Pillar in.
What an awesome win! It all started slow but in the end it really was a team win. Without the bottom of the order doing their job and getting on base the Yanks would have won. Instead what the Jays gets is a guaranteed series win and continued hold of the first wild card spot. Now get your broom ready everyone!
More Game GIFs:
I wonder if Estrada let’s out a “yay” while he skipped over the dirt. Look at that, he looks so graceful.