So the 2016 ALCS is looking a lot like the 2015 version with the Blue Jays down 2-0 coming home. As I stated after Saturday’s game, I see no reason right now why the result won’t be the same too. The only way the #BlueJays win this series is by getting to Cleveland starters and they’ve failed to do that.
Another ALCS loss will just mean this current group simply wasn’t good enough to win it all and will need changes…which I think we all know are coming anyway. Does this team have another miracle run left in them? They may just be too beat up and out of gas.
The #BlueJays lost Game 1 in the first 3 innings…they weren’t aggressive enough early in the count against Corey Kluber and they let him off the hook. Marco Estrada made one mistake, but it was one more than Cleveland made. The approach at the plate was too reminiscent of September for my liking…yes some bad calls went against the Jays but you still have to drive in the runs when you can.
Speaking of calls, or as Jose Bautista may refer to them as “circumstances”, there is factual evidence to support him according to ESPN. You can read it here:
This basically states Cleveland had a nine-pitch advantage in Games 1 and 2 thanks to questionable umpiring. I stated this before the series – there’s no way Laz Diaz and Jim Wolf should be calling LCS games (same goes for Angel Hernandez in the NLCS). Diaz is plain terrible behind the plate, as is Wolf, who may hold a grudge against the organization for the way his brother Randy was treated last year at triple-A Buffalo. Wolf, you may recall, lost control of the Jays-Royals brawl game last August at Rogers Centre. MLB needs to ensure it’s best ball-and-strike umpires are behind the plate more often, and there needs to be repercussions for the guys who just can’t hack it.
Regardless, as a hitter, if you know you have an umpire behind the plate you can’t trust, you have to be aggressive early in the count, which the Blue Jays SHOULD BE DOING ANYWAY. Which brings us to Game 3, where Marcus Stroman, who has come up with three clutch performances in the playoffs, will need to be big for the Blue Jays again. All eyes will be on Trevor Bauer to see if his drone-perforated finger impacts his performance. You may recall he went five scoreless against the Jays in that 19-inning marathon on Canada Day. The odds are already stacked against the Jays, but will be nearly insurmountable if they go down 3-0.
Before the series, I said a low scoring series will favour Cleveland. So far, unfortunately, I’ve been proven right.
Quick Leafs note:
It was great to see the young #Leafs kids get win # 1 under their belt early on Saturday…and better to see they can hold a 4-1 third period lead against Boston! Frederik Andersen was the game’s first star and the back end play was much better than in the opener. Oh, and how about Mitch Marner? He’s pretty good. With the stirring number retirement ceremony before the game, it sure feels like a new era is here.