Ballpark: Rogers Center
Time: 8:00 pm Est
What a season it has been for the Jays. Through all the ups and downs, Injuries and Inning caps, the Blue jays have still found a way to make it to the post season for the second straight year. This time with one extra hurdle, the Franchises first ever Wildcard game. Which will have Right handed pitcher Marcus Stroman up against Right handed pitcher Chris Tillman for the Orioles. Both pitchers have struggled this year versus the line ups they will be facing tonight. Putting the pressure on the Defense, Bats and Bullen pen to be ready to pull their weight if their number is called. It’s October and in the Mlb world that means you either clutch up and play every game at your best or go home and get ready for spring training next year. In these type of moments, you need a fiery, emotional leader to take the weight of the whole situation on theirshoulders and for that there is no one better than Marcus Stroman.
Leading me to ask this question.
Where has the love gone for Marcus Stroman? A little over a year ago, Stroman came back many months early from a knee injury to help the Jays secure their first playoff berth since 93’. Any one that has followed the Jays this season knows that it been an underwhelming season, to say the least for the 25-year-old Stroman. As He finished the year with his lowest win total and highest Era of his young career. Stroman still was able to lead the Blue jays in innings pitched as well as innings pitched per start, strike outs, walks and games started. Stroman faced 60 more batters this season than the next closest Jay’s pitcher. With all that being Said in my opinion the Stat that really helps me understand why Stroman was named starter for this game was, that he leads the Jays in Losses Saved, with 5. Meaning that 5 times this season after Stroman had faced his last batter and left the game, with the team losing and the Jays came back to take the lead or tie. Since being named this Seasons opening day starter, Stroman has been the one to lead the charge for the Jays. Every time he goes out on the mound for Toronto he leaves it all out there. All the players and staff know this and rally behind him every time out.
We all know what these two offensives are capable of, if pitchers start missing their spots and making mistakes. None the less, winning this wildcard showdown will more than likely be done on the back of a great pitching performance. Whether it’s a pitcher’s duel to the 9th or a slugfest fest that gets sent to the bullpen for damage control, the team with the best pitching will win. For now, all we can hope is that the Jays play Error free ball and Stroman Allows a clean hand off to the bullpen for Osuna to close out the game. God willing, I will be writing another one of these for game 1 of the American League Divisional Series vs the Texas Ranger set to start later this week. GO JAYS GO !!!