The Jays are mathematically out of it, rather than just out of it in theory/opinion, but they also made sure that Seattle is pretty much out of it, too. They've beaten the Mariners in the first three games of this series in spectacular fashion.
I know many are saying this is all meaningless, but it has meaning to me. Mostly because it's fun. And after watching the Orioles clinch the East vs the Jays last week, fun is a nice change.
I don't know if being almost there, but not is better than being out of it by July but it certainly was more stressful.
They pounded the Mariners 14-4 in the opening game. Jose Bautista, consistent with his fantastic season, had a fantastic game. He went 3 for 3 with a homer, made a great catch and threw Logan Morrison out trying to stretch a single. Look at all the skills.
Bautista, without much fanfare, has put up an MVP calibre season and I expect to see a few votes go his way. Mike Trout, on an Angels team that has the league's best record, likely has it in the bag, but Bautista is in the conversation. As FanGraphs put it:
"It’s Michael Brantley without the baserunning, basically. Or, if you prefer, it’s Jose Abreu while also playing a more important defensive position. Bautista has been mostly overlooked because we’ve gotten used to him putting up .400 weighted on base averages on non-contending teams, but he remains one of the game’s very best hitters, and he’s not a big negative on the field or the bases. He might not be the best hitter in baseball anymore, but he’s still one of the best players in the sport."
Felix Hernandez pitched in the second game, and the Jays handed him the worst inning of his entire career. Highlight of the inning was Dalton Pomepy's first big league homer.
“I was kind of in shock for a moment,” Pompey said of the home run off Hernandez. “I’ve played with that guy in video games. So to think that I just hit a home run off of him was pretty crazy.”
He looked for a pitch up in the zone and got one. It's been an amazing season for Dalton Pompey and I really hope that the local boy is for real. He could be a big star here. Arden Zwelling writes about Pompey's rise.
“Every game that goes by I feel more comfortable. I feel better and better about myself. I feel like I belong,” Pompey says. “I’m still trying to adjust to these pitchers. So it’s nice to be in there every day.”
And yesterday, in one of my favourite games of the season, Mark Buehrle got to 200 innings pitched for the 14th consecutive season. Buehrle made his 461st consecutive start without a stint on the disabled list which is the longest streak in the Majors.
"I think it's going to mean more at the end of the season, knowing I accomplished it again," Buehrle said. "I think when I had two or three starts in a row I had three innings, four innings, mixed a six-inning game in there, I kind of, I don't want to say gave up, I said, 'Hey it's not going to happen.' I did the math and said I have eight starts, I need so many innings, I didn't like my chances. It means a lot because I put this goal on myself in Spring Training."
I felt bad for Taijuan Walker, rookie Mariners pitcher, who matched Buehrle pitch for pitch until the 8th, when Goins hit a bloop which scored Kawasaki from first. It was a classic pitcher's duel that lasted under two hours.
"He had it going," Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon said of Buehrle. "He's a veteran guy that knows what he's doing. He's got great touch and feel. He had the cutter going in, good changeup, breaking ball, mixed it all. That was vintage Buehrle."
Yep. Vintage Buehrle.
I don't know if you've heard, but Derek Jeter is retiring. I won't be surprised if you haven't heard, as it has barely been talked about. He plays his final game in New York tonight, likely with little fanfare. Here are some private photos, but likely not the type of private photos like Justin Verlander's that were circling a few weeks ago. The photos are taken by Canadian photographer Christopher Anderson.
But I want to give a shout out to one of my favourite ball players who is also calling it a career. Paul Konerko is maybe the most underrated in MLB and I've always liked him.
Here is his message to Chicago White Sox fans.
Also, it seems the White Sox think the "Man in White" moved to Detroit. Sale, calm yourself. You'll pull something.
Do you want to see a Lil' Uribe dancing in the Dodger celebration? Yes, of course you do.