Let's start with a tweet to sum up the game:
The Blue Jays had absolutely no business winning that baseball game. Chris Sale, the Red Sox ace, struck out 15 Blue Jays and, at one point, retired 20 of 21. He didn’t walk anyone.
Kevin Pillar inexplicably tried to stretch a double into a triple, like the running fool he is. The out call at third was upheld on review (I’m still convinced Nunez missed Pillar’s arm on that tag) but it was very close and was never going to be overturned.
Dalton Pompey was inexplicably asked to sacrifice bunt.
I had a brief argument with my father over this bunt: we both agreed it was dumb. My dad said it was ok to bunt, but Dalton Pompey was so egregiously bad at it it shouldn’t have happened.
I said that Pompey should never have been asked to bunt in the first place, that sac bunting gives the opposition the only finite thing in baseball, which is outs. I argued that this relief pitcher (whose name I’m too lazy to look up) had just walked the first two batters and now the Blue Jays were going to give him a present, that a sac bunt sets up the force out at third and that while the Jays might get second and third, one out, they could also very easily end up with what they had to start with (two on), only now there is one out and the bumbling Red Sox relief pitcher just needs a ground ball to his shortstop for a double play to get out of it.
My father said I was too dogmatic in my anti-bunt stance, that sometimes sac bunt is the correct call. I told him he’s not my real dad.
The other thing that happened that was inexplicable was that Luke Maile, the Blue Jays backup catcher, not only hit the tying homer off Chris Sale in the seventh, but also the winning homer to end it in the 12th.
“I haven’t had a walk-off homer since college,” Maile told Sportsnet. “Definitely not since I’ve been in pro ball. Shoot, you can probably count them on a couple of hands, how many homers I’ve hit in the last five years.”
Luke Maile (or "whatever the fuck that is", as SOSH has started to refer to him last night) is hitting .339/.418/.542 with seven extra-base hits over his first 67 plate appearances.
Which is bonkers.
The other hero of the night was the bullpen- John Axford, Seung-hwan Oh, Ryan Tepera, and Tyler Clippard all pitched effective, scoreless innings and Sam Gaviglio, just called up from Buffalo, got the win.
"I was ready to go, they told me to be ready today, be ready for anything," Gaviglio told Sportsnet.
This was a fun game.
This story for The Athletic by Kaitlyn McGrath is so great. It reads like Marco Estrada's Comfort Manifesto.
Why not, indeed?