For all the bat flips, punched jaws and general bad blood between the Toronto Blue Jays and Texas Rangers over the past two seasons, their ALDS series matchup was expected to be a drawn-out battle. Instead, the Blue Jays whipped out the brooms and swept Texas in three games.
To add insult to injury, the clinching game Sunday night ended after a bad throw to first base that could have completed an inning-ending double play but ended up giving Josh Donaldson just enough time to dash to home base. Now, for the second year in a row, the Blue Jays find themselves in the ALCS. With the Cleveland Indians up 2-0 against the Boston Red Sox in their series, Toronto now must wait at least until tonight to see which team they will face.
They aren’t complaining, though.
Blue Jays manager John Gibbins referenced the grind that every team is currently facing following a 162-game regular season and the intensity of the playoffs. With a few days now to rest, Gibbins told MLB Network Radio that he expects his team to be well prepared for the Cleveland Indians in the ALCS.
Cleveland managed to sweep the Boston Red Sox in three games, and now look to advance to the World Series starting on Friday at home.
For Toronto outfielder Kevin Pillar, the ALCS-berth is proof that the Blue Jays have come a long way since being the “bottom feeders” of the American League.
“Everyone in this room would damn near give their soul to win a championship and that’s what we’re about,” Pillar said.
As of right now, only the NLDS matchup between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Washington Nationals is tied at one game apiece as the Chicago Cubs also hold a 2-0 series lead over the San Francisco Giants.
Los Angeles and Washington square off once again at 4 p.m. ET. Following Washington’s win in Game 2, Ryan Zimmerman discussed the tough road ahead as they head to Chavez Ravine to take on the Dodgers on the West Coast.
Catch the latest news from the playoffs on MLB Network Radio, Ch.89 (Sirius 209).