5 reasons why Toronto Blue Jays will lose Game 5 of ALDS
UPDATE: We haven’t let down the believers. Here’s 5 reasons why the Blue Jays will WIN Game 5.
TORONTO – The Toronto Blue Jays have a chance Wednesday afternoon to clinch their first playoff series since 1993.
But with the city buzzing and high expectations thrust upon them, can the team give fans a highly sought after win in Game 5 of the American League Divisional Series?
Not to burst your bubble, here’s five reasons why they won’t.
Big bats go silent
Can the 2-3-4 batters in the Blue Jays lineup come through in a crucial Game 5?
The best hitter in the series so far has been Kevin Pillar batting eighth with a .412 average, 7 hits, 1 home run and 4 runs batted in.
Chris Colabello is not far behind hitting .333 in just three games played and followed by Ben Revere with a .316 average and six hits.
MVP candidate Josh Donaldson, slugger Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion have each hit a home run in the series but have mostly been silenced by the Rangers pitching staff.
Veteran left-hander Cole Hamels pitched seven solid innings in Game 2 and is expected to be tough on Jays’ hitters once again as he starts Game 5.
Blue Jays manager John Gibbons makes a bad call
The team says they are behind their skipper John Gibbons, but are the fans?
Critics argue Jays starter Marcus Stroman should have been pulled in the 8th inning while the team was up 4-3 in Game 2 and that reliever Brett Cecil faced one too many batters.
He ended up twisting his left leg while making a tag in a rundown and tore his calf muscle. Arguably Toronto’s best reliever is gone for the season.
Gibbons made an unpopular move, according to some fans, by pulling starter R.A. Dickey in the 5th inning of Game 4, just one out shy of getting credit for the win with the team up 7-1.
It was the 40-year-old’s first ever playoff appearance. Dickey was replaced by David Price who pitched three innings giving up six hits and three earned runs.
Marcus Stroman falters under pressure
Marcus Stroman blew out his left knee with a torn anterior cruciate ligament during spring training and missed most of the season.
But the 24-year-old amazed fans and his teammates when came back from rehab and went 4-0 in his four pitching starts.
Although he made his postseason debut in Game 2, Stroman was nearly knocked out of the game with a shaky start by giving up three runs in the first two innings of work.
He did settle down for the rest of the game but can his high-octane and expressive attitude on the mound keep the team’s emotion in check and pressure from boiling over in Game 5?
Best-of-five series not kind to teams behind 0-2
Not a lot of teams come back from a 0-2 best-of five deficit.
Since 1995, only five teams out of 80 have come back to win a series after losing the first two games in a best-of-five series.
Rogers Centre roof is closed
Home field is advantageous for the Blue Jays when the Rogers Centre roof is open.
The blue birds have a record of 38 wins and 14 losses this season when the team plays under the sky.
Their record is below .500 (11-14) when the retractable roof is closed.
Some say the ball flies off the bats quicker and farther when the natural air is flowing in from Lake Ontario, while the closed roof is suffocating and dreary indoors. (But don’t tell that to Joe Carter who hit a three-run walk-off homer in the 9th inning to win the 1993 World Series. Yup, closed roof.)
Either way, the facts don’t lie. At least so far this season.