If you can believe it, I’m actually writing this post at 2:35 am (Eastern time) as I watch the Blue Jays and Angels battle it out in California in the 11th inning. The hardcore fans who’ve stay to watch the game are looking a little tired at this point…little girls are resting their heads on Daddy’s shoulder, some fans are booing their own pitcher on pick-off attempts, and hecklers are cursing quite a bit more than usual.
It’s now 2:41 am and I’m certain I’ve never been up so late to watch the Blue Jays before. Oh my god, here I am supposed to be focused on the ball game and I just missed Ryan Tepera strike out Mike Trout. Trout had been hammering the Blue Jays all night long (as he always does), so this was a huge out for Tepera who had been struggling so far this season.
It’s the top of the 12th and Russell Martin just got his third hit of the night. What a great sign. This team needs Martin to hit better than he has. I know his main priority and contributions have to do with handling the pitchers, but he’s still a big part of this offense, and we need him to get going. Martin just got caught trying to steal 2nd base with two outs, and frankly I don’t blame him trying to get into scoring position. This game has been going for nearly five hours now and the Blue Jays are playing their first game of a seven game road-trip…they can’t afford to have this game go too long.
Top of the 13th now (3:08 am), and Jesse Chavez is in to pitch for Anaheim. Chavez was scheduled to start Saturday’s game, but the Angels have already gone through their entire bullpen. This game is starting to feel much like last seasons Canada Day game between Toronto and Cleveland that ended up going 19 innings. Kevin Pillar and Ezequiel Carrera have both singled to begin the inning (3:14 am). Carrera just stole 2nd, Pillar is on 3rd, with Jose Bautista at the plate, and every Blue Jay fan still awake praying that Bautista knocks the crap out of this ball. MY WORD!! Bautista just smoked the ball to deep left-center for a home run. The score is now 8-5 Blue Jays, and for the first time in hours the ending of this ball game is in sight. All Toronto needs to do now is get three outs and it’ll be over.
Aaron Loup is on the mound to begin the bottom of the 13th (3:22 am). The first batter of the inning, Cameron Maybin, hits the ball to Justin Smoak which he unfortunately boots…allowing Maybin to reach 1st base. Loup is now starting to have trouble throwing strikes, I really miss the Loup of 2012-2014. Damn!! Loup almost takes out Danny Espinosa at the ankles with a fastball. It’s a passed ball and Maybin advances to 2nd. Espinosa then walks. Loup still can’t hit the strike zone. He’s been struggling to find the strike zone for years now it seems. The next batter, Juan Graterol grounds the ball softly to Chris Couglan, which he bobbles and can’t get the out at 1st (these guys are looking and playing tired). Loup may be having trouble throwing strikes, but he’s also getting no help from his defense.
Loup is out of the ball game and in comes Joe Biagini (3:31 am) to try and clean-up this bases loaded mess, with no outs, and Mike Trout in the hole. Cliff Pennington comes up to the plate to face Biagini. Pennington strikes out for the first out, thank goodness. Kole Calhoun then comes up to bat, with Trout in the on-deck circle. Calhoun lines a base hit to left-field, bringing in one run, and the bases are still loaded with maybe the best player ever coming to the plate.
Biagini is so composed and relaxed out there. Unfortunately, with the count 3-2 to Trout, Biagini hits him with a pitch, bringing in one run. The score is now 8-7, one out, with Albert Pujols due up (3:41 am). Oh my, Biagini strikes out Pujols on three pitches for the second out of the inning. C.J. Cron comes to the plate with two out, bases still loaded. After a lengthy at-bat, Cron hits the ball to center field, Pillar settles under it to make the catch, and the Blue Jays win the ball game 8-7. I’m off to bed (3:46 am).