Lunedi, 11 Dicembre, 2017

Jose Bautista has great quote about facing Indians' Ryan Merritt

Elettra Stolfi | 20 Ottobre, 2016, 12:49

Just in time, Josh Donaldson and the Toronto Blue Jays broke out the bats to save their season.

The Blue Jays MVP third baseman spoke from his heart during a team meeting prior to a do-or-die Game 4 against the Cleveland Indians in the American League Championship Series. He'd been pushed back two days to Game 3 after cutting his finger last week repairing one of the drones he enjoys flying as a hobby.

"It was a battle", said Toronto manager John Gibbons. And they shut us down.

Maybe Merritt will survive only a short stint in Wednesday's Game 5 of the American League Championship Series in Toronto.

"I think that helps", Indians manager Terry Francona said. Additionally, they played in it a year ago where they lost to the Kansas City Royals.

But as quickly as the big hits returned, they disappeared again for Toronto. "We've got to win one, they've got to win three". "You have to, and they did".

The ticket to watch the Cleveland Cavaliers raise the championship banner and get their rings next Tuesday has turned into a surprising value over the past couple of weeks. Amazingly the Indians hit.168 (25-for-149) and still won - helped by six homers to Toronto's two. They will be rested for Game 5.

The end appeared to be in sight as the Cubs roared to a major leagues-leading 103 regular-season victories.

That shows how ridiculously hard it is to mount a comeback down 3-1 in a best-of-7 series.

Asked how he made it all work, the folksy Francona pointed to depth.

"I can't wait to see what it's like in Cleveland, honestly", said relief pitcher Andrew Miller. "It's going to be a lot of fun".

Gibbons said Donaldson's defence gets overshadowed by his exploits with the bat. But it's the truth. "It's about winning", Miller said. They won the series that year and successfully repeated as world champions after that.

Donaldson's solo shot to left-center field off Corey Kluber in the third put the Blue Jays ahead for the first time all series.

The Indians' title drought dates to 1948. "Come out swinging, that's what we're doing". "Congrats Boyz!", tweeted LeBron James, whose National Basketball Association champion Cavaliers derailed the Toronto Raptors in the Eastern Conference final last season.

"We're one win away from the World Series and that's what we're focused on", Kluber said.

"What I know about him?"

Sanchez (1-0) held the Indians to two walks and one run.

Bautista doubled in the ninth inning of Toronto's 3-0 loss to the Indians on Wednesday while Encarnacion struck out later in the frame.

As Blue Jays catcher Russell Martin said, "right there it's kind of pick your poison".

You wouldn't have known it.

Runs didn't always accompany his steady performances during the regular season - evidenced by the fact that Estrada was 9-9 despite posting a 3.48 ERA over 29 starts.

They scored eight runs in five games, but five of those came in their only win on Tuesday. "Tip your hat to that guy".

The Rogers Centre crowds are some of the loudest in the big leagues.

The Indians rushed out of the dugout to celebrate in a moving ball of humanity by second base.

Other notable Blue Jays set to enter free agency include Canadian Michael Saunders, knuckleballer R.A. Dickey and southpaw reliever Brett Cecil.

In September, the Indians had to demote Tomlin to the bullpen because he was pitching so poorly. Encarnacion, who signed a three-year extension in 2012 worth $29 million, is coming off a team option at $10 million.

Toronto starter Marco Estrada allowed five hits - including both homers, and three runs in six innings.

He needed only 31 pitches in retiring nine straight hitters over the first three innings.

Shaw pitched an inning, and Miller came on with one out in the sixth and a man on. Matt Moore did it for Tampa in the 2011 ALDS. He finished with 49 pitches - 33 for strikes.

The free-swinging Jays did not excel against slow fastballs this season.

"Just breathe", he said. "So the thought was alive before we got him".

"With our experience in our lineup, I'm pretty sure he's going to be shaking in his boots more than we are". "We have two hits, that seemed to me to put us in the best position".

Merritt, his feet firmly planted, induced a groundout and flyout from Bautista.

After the game, Cleveland players chanted "boots" in the celebration, urging Merritt to pull cowboy boots from his locker and shake them.

Toronto returned to the final four again this year, dispatching Baltimore in the wild-card game - thanks to an Encarnacion walkoff homer - and then a three-game sweep of the Rangers.

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