The Toronto Blue Jays extended their season by winning Game 4 of the American League Championship Series. There is sudden optimism north of the border they can become the second team to overcome a 3-0 series deficit, most of it buoyed by the Cleveland Indians’ depleted starting rotation.
The Tribe will send Ryan Merritt, who has one career start to his name, out to the mound later today, providing a great opportunity for a lethargic Jays offense to wake up against a mediocre arm.
Everyone, including Merritt, knows closing things out will be a challenge. He wouldn’t be human if he wasn’t nervous before performing on the biggest stage of his life.
Jose Bautista, as he is wont to do, opened his mouth and stated as much.
Add this comment to Bautista’s suggestion that there’s some vast conspiracy to rig the ALCS and you’re left to believe he subsists solely on the knowledge that he’s providing bulletin board material in opposing clubhouses.
Toronto’s lineup is experienced but it’s averaging all of two runs this series. Bautista himself is 1-for-14 with eight strikeouts against Indians pitching. His postseason seasoning hasn’t exactly translated into any success.
Perhaps there’s some self-motivation at play here. It’ll be a long offseason if it backfires and the Jays’ season ends at the hands of an unproven rookie.