Eight things Blue Jays fans can be thankful for after their sweep of the Rangers
On Monday, Canadians will join together to celebrate their Thanksgiving. While the American Thanksgiving has Thursday afternoon football, this year the United States' neighbors to the north could have had their meal during the Blue Jays-Rangers ALDS Game 4.
Only problem (if you can call it that), is that the Blue Jays swept the series thanks to Josh Donaldson's mad dash home. While Blue Jays fans will now have to make conversation with their family members instead of watching baseball, here are eight things they can be thankful for:
Not only did Encarnacion hit 42 home runs in the regular season, but he continued his homer barrage in the postseason. A home run in the Wild Card Game against Baltimore, and two more in the ALDS against the Rangers meant that there were more wings in Toronto than at your local bar's Thursday night "25 cent Wings and Whatnots" promotion.
Jose Bautista's taste for narrative
Joey Bats knows when it's time to hit a big home run. And when he hits them, he knows the proper way to celebrate. Set to be a free agent at the end of the year, if this is his last time in Toronto, he's making sure to go out with a literal bang.
All the dingers, really
Let's not leave any out. There were plenty of massive dingers, including a whopping four off of Yu Darvish in Game 2. Do you know how many times Yu Darvish gave up four home runs in the regular season? That would be never -- it hasn't happened.
Marco Estrada's bowling ball
While Mookie Betts may be the only professional bowler in the Majors, Estrada's changeup has so much heavy sink on it, he might as well be throwing bowling balls. The right-hander with a sub-90 mph fastball flummoxed the Rangers in Game 1 of the ALDS with the pitch.
Russell Martin, just in general
Here are all the many things Blue Jays fans should be thankful for in regards to Mr. Martin:
- His middle name is Coltrane. As in jazz musician, John Coltrane.
- He's an excellent pitch framer. Every time he sets up behind the plate, he's helping his pitchers out.
- He hails from Canada, originally being born in East York, Ontario.
- His first-inning home run not only helped the Blue Jays get a lead in Game 3, but it made him one of the few hitters to have homered with four different teams in the postseason.
Kevin Pillar's amazing range
While he just wasn't able to corral Mitch Moreland's double in Game 3, Pillar still manages to make plays that no mortal has business making. If you hit a ball to center field, you better hope it carries over the fence, otherwise there's a good chance that Pillar will bring it back.
After exiting the Wild Card game with an injury, Blue Jays fans were worried about how their bullpen would hold up without their young closer. Fortunately for the Blue Jays, that wasn't an issue. Osuna pitched 1 2/3 innings against the Rangers in Game 2 and added another two more in Game 3. In that time: 1 hit, no walks, four strikeouts. That means no worries.
Josh Donaldson's hustle
The 2015 MVP came up big in the series. Leading off in the top of the 10th, he doubled -- his teeth gritted as he was dealing with a hip injury. And when Mitch Moreland couldn't corral the ball at first base, he took off for home, the pain not even registering through all the adrenaline.
Of course, if you're a Blue Jays fan who wanted to eat your turkey and watch baseball at the same time, you probably don't want to thank Donaldson anyway.
The Blue Jays will play Game 1 of the ALCS on Friday night in Boston or Cleveland (time TBD). The ALCS will be broadcast on TBS, as well as Sportsnet and RDS (in French) in Canada.