BOSTON -- The Blue Jays are guaranteed to play beyond Sunday afternoon after they officially clinched at least a tie for an American League Wild Card spot on Saturday night.Toronto secured its position in a potential tiebreaker with a 4-3 victory over the Red Sox. The Blue Jays' magic number
BOSTON -- The Blue Jays are guaranteed to play beyond Sunday afternoon after they officially clinched at least a tie for an American League Wild Card spot on Saturday night.
Toronto secured its position in a potential tiebreaker with a 4-3 victory over the Red Sox. The Blue Jays' magic number to clinch a Wild Card spot is one, and a victory on Sunday afternoon, or a loss by the Tigers, would get them in.
The ability to secure at least a tie would not have been possible on Saturday without some help from around the league. Detroit lost to Atlanta, 5-3, as the Tigers moved 1 1/2 games back of Toronto with two games to play. The Blue Jays also moved into a tie with Baltimore for the top Wild Card spot after the Orioles lost to the Yankees, 7-3, earlier in the day.
"We're not worried about the other teams, we're worried about us," Blue Jays closer Roberto Osuna said after putting the finishing touches on Toronto's victory over Boston. "We needed to win and it was a huge game for us. I wanted to show the team they can count on me any time. This game meant a lot for us."
Even though the Blue Jays are in a much better position than they were just a day before, there is still plenty to be decided over the next 24 hours. Toronto owns the tiebreaker over Baltimore because of a better head-to-head record, which means if the Blue Jays defeat the Red Sox on Sunday afternoon, they are guaranteed to host the AL Wild Card Game on Tuesday on TBS.
If Toronto loses, that's when things could get very complicated. In the event that the Blue Jays, Orioles and Tigers all finish with the same record, then a three-team tiebreaker format would be used.
The Blue Jays would much rather take the easy path to the postseason and this one is pretty simple: Win on Sunday afternoon at Fenway Park, in David Ortiz's final regular-season game, and Toronto knows it will be hosting the AL Wild Card Game early next week.
It's clear the players have been doing some scoreboard watching of late.
"I actually knew before I went out onto the field," Kevin Pillar said when asked about Baltimore's loss earlier in the day. "That was good scheduling on our part where they played at 4 o'clock. I checked periodically before we went out onto the field and saw they got out to an early lead.
"I knew that [New York] had tied it when I went down on the field for stretch. I came back up during the [Ortiz] ceremony and saw that they lost. Not that we needed any more motivation, but at that point we knew we controlled our own destiny."
Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.