Updated: Oct. 15
This player played alongside his older brother for two years in the big leagues, and also for Team Mexico in the World Baseball Classic. They both even hit home runs in the same game -- twice. Family has always been a big part of his life, and now he has two daughters of his own. Who is he?
Jose Bautista's home run and subsequent bat toss will be etched in the memories of people who watched the Blue Jays advance to the ALCS with a wild comeback in Game 5. He knew instantly it was gone, flipped his bat high, posed like a matador and watched as the ball sailed 442 feet and bounced off the second-level facing in left field. The New York Times described the flip as a "gesture that combined joy, determination, anger and relief." The fans, still agitated just moments after a reversed batter interference call, went bonkers. In fact, we're confident Toronto and much of Canada went bonkers. The short video clip of the flip on the social media platform Vine had 10 million loops in less than 15 hours.
Fortunes turned quickly for Johnny Cueto. Acquired at the trade deadline from Cincinnati for three top prospects, the Dominican right-hander had delivered just a 4.76 ERA over 13 starts with the Royals. He had a five-start stretch from Aug. 21-Sept. 13 in which he was 0-5 with a 9.57 ERA. Then he gave up four runs and seven hits over six innings in Game 2 of the ALDS.
But we'll never know how Kansas City would have reacted to another mediocre performance. Cueto pitched the game of his life, allowing just two hits over eight innings and retiring the final 19 batters he faced to lead Kansas City to the ALCS.
"As soon as I woke up, I felt something magic, that this was Game 5, and I felt I had to show up for everybody, for my team and the fans."
#WinOrGoHome NL Edition
Cy Young Award contender Zack Greinke, who was 19-3 with a 1.66 ERA in 32 regular-season starts, faces off against phenom and 2014 NL Rookie of the Year Jacob deGrom in a win-or-go-home Game 5 of the NLDS between the Mets and the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium, Thursday at 8 p.m. ET on TBS.
DeGrom pitched seven scoreless innings and struck out 13 in Game 1 in Los Angeles last Friday, and Greinke limited the Mets to two runs in seven innings to win Game 2.
The Rule 6.03 (a)(3) Call
The play that sent Rangers-Blue Jays Game 4 spinning into baseball lore came in the top of the seventh when Russell Martin's toss back to the pitcher hit Shin-Soo Choo's bat, allowing Roughned Odor to scamper home. Blue Jays fans were elated when umpire Dale Scott erroneously called it a dead ball. But confusion and anger erupted in the stands when, after a conference with the other umpires, Scott correctly reversed his call and let the run stand, making it 3-2 Rangers.
It took considerable time for order to be restored after fans threw objects including full beer cans onto the field and created a dangerous situation for players. Mario Coutinho, the Blue Jays' vice president of stadium operations and security, told Fox Sports that 39 fans were ejected.
"It was not the normal behavior of fans in Toronto. They're pretty docile, for the most part. But passion is running pretty high now. Unfortunately, they reacted. You can't prepare for something like that."
"I've thrown the ball back to the pitcher close to a million times and I wait until the biggest game of my life to do that. But it just set up one of the greatest teammates ever to be the hero, and he came through for the team, the city and the country." -- Russell Martin
What was joyful and exuberant for the Blue Jays and their fans was agonizing for the Rangers and their fans. Defensive lapses, including two errors by the usually sure-handed shortstop Elvis Andrus, and another by first baseman Mitch Moreland, set the stage for the Blue Jays to score four runs in the seventh and come back for a 6-3 victory. The Rangers went from nine outs away from a place in the ALCS to the offseason. It was as difficult a defeat as imaginable for the club, which had come back from a losing record (56-57) in late August to win the AL West.
"It's the toughest time in my career right now," Andrus said. "I can make that play 100 times for sure. It's a lot of pain right now. I feel like I let down my team, my city. It hurts."
The Wild Card games on ESPN and TBS averaged 7.9 million viewers, a 48 percent increase over 2014 (5.4 million) and the highest average U.S. audience in the four years of the current format. The average North American television audience for the Wild Card games was 8.7 million, a North American record for the round and a 47 percent increase over last year (5.9 million), according to sports business writer Maury Brown's calculations combining Nielsen U.S. viewership stats with those compiled for the Canadian audience (Sportsnet) by Numeris.
The Trivia Answer
Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez
Follow us @MLB_Players and to catch our postseason social media series, titled #WinOrGoHome #ItsBlackandWhite, featuring some up-close photos courtesy of Getty Sports.