Written by: Andrew Hendriks (@77hendriks)
I, like many Baseball fans, remember where I was on the last night of the MLB regular season (2011).
Legions of fans tuned in to watch their favorite teams play those final innings of the season while a select few sat in anticipation knowing that in mere days their “Boys of Summer” would begin a postseason run with hopes of ending up in the Fall Classic.
Everyone remembers the drama that took place between Tampa Bay and the New York Yankees, the 6 run 8th inning at Tropicana that brought the Rays back from a 7-0 deficit. Dan Johnson.
Perhaps you were watching Boston and Baltimore. Watching as the Red Sox playoff hopes drop in front of Carl Crawford allowing Reimold to score the winning run for the lowly Orioles.
Incredible night but lets roll back the clock.
Hours before a pair of the most memorable comebacks in MLB history, the Jays staged an uprising of their own.
The Blue Jays came in to play with a 80 – 81 record. Having a chance to finish the season below .500 for 16th time in team history, rookie Manager John Farrell sent Brandon Morrow to the hill to face off against Chicago’s Philip Humber. It had been a season riddled with up and down performances from Morrow. As the 200 Inning’s Pitched watermark was on the horizon, he was given the chance to finish the season on a strong note. The Blue Jays RHP lasted 6 innings allowing only 2 runs and striking out 7.
Farrell went to the pen in the 7th as they turned in 3 scoreless inning’s.
Chicago had a 1 run lead hold until the 9th, conceivably the Blue Jays last chance of the 2011 season. Johnson lead off with a ringing double off Chicago’s closer of the future Chris Sale, Cooper followed up with a walk and Rasmus sacrificed the tying and go ahead runs up a base with a well placed bunt.
Chicago opted to intentionally walk the Jays power hitting Catcher JP Arencibia, setting up what could have been a inning ending double play off the bat of Canadian 3rd Baseman (and former White Sox) Mark Teahen. Instead, Teahen drove in the tying run with a walk. This brought fellow Canadian Adam Loewen to the plate with the bases loaded and 1 out. Us Canadian’s are known for our patience and Loewen proved it by coaxing another walk out of the White Sox LHP and driving in the go ahead run.
Chicago’s fill in manager went to the pen and called for (Former Blue Jays farm hand and future Jay) Sergio Santos who got McCoy to ground into a force out and later induced a ground ball off the bat of Eric Thames to get out of the inning.
The Blue Jays now had the opportunity to win the game and secure the first .500 season in team history. 2 batters later Frank Francisco got Juan Pierre to line out to none other than Right Fielder Adam Loewen ending the game and season with a Canadian touch.
A Canadian touch for Canada’s team. Kind of neat, eh?