The Blue Jays continued to stumble toward the end of the season in September. On the field the long losing steaks that plagued the team in August continued. Toronto began the month with four straight losses and they also dropped seven in a row at one point. When the dust cleared on the month the Blue Jays posted a record of 10-18.
The Jays September record unfortunately wasn’t the lowest of the low for the month. Yunel Escobar easily took hold of that designation due to his embarrassing eye black debacle. Escobar wasn’t the only Blue Jays to make waves for his antics, as veteran Omar Vizquel also drew attention for all the wrong reasons after calling out other players and the coaching staff.
September was such a downer for the Blue Jays and their fans for the first time this season I nearly didn’t have enough good moments to make up a Top 10 list. Some of the moments on the list could be seen as quite a stretch and wouldn’t have even come close to the Top 10 earlier in the season. With that being said let’s see what was able to make the cut. As usual in chronological order…
September 1 – Edwin Encarnacion hits one into next week
The Blue Jays began the month on the wrong foot with four-straight losses, but Edwin Encarnacion’s power binge continued in a 5-4 loss to Tampa Bay. In the fourth inning, facing the Rays J.P. Howell, Encarnacion crushed a pitch to deep left center. The two-run blast wasn’t just your average home run either as it was measured at 488 feet. That’s the second farthest home run of the season with only Giancarlo Stanton mammoth 494 foot blast topping it.
Admire that bomb again right here.
September 4 – A rainy night at the ‘Dome
Not only was September 4 a rough night for the Jays, it was also a wet night for any fans that ventured out to the SkyDome. The Orioles were in town and they clobbered the Jays 12-0. Carlos Villanueva was roughed up for six runs on seven hits in 6 2-3 innings.
Villanueva also got rained on when the skies opened up and the dome’s roof malfunctioned and was stuck open. Rain poured in through the open roof soaking players and fans, many who were lucky enough to hide under umbrellas in the stands.
If the SkyDome roof operators had even looked at the weather report that night they probably wouldn’t have opened the roof to begin with. The remnants of Hurricane Isaac passed through the GTA and pelted the region with a record-setting rainfall.
September 7 – Lawrie and Arencibia return, finally
The Blue Jays lengthy injury list finally dropped a few big names on September 7 when Brett Lawrie and J.P. Arencibia returned.
It was Lawrie first game since August 3 when he hit the DL with a rib cage injury. In his first game back Lawrie went 1-5 with a pair of runs scored. Arencibia had been out since July 25 with a broken hand. He was 0-4 in his return, but went 1-3 the following night with two runs scored.
September 9 – Anthony Gose hits his first home run
Toronto top prospect Anthony Gose is known more for his wheels and his slick glove than for his power, but on Sept he found the seats for his first time. Facing the Red Sox at Fenway Gose stepped in against Sox closer Andrew Bailey in the ninth inning. With two men on Gose cracked a no-doubter to deep right field for a three-run blast, the first of his Major League career. Relive the moment right here.
September 13 – Edwin Encarnacion hits No. 40
Edwin Encarnacion has undoubtedly been the Blue Jays top hitter this season. On Sept 14 Encarnacion joined some elite company by launching his 40th home run of the season. Making the big blast even sweeter was the fact that it came off Seattle ace and former Cy Young Award winner Felix Hernandez.
Encarnacion became the seventh Blue Jays to hit at least 40 home runs in a season, joining a group that also includes Jose Bautista, Jesse Barfield, George Bell, Jose Canseco, Carlos Delgado, Shawn Green and Tony Batista. That’s some pretty good company. The home run also put Encarnacion over the 100 RBI mark for the first time in his career.
September 23 – Colby Rasmus breaks Tropicana Field
Every baseball fan knows what a dump Tropicana Field is. Likely one of the major reasons the Rays draw so few fans is their cavernous stadium. The longer you sit in the Trop the sadder you probably gt even though the Rays are a good team. That’s enough ranting about Tropicana Field though.
On September 23 the Jays faced the Rays and lost 3-0. The only real highlight in the game was a great catch by Colby Rasmus in the first inning. Desmond Jennings cracked a long fly to deep right center field which Rasmus caught on the fly. After making the catch he lost his footing and face-planted into the wall, which popped open. Maybe the best part of the scene was Moises Sierra trying to unsuccessfully close the open wall with a look on his face that just screamed “well, what do I do now?”
September 24 – Anthony Gose has a cannon
On September 24 the Blue Jays journeyed to Baltimore for a doubleheader against the Orioles. Toronto lost the first game 4-1, but struck back to take Game 2 by a score of 9-5.
In the sixth inning of the second game the Blue Jays were leading 5-3. The Orioles cut that lead to one thanks to a J.J. Hardy RBI single. Baltimore was threatening to tie the game and possibly even take the lead with the bases loaded and only one out. Facing Jays’ reliever Brad Lincoln the Orioles first basemen Chris Davis hit a lazy fly ball to left field. Anthony Gose camped under it and made the catch on the run as Taylor Teagarden tagged at third and headed for home. The strong-armed Gose threw a strike to home plate to nail Teagarden for the final out of the inning and secure the Jays one run lead.
September 24 – J.P. Arencibia shuts the door on Baltimore
Anthony Gose wasn’t the only one to provide some excite in Toronto’s 9-5 victory on Sept. 24. J.P. Arencibia also delivered some thunder with a clutch home run in the seventh inning.
The big inning began with a walk to Edwin Encarnacion followed by a single from Yunel Escobar. Adam Lind then dropped a single into shallow left field to load the bases. After a Moises Sierra fielder’s choice and a shallow pop out by Omar Vizquel, Arencibia was the Jays last hope with two away. Facing Baltimore’s Jake Arrieta, Arencibia got hold of a 2-1 breaking ball and knocked it over the left field fence for a grand slam. That was his first home run since returning from the DL and his fifth RBI of the night. The grand slam proved to be necessary, as the Jays went on to win 9-5.
September 28 - Chad Jenkins glove has a mind of it’s own
Chad Jenkins pitched pretty bad on September 28 in a 11-4 loss to the Yankees. He did deliver a play that, according to Twitter, not many fans have seen before when he did this…
Yes, September was so awful this quirky play makes the best of list for the month. Ugh!
September 29 – Canadian Shawn Hill with the win
Earlier in September Shawn Hill was a member of Canada’s World Baseball Classic squad as they tried to qualify for the 2013 tournament. He started Canada’s qualifying tournament opener and pitched 5 2-3 innings, allowing one run on three hits with seven strikeouts in an 11-1 rout of Great Britain.
Following the tournament, which Canada won to advance to the WBC, Hill was called up by Toronto on Sept. 24. Hill had made 15 starts for Triple-A Las Vegas this season, compiling a 9-2 record and a 4.52 ERA.
On Sept. 29 Hill saw action in a Major League game for the first time since 2010. Ricky Romero started the game for Toronto, but left after three innings with a sore knee. Hill took over and pitched three shutout innings, during which he did not allow a single hit. For his effort Hill recorded his first win of the season.