The door has been thrown open and the blue birds are now free from their former cage. A new reality is about to begin in New York City – one where the Toronto Blue Jays dominate the hometown Yankees on a regular basis and spell misery for their loyal fans.
Pure exaggeration? I won’t deny that, but it’s great to see the Jays finally walk away from the Bronx with a pair of wins and a series victory to boot. When’s the last time we were able to say that? The wins also came against exactly the right team at exactly the right time, providing a boost to the Jays’ Wild Card ambitions.
Saturday’s win in New York was certainly an emotional one for the Jays. They hadn’t won at new Yankees Stadium in 17 consecutive tries so it was important that they finally broke the Bronx Curse. However, I actually think yesterday’s 5-4 win over the Yankees was the critical one.
It showed the team is ready to move past their previous troubles in the Bronx and that they’re serious about pushing for a Wild Card spot. They were also able to create some momentum for themselves coming out of the series, which’ll be key as we head into the final two months of the regular season. They’ve now won three straight series – two at home, one on the road – with two of them against divisional rivals.
On the whole, however, I can’t say it was a pretty series for the Jays. They were lucky at times and unlucky at other times. There were even a few key moments in the series where they couldn’t take advantage of New York’s stumbles. I’ll admit it: I read these moments as signs from the baseball gods that the Yankees are their preferred team. (Maybe they’re just the baseball bankers’ preferred team?)
After the disastrous opening effort in the three-game contest where veteran pitcher Mark Buehrle couldn’t make it past the third inning, it looked like the Jays were destined to lose yet another road series at the hands of the Yankees. You would’ve been forgiven for thinking to yourself, “Here they go again, down the wrong path again. What a horrible start. Now they’re guaranteed to lose the series.”
The start of the second game didn’t look any better as the Jays quickly fell behind, but they were able to fight back and a three-run home run from Dan Johnson in the final frame ensured that the Yankees wouldn’t complete the comeback. In yesterday’s contest, the Jays never lost the lead even though they let New York keep things close or even throughout the second half of the afternoon affair. Another clutch hit in the ninth inning – this time from Dioner Navarro – gave the Jays just enough offence to win.
This is my elaborate way of saying the Jays didn’t make things easy for themselves in New York, but they showed enough patience and determination to walk away with two wins and the series victory. The Jays now hold a one-game lead in the Wild Card race while the Yankees find themselves sitting outside the playoff bubble again.
That’s the best part about this weekend series if you ask me.
Tags: Toronto Blue Jays