Toronto Blue Jays: Walk-off Win Over Royals Caps Off Special Week


Toronto Blue Jays: Walk-off Win Over Royals Caps Off Special Week

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The scoreline will say the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Kansas City Royals 7-6 in 11 innings on Friday night at the Rogers Centre. However, the victory over the American League leading Royals means so much more to Blue Jays fans.

Obviously, after recent events on the trade market, there is a special buzz in the air across the blue bird nation. The extra innings walk-off win, courtesy of Josh Donaldson, capped off a special week and surely brought chills to Jays fans across Canada.

You would think the shocking welcome of Donaldson to Toronto was always going to be the climatic move in the Blue Jays transaction record for 2015. However the presence of Troy Tulowitzki and David Price have taken the excitement level for Toronto baseball fans to new heights, and on Friday night we got to see it all come together.

Jul 31, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher David Price (14) in the dugout before a game against the Kansas City Royals at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

The 11 innings were jam packed with electrifying moments. After a rough first inning for Drew Hutchison, the Blue Jays found themselves down 3-0 right out of the gate.

The best offence in the league fought back in the third inning, thanks to a two-run double off the left field wall from none other than Donaldson. Kevin Pillar would tie the game with a two-out single an inning later.

It was around this time that Blue Jays faithful were introduced to their new ace. Price appeared on the jumbotron after a dramatic commute to the 416. The ovation he received at Rogers Centre was extraordinary.

Price was seen clapping and cheering on his new squad pitch-by-pitch from the top step of the dugout. It was surreal watching him cheer on the Blue Jays, knowing he is the best pitcher to wear a Blue Jays uniform since Roy Halladay.

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The most remarkable part about the second Jays come back after falling behind by three runs for a second time, was that it was not even surprising. We have seen it on a regular basis and it has been talked about all year long.

What has not been praised enough is the recent work of the bullpen. Aaron Sanchez, Roberto Osuna, Brett Cecil, and Liam Hendriks combined to toss four perfect innings from the 8th to 11th.

The decision to move Sanchez to the bullpen has worked out wonderfully for the Jays. I would personally like to give his sinker a shout out, for giving Tulo back-to-back ground balls in the 8th.

Watching Tulo throw across the diamond with that patented side arm was awesome. Adding Mark Lowe and LaTroy Hawkins to the pen is only going to further solidify what used to be a major weakness for the Blue Jays.

Jul 31, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson (20) and shortstop Troy Tulowitzki (2) celebrate the win during the eleventh inning in a game against the Kansas City Royals at Rogers Centre. The Toronto Blue Jays won 7-6. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

What better way to end an unbelievable week for the Jays than with a storybook walk-off win? Tulowitzki singled in the bottom of the 11th and was moved to second after a balk by his former teammate Franklin Morales.

It took just one pitch with a runner moved to scoring position, for the bringer of rain to end the game in dramatic fashion. Donaldson hit a line drive to the gap in left centre field to score Tulowitzki and win an important game for the revamped Blue Jays.

Donaldson’s fourth RBI of the night would leave him in a tie for first in the American League with 73. He also became the first Blue Jay with three walk-off’s in a season, since Orlando Hudson did it in 2005.

It was quite the first impression the Jays made on Price; six runs of support and two comebacks against Johnny Cueto and a bullpen with the best ERA in the entire MLB (2.13).

Price was one of the first ones to hop the dugout fence and make his way to the celebratory scrum that ensued in the infield. What brings a team together more than wins like these?

It comes at a perfect time with so many new faces in the locker room and after the departure of the loveable Jose Reyes. This team has the most star studded roster in the league and the faster they can mesh together, the better.

If tonight proved anything, it’s that this is the most exciting time for Blue Jays baseball in years. I have always been an active spectator whether I’m catching the Jays game on TV or on the radio… usually found pacing back-and-forth, while cursing an umpire.

The walk-off win was entertaining for so many reasons. Perhaps the greatest of all was because it seems like a sure-fire sign of good things to come for our Toronto Blue Jays.

What was your favourite moment from last nights walk off win? Which new player are you most excited to watch and follow down the stretch? Let us know in your comments section below.

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