Sixth Inning Failure Highlights Toronto Blue Jays Loss


On a cool evening where the Toronto Blue Jays struggled at the plate, it was a sixth inning failure that truly highlighted the Blue Jays rough night.

For the most part, the Toronto Blue Jays lineup was held in check by Kansas City Royals starter Edinson Volquez. Through the first five innings of the night, Volquez managed to hold the Jays to just a pair of singles and a couple walks.

Although the Jays did hit a couple of balls hard, they were right at somebody, which is a large reason Volquez only allowed one Jays base runner to reach second base through the first five innings.

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Entering the sixth inning, down by three, the Blue Jays had their best opportunity to score, as Josh Donaldson and Jose Bautista drew long, hard-fought back-to-back walks to begin the inning.

Oct 16, 2015; Kansas City, MO, USA; Toronto Blue Jays designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion (10) reacts after striking out with two runners on against the Kansas City Royals during the sixth inning in game one of the ALCS at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Donaldson fouled off four two-strike pitches before earning a free pass, while Bautista managed to fight all the way back from an 0-2 count to also earn himself a walk.

With two on and nobody out, Edwin Encarnacion dug into the batters box. This was the moment Jays’ fans were waiting for. Runners on base for the heart of the Jays lineup.

After falling behind 0-2, Encarnacion would take a pitch in the dirt to bring the count to 1-2. The next pitch, however, froze Encarnacion, as Volquez painted the outside corner of the plate with a 95-mph fastball.

Following the at bat, Encarnacion would talk with the Blue Jays trainer in the dugout and would eventually exit the game with a left middle finger injury.

With two on and one out, Chris Colabello and Troy Tulowitzki would both get a chance to drive Donaldson, and possibly Bautista, home.

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Colabello would rip a hard line drive right at Royals left-fielder Alex Gordon, while Troy Tulowitzki would endure a bizarre at bat that saw him take a pair of uncharacteristic pitches.

Tulo was patient at the dish, working himself up to a favourable 3-1 count. From there, though, the wheels would fall off. With a 3-1 count, Tulo took a middle-high fastball for strike two. He would foul off the next pitch but surprisingly watch a 3-2 fastball whistle in for strike three.

Tulo thought the pitch was high, but it wasn’t. Frankly, it’s a pitch we’ve all seen Tulo drive over the years while playing in Colorado. Whether is he 100 percent healthy or not, the two pitches Tulo took in the sixth inning were very uncharacteristic.

So through all of that, the Blue Jays managed to go hitless in the sixth, even though they sent five batters to the plate in what was a 37 pitch inning for Volquez that lasted just under 30 minutes.

Looking back on this inning, it could either be a sign of things to come in one of two ways.

It was either a sequence of at bats that was very uncharacteristic for the Blue Jays. Or, this team might need to refine their approach at the plate against the Royals.

It’s only Game 1, so I’m not going to jump the gun here and say the Blue Jays need to change everything. They hit the ball hard on multiple occasions in Game 1, but the BABIP God was not on their side.

That’s just baseball.

What do you think Blue Jays’ fans? Should we be worried about the Jays’ bats? Or was this just a rough night? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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