What a difference a weekend makes for the Toronto Blue Jays! After some controversial calls hampered the Blue Jays in the first two games of this series, the tide turned in a more positive direction for the Blue and White. No longer did fans and players have to suffer through a strike zone comparable to something you'd see in the Little League World Series, but we actually were able to witness impartial officiating that wouldn't you know led to better results for the better team.
It was a glorious start. Texas Rangers starter Derek Holland was the pitcher of record and he got lit up similarly to the same way Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick got taken to the shed to the all of a sudden goal-centric Arizona Coyotes on Saturday.(#fantasyhockeyproblems) I took no issue with this strategical decision for Jeff Banister to select Derek Holland to take the hill as there were some other strategical blunders that happened later that carry the precipus of my recap tonight. The issue that surely more die hard Texas Rangers will take offence with the Holland decision is why on earth his leash was so long? The Jays pounce on non over powering lefties which describes Holland to a T and so the obvious water cooler discussion is why after the Chris Colabello home run in the first wasn't he pulled in favor of veteran Colby Lewis? Technically not a must win for Texas but they had to know that once the lead progressed to 5-0 it was inevitable that this series was heading back to Canada, the lack of desperation was troubling me this afternoon. The Blue Jays applied solid pressure the first five innings or so, what I took notice with was the approach the Jays hitters used. Much more patience was exuded one through nine in this lineup. They waited for the pitch they were seeking something that was not evidenced in the first two games in T.O. Aside from Jake Diekman, who I've stated this in the past might be the Andrew Miller of this year's playoffs, the Rangers pitching staff isn't particularly overpowering so the Jays ineffectiveness in the first two was beyond frustrating but whatever was hindering their performance earlier has been corrected because we've seen the Jays offence of old recently and fingers crossed that the momentum stays with the good guys for game five.
Okay....time to analyze the nitty gritty, the topic that all media outlets in Canada will be bantering about tomorrow and that's whether using David Price in this game the way they did was sound thinking. It wasn't, just stating the obvious here and there a plethora of reasons that explain this. At the time that R.A Dickey was pulled by manager John Gibbons, the score was 7-1 Toronto and there were two outs in the bottom of the fourth inning. For anybody that was willing to listen, I kept saying that I had a higher confidence level in Marcus Stroman pitching a potential game five as opposed to Price so in the sense of the word I'll be getting my wish but I certainly would've preferred David Price as an emergency option if Stroman falters. When interviewed by Fox's Ken Rosenthal pertaining to his game five availability David Price implied that he would be ready to do whatever is asked but when John Gibbons was asked the very same question in his presser he was more emphatic by saying Price is no longer an option. Conflicting answers....we will see who wins out, player or manager. Using Price the way they did is comparable to the New York Yankees using Mariano Rivera for two innings in a 13-2 lead and then not making him available in the probable tighter game the following night. I can try to read between the lines here and what I'm gathering is they're telling Price you flat out suck and regardless of the fact that we gave up a boatload to acquire you, we'd rather throw all of our marbles towards a kid who's set to make his second career playoff start. This game four was never in question, in fact the game was more in question once Price came to the mound so that illustrates the success, or lack thereof of David Price as of late. My question is this, and I wish some of the media personnel that have the privilege of sitting inside the press room would ask more of the hard hitting questions, if Marcus Stroman fades out early Wednesday, who is the game five version of David Price? Marco Estrada....starting in game three probably sets an inning limit on himself? Liam Hendriks...can't fathom they would really put their season in the hands of the little used starter turned reliever. Or more realistically, will we see a bullpen barrage that could feature every pitcher on the post-season roster. Three options that I'm sure Gibbons and Anthopoulos will look at closely but none of these provide the security that David Price does.
Game five will be a hoot, Marcus Stroman v another lefty in Cole Hamels. Go Blue Jays and send a congratulatory message to the Texas Rangers for not starting Blue Jay nemesis Yovani Gallardo.