Every year, the Toronto Blue Jay’s Canada Day game is attended and watched by thousands. It celebrates the Blue Jay’s being the only Canadian and how amazing our country is but this Canada Day game stood out from the rest. It was long. Really long. I’m talking 6 hours and 13 minutes long. It’s the 2nd longest game in franchise history. So for the people at the ball game or at home watching, I applaud you for cheering on your Jays for 6 hours straight. I could not do that. I only started the game in the 10th and I was begging for it to end. But I’m just impatient.
The length aside, the game itself was quite entertaining. Although the Jays ultimately lost 2-1 in the 19th inning, it was a very enjoyable game. This game had a little bit of everything. Ejections, a horrible umpire and position players pitching in a span of 6 hours.
Starting the game for the Jays in red and a gold chain around his neck, Marcus Stroman who has been struggling lately, did nothing but pitch amazing. Through 6.2 innings, he only gave up 1 run on 5 hits, striking out 6. That’s how you show the haters who think it’d be a good idea to send him down to Triple A. Just to be clear, I am not one of those haters. I am a huge StroShow supporter.
In the 1st, Edwin Encarnacion got ejected after arguing a 3rd strike call and I don’t blame him. Home plate umpire Vic Carapazza is blind. He called it a strike when Edwin and everybody else knew that it was a ball. Watching it over and over again, it’s clearly off the plate. As expected, Gibbons came out as well and to no surprise got ejected for the 6th time this season. That was just the beginning of countless bad pitch calls by Carpazza. In the 13th, what was bound to happen, Russell Martin got ejected, arguing the call of balls and strikes then lost his temper and had to be restrained. He got a deserved standing ovation for that. He showed Carapazza who’s boss. The thing that concerns me though is that Carapazza is ranked 77th out of 86 umpires for call accuracy. That means that there are 8 other umpires worse than him. It’s really concerning.
Alright, enough of my ranting, let’s get back to the game. So in the 6th, with the Jays trailing 1-0, Justin Smoak belted a solo home run to left, his 8th of the year, tying it up. It would stay that for 13 more innings. It almost didn’t though because in the 10th, with 2 Indians on base, Superman Kevin Pillar saved a run(s) by making a spectacular diving catch. It could’ve been over but thank God it didn’t.
The Blue Jays came extremely close to walking it off when in the 14th with the bases loaded, Josh Donaldson however just couldn’t quite come through with a big hit, groundingout. That frustrated me greatly.
After using up their whole bullpen, the Jays brought in Ryan Goins to pitch in the 18th. He’s the 9th position player in franchise history to pitch. Last Blue Jay to do that was Cliff Pennington last year. It’s Goins’ first MLB pitching appearance, although he has some experience pitching in college and he pitches pretty good. He walked 1, gave up 2 hits and somehow got out of a bases loaded jam. The Baseball Gods were definitely watching over him. Drew Storen, who’s an actual real pitcher, would probably have given up a grand slam. So yes, yes, yes Goins. Bravo!
But unfortunately, not all position players who have the chance to pitch are as lucky as Goins. In the 19th, (the last inning, finally!) the Jays brought in Darwin Barney to pitch. He, like Goins, also was making his MLB pitching debut. He gave up a solo home run to slugger Carlos Santana, the first batter he faced. That run would ultimately be the winning run and Barney would pick up the loss.
Yeah, the Jays lost, it sucks especially since it was Canada Day but this game definitely became one of the most memorable for many Canadians. On a day we celebrate our country, our Jays tried their hardest and made us all proud. All of Canada proud.