It’s hard to believe that Opening Day was originally scheduled to take place this week, because baseball is indefinitely on hold. Unless you’re playing MLB The Show and playing through the 2020 campaign, there’s no facsimile of Major League Baseball going on right now.
To help fill the void, Sportsnet is re-airing some of the most memorable games in Blue Jays history over the next few weeks. But if you miss those viewings and find yourself with a spare block of three or four hours, there are plenty of Blue Jays games that are worth rewatching.
Due to the sheer number of games in the archives, not every Blue Jays game is available out there, but in my humble opinion, these are the top five Blue Jays games you should go back and watch again.
5. Halladay carves up the Yankees with a complete game one-hitter
I sincerely wish there was full footage of this game, but unfortunately, the condensed video of this game was the best footage available. All you need to know is Roy Halladay put on a clinic against one of the Blue Jays’ biggest rivals: the New York Yankees.
Doc was his vintage self, throwing a complete game one-hitter that took all of 2 hours and 37 minutes to complete. This game was also the second of four (yes, four) complete games that Halladay threw in September 2009. He logged an MLB-leading nine complete games that seasons.
This was one of Halladay’s final starts in a Blue Jays uniform and he put on a pitching masterclass against the Yankees, who won the World Series that year. This game also included one of the prettiest infield putouts you’ll ever see (but I’ve never been able to find video); a glove flip play from Marco Scutaro to John McDonald.
4. Game 4 of the 1993 World Series
This playoff game is the literal definition of a “playoff clusterf*ck”. Game of the 1993 World Series still stands as the most runs scored in a World Series game with 29 runs total.
There were so many memorable moments; Todd Stottlemyre’s ill-advised run from first-to-third, his bloody chin, Tony Fernandez’ 5 RBI’s, the four hour 14 minute run time.
Most kids fell asleep with the Phillies leading 12-9 heading into the seventh inning, only to read the newspaper the next day and discover the Blue Jays squeaked out a one-run win with a 15-14 final score. This wasn’t a pretty game by any means, but there were so many lead changes, it seriously warrants a rewatch.
3. Brandon Morrow’s near no-hitter, 17 strikeout game
Dave Stieb owns the only no-hitter in Blue Jays history, but on August 8 2020, Brandon Morrow came so damn close to securing the second no-no for the Blue Jays franchise.
Measured by GameScore, this was the highest scoring game in Blue Jays history. Morrow racked up 17 strikeouts against the Rays and finished with a complete game one-hitter, good enough for a 100 GameScore.
Morrow had every pitch working for him that afternoon, and had it not been for a hopping grounder that bounced out of Aaron Hill’s glove, Morrow might have secured the no-hitter. Alas, he completed the game, protected the 1-0 lead and settled for one of the single-greatest performances by a Blue Jays starting pitcher.
2. Game 6 of the 1992 World Series
Everybody remembers how the Blue Jays clinched their second consecutive World Series title, but you never forget your first. Dave Winfield delivered the decisive hit in extra innings; a two out double to put the Blue Jays ahead in Game 6 and eventually secured them the World Series title.
Tom Henke was one strike away from locking down the victory for the Blue Jays in the bottom of the ninth, but Otis Nixon hit a game-tying single and sent the game into extra innings. That one earned run charged to Henke in Game 6 was the only earned run surrendered by the Blue Jays’ bullpen in the 1992 World Series.
Game 6 was also a redemption tale for Winfield, who couldn’t have picked a better time to come through with his very first extra-base hit in the World Series. At 41-years-old, Winfield was the third oldest player in World Series history to deliver an extra-base hit.
This was one of the closest World Series matchups I can remember, as all four of the Blue Jays’ victories were one-run victories. The Braves outscored the Blue Jays 20-17 in this series, but the Blue Jays made their runs count at the most crucial of times.
1. Game 5 of the 2015 ALDS
Was there ever any question? The seventh inning alone of this game alone deserves its own ESPN 30 for 30 feature. There were so many dramatic moments from this winner-take-all game from the 2015 ALDS series. Fluke plays, two bench-clearing incidents, and one of baseball’s most iconic moments.
This game solidified the legacy of Jose Bautista with one swing of the bat. He was already a household name within the Blue Jays realm, but his bat flip home run turned Bautista into a legend around baseball. This victory also legitimized the Blue Jays as a World Series contender and one of the best teams in baseball that season.
Game 5 of the ALDS was compromised of the lowest lows after Russell Martin knocked the ball of Shin-Soo Choo’s bat, to the highest highs after Joey Bats sent the 1-1 pitch from Sam Dyson tumbling into the stands.