Saturday looked like a complete disaster until, all of a sudden, it wasn’t.
Hyun Jin Ryu and Ross Stripling both got smacked around in the first game but a four-run rally, led by a clutch two-run homer from George Springer, gave the Blue Jays an 11-10 come-from-behind win. In the second game, Keegan Akin no-hit the Blue Jays through six innings and then Toronto teed off for 11 runs in the seventh to win 11-1.
Like last Friday against Oakland, the first game on Saturday was yet another in which the Blue Jays’ win probability was on life support. In the bottom of the sixth, Ramon Ortiz advanced to second on a wild pitch and Baltimore had a 98.3 percent win probability.
Teoscar Hernandez led the top of the seventh off with a double, Corey Dickerson Walker, Lourdes Gurriel hit a very long single, Jake Lamb hit a sac fly, and that line started dropping. Danny Jansen then flew out, leaving George Springer as Toronto’s last hope. And, as Springer has done so many times in his career, he came through clutch…
The @BlueJays trailed by 3 in the last inning…
George Springer changed that! pic.twitter.com/fD8UdV92jU
— MLB (@MLB) September 11, 2021
Another key thing to note about the comeback game was Nate Pearson keeping the Blue Jays within striking distance. Ryu and Stripling combined to allow 10 runs over four innings and then Pearson came in and closed the door, tossing two scoreless frames. He worked around a pair of walks and a hit while picking up two strikeouts. It was an outing that showed the kind of value Pearson can have for the team down the stretch as a multi-inning arm out of the bullpen.
The nightcap was a strange one given the momentum the Blue Jays carried after the first game. Baltimore’s Keegan Akin came into the game with an ERA of 7.00 and proceeded to no-hit the Blue Jays until the seventh inning when Vladdy Jr. smacked a single into right field. Immediately after that, Bo Bichette did this…
BO KNEW! 😤 pic.twitter.com/9j0b2frE68
— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) September 12, 2021
After that, the Blue Jays popped off. Teoscar singled, Alejandro Kirk homered, Lourdes Gurriel singled, Randal Grichuk singled, Breyvic Valera hit a sac fly, Springer singled, Marcus Semien homered, Vladdy singled again, Bo singled, and then Toescar hit a homer. The 11 runs tied a franchise-high for runs in an inning.
Here’s what the entire thing looked like. Only one ball wasn’t hit hard.
New York and Boston also won on Saturday but since the Blue Jays won twice it meant that they gained a half-game on both teams. That puts them in a tie with the Yankees for the second wild-card and it has them one game back of Boston and they still have two games in hand on them. Seattle and Oakland both lost so the Blue Jays gained a bit of a cushion there.
This is going to be a hell of a finish!