Opinion | All games are a must have for the Blue Jays after a group of Bronx bombs knocks them out of the game.

Just put “must win” in the loop of the ribbon.

Let vuW. Let vuW. Let vuW.

The rest is ephemeral calculation.

Three out of three, on the balance of odds, as the lawyers say, is what the Blue Jays will need to float their wild card pot, keep it afloat, with the Yankees coming out and the Orioles spinning in the final weekend of the season. regular campaign. (Mixed metaphors, but it’s been a long season).

More maceration from the AL standings: Technically, Toronto still has a chance to click the rosary to tie for the first wild card spot currently held by the Pinstripes, believe it or not. A miracle required by the Vatican test, but mathematically possible. Otherwise, in the wild card clash, at the stroke of midnight on Friday after New York squeezed the Blue Jays 6-2, Baltimore dropped the Red Sox 6-2 and Seattle enjoyed (as if) the night off. The Blue Jays were one game behind Boston and the Mariners, with three games for each team. The Blue Jays are behind the Yankees by three, with Tampa Bay leading the division champion ether.

You need three eyeballs to keep track of events.

So go down the slide on this razor’s edge for one more time. Thursday’s result solved nothing in the mercury group. But the meeting at the Rogers Center intensified all the sensations: each play, each at-bat, each pitch, each revision loaded with meaning and consequence. There may not be much baseball left in Toronto around 2021, worst-case scenario; here we’re just whistling by the graveyard but Will be portentous.

How was the wind blowing on Thursday night, the stadium opening up to the autumn sky? From the north, supposedly, according to the official weather report. But the ball, she flew the other way, over the outfield wall, three times in a sixth of four runs, including back-to-back shots by Anthony Rizzo and Aaron Judge (her second round-tripper of the night).

That erased a fragile but hard-won 2-1 lead for Toronto. And, after retiring the 13 previous hitters he had faced, starter Robbie Ray, his face creased with disbelief, was told to shower. The guy had allowed only four hits and they all came out of the park: 1,234 feet of home runs.

It seemed like the blink of an eye, actually, that the Blue Jays’ fortunes were reversed, as his ace walked to the dugout, to a standing ovation, an acknowledgment of what he has done for this team this year. Because it really had come out of nowhere, this 2021 domain, with Ray and Gerrit Cole going head-to-head for the Cy Young, and both of them damaged their bona fides on back-to-back nights.

The Blue Jays 'Bo Bichette gets out of the way of an inside pitch by the Yankees' Corey Kluber.

“It was a great atmosphere,” Ray said of the fans. “They brought the noise all night.”

Manager Charlie Montoyo was eerily prescient, even if he didn’t mean it that way, with his butt touch before the game for the big lefty in tight pants: “It’s not going to be easy for Robbie, but we have a chance because he’s on the mound. “

Making his 32nd start, Ray took the slump leading the league in ERA and strikeouts, and immediately racked up K No. 245. He then got a groundout single from Rizzo. Which brought Judge to the plate for the first time. And KAPOW, just below the video dash, 114.6 mph from the start on a first pitch fastball.

That caught the breath of a nearly sold out crowd (pandemic restricted style) of 29,659. But very early hits, right? And Ray quickly found his footing, keeping the Bronx Bombers at bay with generally faster gliding ease. A couple of elevators came together on the wall, true, enough to raise the alarm in the spectators’ throats, but there were tremendous sacks of Randal Grichuk and George Springer, the latter having a second night in a row on the field.

Yet that’s a lineup, the Yankees, as Montoyo had emphasized, that can never be underestimated, as evidenced by their flattening of Toronto on Tuesday, and they nearly rallied for a win on Wednesday, avoided by Bo Bichette’s eighth inning. four. bagger.

But there was no lights-out push on the Blue Jays’ bats tonight, no applause adding to their major league-leading home run numbers. And the Blue Jays don’t look much like the Blue Jays when they can’t play long.

Once again, Bichette got his team back on track, with an opening single in the second inning off starter Corey Kluber. He stole second place, then put Toronto 1-1 by scoring on a Corey Dickerson double, a throw down the line that echoed in the right-field corner.

Footnote to Toronto’s third: Marcus Semien’s 1,000th career hit.

A ton of the Blue Jays’ work was in the fifth inning, it seemed, plus some good joss, but it still resulted in just more runs on the board: a second single for Springer, the ball in and out of the glove of a skipping over to Gio Urshela, then Semien hit an apparent double play. Except, after the review, a pick play, Springer out and Semien at first was ruled out.

When Vladimir Guerrero went into a Kluber pitch, throwing him against the wall, somehow from the padded top of the fence and into Brett Gardner’s glove, for a double, Semien was running around the bases, scoring from first and putting Toronto in the front. above 2-1. He also removed Kluber from the game.

“It’s a game of inches,” Montoyo observed of what was a strange no-home run for Guerrero. “For some reason, it didn’t come out.”

In any case, no advantage is certain with the Yankees. As, in fact, it is also the case in Toronto, with all those bats on the rise.

The fateful sixth was with Ray fielding the first out, then, ouch, home run-home run-walk-home run and a bullpen citation for Trevor Richards.

“They got it,” Montoyo admitted, on the way his starter handled that frame.

What had been a lively audience, if dumbfounded by that sixth-inning disaster, was again rattled to lively and raucous attention, particularly entertained by a two-frame outing from Nate Pearson that featured a strike of 100 mph and a 102 mph. Strike.

In the bottom of the eighth, Bichette once again put some wind in Toronto’s sails with a double, his 28th of the season. But he was stranded there.

Montoyo said he hadn’t spoken to his players before the game, that they didn’t need a lecture or an encouraging speech from him. “Oh no, they are ready. It is not spoken. We are fine. They feel great. “

Afterwards, he could only take refuge in topics.

“Only one game at a time.”

This game was a weight loss. But unlike the punch to the stomach that killed Houdini, not necessarily fatal.

The Blue Jays still have some great escape tricks to play.

Rosie DiManno is a Toronto-based columnist covering sports and current affairs for The Star. Follow her on Twitter: @rdimanno


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