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Historical past reveals essential season finales are uncommon for Blue Jays


Recreation No. 162 historically means little or no for the Toronto Blue Jays.

This 12 months is a rarity.

For simply the fourth time in 45 seasons, the Blue Jays enter the ultimate day of the common season taking part in for what may very well be their playoff lives.

The highly effective American League East is the most important purpose the Blue Jays are one among 4 groups combating for 2 playoff spots on Sunday.

This is a take a look at the three different occasions the Blue Jays performed in pivotal season finales.

Oct. 4, 1987 – Tigers 1, Blue Jays 0

Up by 3 ½ video games on the Tigers with seven video games left, the Blue Jays appeared to have a agency grip on the AL East for the second time in three years.

However the Tigers prevented a four-game sweep by the Blue Jays within the finale of a collection in Toronto on Sept. 27, triggering a Toronto collapse.

It was the beginning of a season-ending seven-game shedding streak for Toronto, capped by three losses in Detroit in opposition to the Tigers, who overtook Toronto to win the division.

Together with his Tigers main Toronto by one sport coming into the finale, Frank Tanana gave up six hits for a complete-game shutout. Blue Jays left-hander Jimmy Key allowed simply three hits in eight innings, however one among them was a second-inning dwelling run by Larry Herndon.

Afterward, Key was requested if the Jays choked.

“That’s not proper,” Key informed the Los Angeles Occasions. “That’s horrible, horrible. Whenever you win 96 video games, there’s no choking. If that’s a choke, then what did the opposite 21 groups do.”

Oct. 3, 1990 – Orioles 3, Blue Jays 2

As is the case for the 2021 Blue Jays on Sunday, Toronto wanted assist 31 years in the past to make the playoffs on the ultimate day of the common season.

The Jays didn’t get it.

The Boston Pink Sox clinched the AL East with a 3-1 win over the Chicago White Sox at Fenway Park whereas the Blue Jays had been nonetheless taking part in in Baltimore. Lower than 10 minutes after Boston wrapped up its win, Toronto reliever Tom Henke gave up the game-winning homer with two out within the ninth.

“I’d be mendacity if I stated my coronary heart didn’t go down after I noticed we had no probability, however professionalism took over and I needed to win,” Henke informed The Related Press. “I’m not going to hold my head. I did my finest all 12 months.”

Toronto misplaced six of its closing eight video games, together with two of three to Boston in its penultimate collection, giving the Pink Sox the opening to seize the pennant.

Oct. 2, 2016 – Blue Jays 2, Pink Sox 1

After shedding 4 of 5 to kick off the ultimate week of the schedule, the Blue Jays rebounded within the nick of time.

Toronto received its closing two video games of the 12 months in Boston, clinching a playoff spot and residential subject within the AL wild-card sport in opposition to Baltimore.

A Detroit loss earlier within the day ensured the Jays could be within the playoffs. However Toronto nonetheless wanted to beat Boston to lock up dwelling subject. Starter Aaron Sanchez took a no-hitter into the seventh earlier than Troy Tulowitzki broke an eighth-inning tie with a single. Roberto Osuna closed it out within the ninth.

“For it to return all the way down to (Recreation No.) 162 and me being on the market … there was loads at stake in that sport, and it was in my palms,” Sanchez stated.

The Blue Jays went on to beat Baltimore within the wild card sport on Edwin Encarnacion’s walk-off dwelling run within the eleventh inning at Rogers Centre. Toronto then swept Texas within the ALDS earlier than falling to Cleveland within the ALCS.

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