Every Monday during the 2015 season, 500 Level Fan will take a look back at the week that was, giving readers a snapshot of all things Blue Jays, including three top stories and the Blue Jay player of the week.
This is what happened in week 26.
Week 26: September 28 – October 4
Record: 3 – 4
Season-to-date: 93 – 69
AL East: 1st, 6 ahead of New York
Wild Card: N/A
- AL East Champs!
Even though we all knew it was coming and it was only a matter of time, nothing could diminish the excitement of last Wednesday when the Toronto Blue Jays officially clinched the AL East title for the sixth time in franchise history. Not even the rain that forced a Wednesday doubleheader and postponed the real celebration until after the second game. And not even the awkward way the game ended, with LaTroy Hawkins striking out the last Oriole hitter in the ninth yet nobody in the stadium realizing it was even a strikeout. When the final out was recorded, that loud sound you heard was an entire city and an entire country cheering at once and letting out 22 of years of frustration. The Jays couldn’t have clinched it in a better way either, absolutely bludgeoning the Orioles 15-2 and winning in the same blowout style they have won with all year long. The after party was one for the ages, giving us such gems as Josh Donaldson’s “1 beer, 2 beers, 3 beers, 4 beers!” and Kawasaki’s “I’m drunk” interview. It feels really good to be back on top.
- So Close….Twice
Both Mark Buehrle and Edwin Encarnacion fell agonizingly short of personal milestones yesterday, ending the regular season on a bit of a down note. First Edwin: despite going deep both Friday and Saturday he fell one HR short of 40, preventing the Jays from becoming the fourth team in MLB history to feature three 40 HR players. Edwin finished the year with 39, Bautista with 40, and Donaldson with 41. Buehrle on the other hand, entered Friday’s game just 8.2 innings away from reaching 200 for the 15th straight year. He pitched well but not well enough, going 6.2 innings to reach 198. In an effort to get him to the magical mark, John Gibbons brought him back to start Sunday on one day rest, in hopes he could get through the second inning. However, shoddy defense, a tight strike zone, and ineffectiveness prevented him from even finishing the first. Buehrle finishes 2015 with 198.2 IP – close, but no cigar.
- Another Pillar Catch of the Year
Player of the Week
Marcus Stroman, SP
The guy is just amazing: 1-0, 8 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 8 K, 1.67 ERA., 0.88 WHIP
Down on the Farm
A look at how the minor league affiliates are doing
AAA – Buffalo: missed playoffs
AA – New Hampshire: missed playoffs
A+ – Dunedin: missed playoffs
A – Lansing: Semi-Finals vs. West Michigan, lost series 2-1
A (Short Season) – Vancouver: missed playoffs
The Look Ahead
Game 1 vs. Texas on Thursday
Game 2 vs. Texas on Friday
Game 3 at Texas on Sunday