The Moments That Make a Game

The Dive and the Double were amazing, but did you see Bautista’s move??

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Blue Jays 6, Cardinals 5

Every baseball game is made up of a series of great moments separated by anticipation.

Some games more than others.

Here’s the most significant moments from last night’s game:

The dive

I, along with everyone else, was left speechless by what Chris Coghlan did. It was breath-taking in audacity, tenaciousness and outright desperation. It’s the kind of move that had absolutely no right succeeding. By rights, Coghlan should have collided with Molina and broken his or Yadier’s neck…or overshot the plate and been tagged out as he lay winded and broken in the dirt…or been flipped onto his head just short of the plate…or been tagged as he went overhead… Even as I was watching the replay for the three hundredth time I still thought to myself, “This can’t possibly work” and yet—somehow, gloriously—it did.

I love baseball.

The double

Just two nights after being roasted by self-righteous fossils and other Gregg Zauns for actually having fun and showing emotion when he won a game, Marcus Stroman went out and won another one, this time with his bat and thousand watt smile (which he tried to hide for all of about twenty seconds after hitting second, at which point I think he realised it was pointless).

Good for you Marcus.

The beard at third

Just seeing Russell Martin jog out to third would have made my night, in all honesty. The rest of it was just really good gravy.

Schadenfreude

Is a fancy German word that (like a lot of fancy German words) sounds like a sneeze but which means “the joy one feels at the misfortunes of another” or, as I like to translate it, “the really ugly joy felt by a Blue Jays fan when Brett Cecil blows up in April when he’s pitching for somebody else”. (I mean, he actually committed a throwing error and balked with the same motion. It’s hard to screw up twice with one gesture.)

Don’t get me wrong…love the Brett…I think he’s great (in every month other than April). If he hadn’t been hurt for the 2015 ALCS I have no doubt the Jays would have gone to the Series. I also, however, have no doubt that if I were a manager with Cecil on the roster I would sit him until at least May, and never let him into high pressure innings until June.

Osuna teeters

I also love Roberto Osuna, but I’m starting to get a bit of a chilled feeling down my spine about him. The Jays haven’t really had much opportunity to play him this season, and so maybe that’s why he’s been less than sharp so far…and I get it, the Cardinals are a good team and all…but he blew the save, again, and didn’t even look very strong while doing so. Velocity still isn’t quite what it used to be, he was out of the zone and visibly shaken and distracted when he had a man on base.

Joey Bats comes through

Little noticed amid the furor over The Dive and The Double was something of much more long-term importance to the Blue Jays’ chances of success this season: José Bautista’s RBI single in the fourth inning to tie the game. He then went to third on a throwing error, which allowed him to score the go-ahead run on Morales’ groundout to third.

This was a big moment, not just in the game but perhaps in the season. Bautista’s struggles this year are no big secret, but there have been genuine signs of late that he may be coming out of it, and these moments from the fourth are perhaps the best indicator yet that he’s going to start looking more like the RBI man the Blue Jays need. He didn’t overswing or sell out for power, he didn’t miss his pitch, he kept his head on the basepaths, and he gave the Blue Jays the lead against a very effective Michael Wacha.

In comparison to Coghlan’s impossible move and Stroman’s improbable hit what Bautista accomplished may not seem like much…but a few more moments like that in each game could make all the difference in the long run.

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