The game ended with a night of “celebration” for both teams. It was announced today, that John Gibbons would not be returning to the Blue Jays next year after being the manager for over 15 years.
In the Astros clubhouse, they had a different type of celebration. Although they technically clinched the division last night, and there was some videos of team members celebrating in a hotel last night. But today, they had the classic club-house celebration.
Hinch stated “There’s one team that can repeat, and that’s us. We need four celebrations and 11 wins. Those are all the points this team needs to know.”
The Astros with nothing to play for but pride, and giving rest to some of the regulars played against a Blue Jays team hopeful to give their manager one last home stand win to go out on top with. With this win, Gibbons career as a Blue Jay was 100% certain to go out over .500.
So back to the game itself. As it often is this late in the season, there were a lot of prospects, and the game turned out to be a bit of a bullpen game having a total of 12 pitchers in the game between the two teams.
“Starter” Chris Devenski … yes, you read that right, struggled which has unfortunately been the normal this season after a few excellent seasons, letting up a home run in the first to Grichuk. Ultimately, Devenski would go 2 innings, giving up 2 ER, 2 strikeouts, and a walk.
The Blue Jays countered with Reid-Foley, who went 3.1 innings, striking out 5 Astros.
Coming in to relieve Devenski was prospect Cionel Perez, who came in pitching 3 innings of 1 run baseball, striking out 3, but still struggling with control walking 2 on the night.
The return of another injured veteran, Lance McCullers was a good sign, pitching a perfect inning with a strike out. McCullers pitching out of the bullpen is not unexpected, but it was good to see him back in an Astros uniform. He looked good, running his fastball up to 94, and throwing all of his pitches with authority.
Carlos Correa, returning after a short hiatus, looked to be shaking the rust off, going 1-4 with a RBI single. Which turned out to be the only run of the game for the Astros.
In the 9th, Ken Giles came in for the Blue Jays, closing out his 13th save of the season. Giles gave the ball to Gibbons at the end of the game. It will be interesting to see how Giles reacts now that he has gone on record about the great culture of the Blue Jays, which is sure to be affected by the departure of Gibbons.
Key Items of Note:
Myles Straw recorded a statcast sprint speed of 30.9 feet per second. While this is just one run, Baseball Savant currently has Byron Buxton as the fastest in baseball at 30.5 feet per second. He also used that speed to steal a base. With his versatility and speed, you have to think he’s going to replace the Maybin/Fisher type running game that the Astros utilized in the playoffs last year.
It was great to have McCullers and Correa back. Both coming out saying they felt great.
“Definitely my back felt great” said Correa.
“I felt really good” McCullers said “I felt like my stuff was moving the way I wanted to, and I got the results that I wanted as well. My curveball has been the best it’s been in a long time, my change up was good and sinker was moving a lot. I was happy with the way I was attacking the zone. I didn’t feel like I was hesitant. I didn’t feel nervous or jittery.”
It does seem like there was a bit of a “hang over” from the Astros celebration last night, with many of the players staying up past 2 am EST to watch the Mariners come back win against the A’s.
With 5 games remaining, the Astros will need to win 3 to break the all-time Astros win record.
“We’ve been drinking a lot as a team because we drink to our accomplishments” stated Bregman in his usual well deserved arrogance.
Here’s to hoping for 4 more celebrations, 11 wins, and a lot more drinks!