The pitching matchup for the season finale featured R.A. Dickey for the Blue Jays and Miguel Gonzalez for the Orioles. Both pitchers came into this one having given up 25 homers apiece so you might have thought the ball might have been flying out of the yard. However, there was just one home run and it belonged to Baltimore shortstop Jonathan Schoop. Despite a batting average around .210, Schoop has some thump in his bat as his 16th dinger of the year in the fifth helped Baltimore break the ice.
The Jays had chances to tie it. Dalton Pompey singled to start the second inning but was picked off. Of course, Anthony Gose would double with two outs to make sure that pickoff really hurt. Ryan Goins had a two-out triple in the fifth but he was stranded after Jose Reyes lined one to right. Reyes was not happy about it. I thought he was going to spike his batting helmet for a moment. Edwin Encarnacion singled to start the ninth and he was replaced by Juan Francisco (?) as a pinch-runner. Francisco’s stay on the basepaths wasn’t very long. Danny Valencia pinch-hit for Adam Lind against Orioles closer Zach Britton and he lined the first pitch he saw to Steve Pearce for the unassisted double play. Three pitches later, it was season over as Britton got Pompey to swing and miss three times. Baltimore avoided the sweep and put a nice bow on their AL East Division winning season.
The Jays were able to secure a winning season for the first time since 2010 at 83-79 but the season was an overall disappointment. It’s hard to believe it was 25 years ago when these two teams faced each other at the SkyDome for the final series with the AL East on the line. The Jays were able to clinch the 1989 Eastern pennant on that Saturday afternoon after winning the series opener on the Friday night. That was quite a way to christen the new stadium. Unfortunately, the Oakland A’s spoiled the party by beating the Jays in the ALCS before beating the Giants in the World Series.
I will post more photos of the Jays final homestand of 2014 in the coming days.