In the pivotal game five of the ALDS, the Rangers and the Blue Jays were tied 2-2 coming into the 7th inning. What happened next was one of the most bizarre innings we’ve ever seen. Here’s the timeline.
- With two outs and a runner on third, the Rangers were looking for the go-ahead run. Toronto catcher Russell Martin attempted to throw the ball back to his pitcher, but it hit Rangers batter Shin-Soo Choo (seriously, how the hell does this happen in game five of the playoffs). The alert runner on third ran for home base after the ball went astray, but the umpire called a dead ball.
- After talking it over with the other umps and reviewing the play, it was concluded that the run would stand. How do they give Texas the run after they’ve called a dead ball? Beats us.
- Angry Toronto fans started throwing beer cans and other trash onto the field as a sign of protest. Classy.
- In the bottom of the seventh, Russel Martin hits a soft ball to second base that is almost always an easy out. Elvis Andrus mishandles it and commits an error. One runner on base.
- The next batter, Pillar, hit a grounder to first base for another (usually) easy out. Rangers Moreland decides to get fancy and try to force Martin out at second. Moreland throws an awkward ball to second that Andrus can’t handle. Two errors, two Blue Jays on base.
- The very next batter bunts it towards Adrian Beltre, who throws to Elvis Andrus on third…who commits his third consecutive error. Bases loaded.
- The next batter hits a ground ball to first, which Moreland throws error-free to home base for the force out. The runner from third slides hard into Rangers catcher Chris Gimenez. Umps figuratively say, “let the boys play” and dismiss any appeals for interference, which would count as an extra out.
- Josh Donaldson hits a blooper over second baseman (which he definitely should have gotten, but I guess the bar for errors was set so low). One runner scored, another is forced out at second. Here are the errors in all their glory.
- The next batter, Jose Bautista, hits a beautiful 3-run homer and the Toronto crowd explodes. Bautista breaks an unwritten rule of baseball and gives a slick flick of the bat, which I’m sure the Rangers players appreciated.
- Crowd goes wild. More trash. More drama. Some fan gets thrown out. Benches clear.
- Blue Jays pitcher Mark Buehrle (not rostered) gets ejected for God knows what.
- After the inning, Texas Reliever Sam Dyson gives Jays batter Troy Tulowitzki a pat on the butt. Naturally, this causes the benches to clear again.
And then…Oh it’s over? Thank goodness we survived that ordeal. After it was all said and done, Bautista’s homer was enough to seal the game for the Jays, who move on to the next round of playoffs. Here’s to more of this kind of baseball in future.