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2015 AL East champions: the greatest moments part 3

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The first two parts of this series have been about the position players, but the pitching has, to the surprise of many, contributed a lot to the success of the 2015 AL East champions as well.

Papa and his kid Marcus
Papa and his kid Marcus
Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

Marcus Stroman's return from injury

Losing Marcus Stroman to an ACL tear was a big blow, but the determined young pitcher fought his way back in time to play a part in the playoff battle with the Yankees. Stroman would dominate the Yankees in his third start back in the rotation, with his slider being especially effective.

It's only fitting that the popular Stroman would be the starting pitcher to pitch the game with which the Blue Jays clinched the AL East title. A fitting reward for his hard work in trying to work his way back from injury. Marcus had a very nasty sinker working, freezing hitters on comeback sinkers or making them hit weak groundballs.

Mark 'Papa' Buehrle's last stand?

Mark Buehrle, at the age of 36, was instrumental in keeping the Blue Jays in striking distance before the trade deadline. While he hasn't been as good recently, you can hear Buck Martinez saying Buehrle set a franchise record of 9 consecutive games with 6 or more innings pitched and 2 or fewer runs allowed.

How very Mark Buehrle to not get fazed by giving up 4 runs in the 1st and coming back strong to pitch a complete game win. Part of what makes Mark Buehrle amazing is his ability to give teams 200+ innings year in, year out, in an era rife with pitching injuries. And of course the fact that he's an above average pitcher with a mid-80s fastball. It truly has been a pleasure to watch Mark Buehrle pitch for the Blue Jays.

The David Price acquisition

A huge trade deadline acquisition, David Price has shown a personality that is easy to like for Blue Jays fans. It doesn't hurt when you shut out the Yankees over 7 innings of work in a September playoff race game against a long-time nemesis, either.

The Blue Jays played extremely well against their direct rivals the Yankees this season, and David Price was one the best examples. It's really not surprising that many are hoping for a long-term contract for Price, even if it will take a huge sum of money.

Marco Estrada, surprisingly effective

Marco Estrada was very good in this game at Tropicana Field. Helped by a ridiculous Josh Donaldson catch, Estrada dominated the Rays for 8 2/3 innings of shutout ball. And he couldn't have picked a better game to be this dominant, as the Blue Jays would wait until the 12th inning to finally get on the board.

R.A. Dickey's strong second half

The day after a soul-crushing defeat at the hands of Ben Zobrist, R.A. Dickey shut out the Royals over 7 frames, surrendering just 2 hits. As a knuckleballer, a type of pitcher completely different from normal pitchers, Dickey sometimes dominates strong lineups and gets lit up by weaker ones. It's a quality that might prove useful in the postseason, where the stronger lineups should be prevalent.

Roberto Osuna, from A-ball to closer

Before he was made closer, Roberto Osuna was a 20 year-old who hadn't pitched all that much since recovering from Tommy John surgery, and had zero experience pitching higher than the Florida State League (high-A). Getting important outs like this one convinced the Blue Jays to make Osuna their closer.

Brett Cecil with the unhittable curve

After Aaron Sanchez worked himself into a jam, Brett Cecil came in to bail him out, winning over any fans that might not have embraced Cecil in their hearts already. Even though he does it all the time, watching Cecil strike out hitters with his curve doesn't get old.

In hopefully the last episode in the greatest moments of 2015 we'll look at all kinds of awesome, odd and spectacular events in the Toronto Blue Jays season. If you have suggestions, please leave them in the comments.