So. Close. The Blue Jays, falling 8-7 to the Boston Red Sox, have lost a major league-leading 11 games. In Tuesday’s game, as with many of Toronto’s losses so far, the Blue Jays made a ninth-inning push to win the game, but the effort fell short.
The game started well - as have most of the other games this season - with a Kevin Pillar double. Pillar, who has collected seven hits in his past five games, scored after Kendrys Morales singled. The Blue Jays got their second run of the game later in the inning, when Justin Smoak doubled home Morales.
The 2-0 lead didn’t last long. In the third, the Red Sox battled back, scoring three runs on four singles. In the bottom half of the inning, Justin Smoak once again redeemed Toronto, hitting a solo home run to tie the game.
Marcus Stroman, the starter for Tuesday’s game, faced more trouble in the fifth. After getting the first out of the inning from Andrew Benintendi, Stroman allowed a single to Mookie Betts followed by back-to-back doubles to both Hanley Ramirez and Mitch Moreland, which made the score 5-3. Pablo Sandoval, hitting an RBI single to make it 6-3, drove Marcus Stroman out of the game after just 4.2 innings. In the end, he allowed six earned runs and 11 hits while walking one and striking out four.
In the bottom of the fifth, Russell Martin hit his first home run of the season to left centre field, cutting Boston’s lead to two. Martin’s home run made Tuesday’s game just the second of the season in which the Blue Jays have hit multiple home runs.
The bleeding continued into the seventh inning. Batting against Joe Smith, Mookie Betts hit a solo home run to give the Red Sox seven runs, and a pair of hits in the eighth made it 8-4 for Boston.
If any positives came out of today’s game, it was from the ninth inning. Despite starting the inning with two groundouts, the Blue Jays managed to score three runs. Steve Pearce drove home Russell Martin, who reached base with a walk, on a single. Ezequiel Carrera, pinch hitting for Darwin Barney, hit a home run to make the score 8-7. Devon Travis subsequently lined out to finish the game.
Only one team in history has made the postseason after a 2-11 start: the 1951 New York Giants. Looking ahead, the Blue Jays have a tall hill to climb - one that is, almost certainly, unscalable. That being said, it’s only April 18th.
On the bright side, no one was injured in the game. That’s a plus.