Marco is the best

Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

I'm here to answer a question that I'm sure no one was asking: "why does she think Marco is the best?" I wasn't going to wade in, but I can't resist a dare (shortofbrillant).

It's appropriate that Marco crept up on me like he creeps up on hitters. I remember seeing him in mop-up in April 2015, and musing to my mom that he should be the rotation. But it was more or less a fleeting thought, followed by similar thoughts when he was saving the day against Boston to get in the rotation, making back-to-back no-hitter attempts in June, and becoming a mainstay. He was a guy I'd look forward to seeing and that was about it.

Then came July 10, 2015 - near the end of a desultory road trip in Chicago and Kansas City. The Jays lost, 3-0, and were stymied by Danny Duffy. Marco gave up two runs on nine hits in 6.2 innings, including some hard contact, and only struck out 2.

That doesn't sound like the moment where dreams are made - but in the first inning of that game, I realized how much I enjoyed watching Marco. A player I like to call Stupid Eric Hosmer hit a screaming liner off Marco's leg, and Marco could barely walk. I turned to my mom and said "if he's out, the season is done" (when the following day's starter is Felix Doubront, this isn't a crazy assertion). I realized how sad I was at the idea of a season without Estrada. And then despite limping all game, he gave the team 104 pitches to keep them in it and help save the bullpen.

When he dominated the Rays in his next start, outdueling Chris Archer to give the Jays a rare series win against Tampa, I was sold.

It still took some folks a while to hop on the bandwagon, as late in September they were still debating whether he should even make the playoff rotation. (ice_hawk10 definitely deserves a committee spot, btw.)

Who knew that would be the most critical postseason rotation choice in 2015? Lionize the batflip, it deserves every ounce of respect and joy you can give. But remember that without an unassuming Mexican on the mound for Game 3, the team may well have been swept, ignominiously continuing decades of failure.

I've never met Marco. Some friends have; even the cynical journalist calls him a "good guy." A friend was meeting with a colleague before 2016 ALDS Game 2; the colleague showed him a selfie of him and his friends with Marco, Pillar, and some others. They were in a bar on the road, and when Marco saw the Jays gear, he came up and started chatting, then conscripted his teammates to give the fans a selfie.

Of course, you never know what guys are like off the field - but between stories like that and Big Game Marco, how can you conclude he is not the best?


Editor's Note: This is a FanPost written by a reader and member of Bluebird Banter. It was not commissioned by the editors and is not necessarily reflective of the opinions of Bluebird Banter or SB Nation.

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