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Today in Blue Jays History: The Bat Flip

The Toronto Blue Jays and Texas Rangers play game five of the MLB American League Division Series Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images

Six Years Ago Today:

Between this and Joe Carter’s home run, I’m not sure which is my favourite moment in Blue Jays history.

I’m sure you remember it all, but from the recap:

The top of the 7th was absolutely nuts. I’m not sure I can explain it all.

Aaron Sanchez came in, replacing Marcus Stroman (who was great), with the score tied. He gave up a leadoff single to, of course, Roughed Odor. Chris Gimenez bunted him to second. He got to third on a Delino DeShields ground out (great play by Josh Donaldson). Then it got weird.

After a pitch to Shin-Soo Choo, Russell Martin got Chin’s bat/hand when trying to throw the ball back, got Chin’s bat/hand. Now a strange bunch of happenings happened all at once. Odor (my spellcheck wants me to spell it Odour) came running home. Then the ump sent him back. Rangers argued. And the umps had to overturn it.

Jays argued more. The umps looked at the replay to review. After a long review, they upheld the call of the run-scoring. Jays protested.

Now the umpire really shouldn’t have called time, but how many know the rule for the catcher hitting the batter with the throw back to the mound.

The Jays thought that when the ump called time, the play was over. But, unfortunately, that’s not how it works. If (it is very rare) an umpire calls time while a play is in progress, the game continues until it ends.

But, it seemed unfair. It was unfair, but if the ump hadn’t called time, the run would have scored.

It was nuts. And the fans at the game, very understandably, went nuts, throwing everything they had (which, being a baseball game, mainly was beer) down at the field. But, of course, not all of them could hit the field, meaning people in the lower levels got showered. It would have been the same at any park in baseball.

Going into the bottom of the 7th, it didn’t look good.

Amazingly, in the bottom of the inning, the Rangers were the ones who were rattled. Russell Martin reached by error on Andrus. Kevin Pillar reached on a Mitch Williams error. Ryan Goins reached on another Elvis Andrus error. Bases loaded by errors.

Looking a little too excited, Ben Revere ground into a 3-2 putout at the plate. Dalton Pompey slid into the catcher, and there was a replay review, but Dalton did no wrong.

Josh Donaldson popped a short pop out to second, but instead of turning and running to it, Odor tried running backwards and missed it. But, Revere, of course, had to stick close to first, and he was forced out at second. The good news was that Pillar scored. Game tied.

Then Jose Bautista hit the ball a mile. A 3-run homer and we go from down by one and sad and angry, to up by three and, well, thrilled. I jumped up and down forever. Jose’s bat flip was epic.

Of course, the game wasn’t over.

After that, Aaron Sanchez came back out (Gibby should have replaced him, he was sitting forever). He got one out but had two guys on base.

Thankfully, Roberto Osuna came in and had as easy a 5-out save as you will see. What a fantastic performance.

Earlier in the game:

Marcus Stroman was a little shaky to start but got it together and pitched a good game. He gave up a run in the first and a solo Choo homer in the 3rd. In all, 6 innings, 6 hits, 2 earned, 1 walk, 4 strikeouts.

We scored one in the 3rd, Revere singled, and Bautista doubled him home.

And once in the 6th (to tie), Edwin Encarnacion clubbed a solo homer.

Kevin Pillar (what else is new) made a fantastic catch in the 4th.

We had 3491 comments in the game thread.

Scott had a minute by minute rundown of the 7th inning. You really should read it.

Jasper shared thoughts on the craziness from other SB Nation sites.

From True Blue LA:

I wouldn’t have cared if Bautista took his shirt off and started running around the bases and doing cartwheels. That was an extraordinary moment.

And from Grant Brisbee:

The baseball gods are on peyote and throwing flaming furniture off the roof, and there isn’t a damned thing we can do about it.

The Rangers and their fans would whine and complain about the bat flip for, well, five4 years now. But of course, if it had been the opposite, they would have enjoyed the bat flip. Roughned Odor has flipped the bat many times since (and, of course, never in as big a moment).

Thankfully baseball seems to have grown up. Marcell Ozuna took a pretend selfie, going around the bases on a home run, and the Reds haven’t acted like hurt children.

I’m sure you have it imprinted on your memory, but I’m ok with seeing it again and again.