By Joel Norman, Originally published on Sports Heaven
With their wild 7-6 win over the Texas Rangers Sunday night, the Toronto Blue Jays are on to the American League Championship Series. Despite winning all four of their postseason games, it has not been an easy route to the final battle for the American League Pennant.
Here are some stats on Blue Jays postseason run.
- On May 18, the Blue Jays were 19-23 and third in the AL East. MLB.com’s postseason projector gave Toronto a 26% chance at making the postseason at that point. The Blue Jays went 70-50 after that point.
- The Blue Jays led the American League in Team ERA with a 3.78 mark. However, none of Toronto’s starters that started at least 20 games had an ERA below 3.00. Aaron Sanchez led the team with a 3.00 ERA while R.A. Dickey‘s 4.46 ERA was the worst.
- Per, @BlueBirdStats, Jose Bautista and Troy Tulowitzki are tied for third on the Blue Jays’ postseason RBI leader list.
- Toronto is 4-0 to start the postseason. The last team to do that was the Kansas City Royals in 2014. The Royals won their first eight postseason games to advance to the World Series without a loss.
- The Blue Jays series-clinching victory over the Rangers came on the night before Canada’s Thanksgiving. Toronto is 4-4 all-time in games on Thanksgiving Eve or Thanksgiving Day.
- Dating back to the 2015 postseason, Toronto has won its last six playoff games against the Rangers. After losing the first two games of that American League Division Series, the Blue Jays won the final three games to win the series.
- The win over the Rangers last night was the first time that the Blue Jays had swept a postseason opponent. Toronto collected four sweeps in the 2016 regular season.
- Toronto has twice claimed a postseason series victory via three-run walk-off home runs. In 1993, Joe Carter’s three-run home run in Game 6 won the World Series. In 2016, Edwin Encarnacion‘s three-run homer won the Wild Card Game.
- The Blue Jays 7-6 Game 3 win over the Rangers was the first time in MLB history that a series ended on walk-off error. Texas second baseman Rougned Odor was charged with an error on his low throw to first that Mitch Moreland could not handle.
Per @ESPNStatsInfo, Encarnacion is in elite company.
That’s not the only impressive home run stat that they found:
If you’re curious, those four teams are the Blue Jays, New York Yankees, Pittsburgh Pirates, and Los Angeles Dodgers. Russell Martin has played in the postseason for nine straight years and in 10 of his 11 MLB seasons.
- Martin’s home run last night was also the first by a Blue Jays catcher in the postseason since Pat Borders hit a solo home run in the fourth inning to open the scoring in Game 4 of the 1992 World Series.
- In Game 2 against the Rangers, the Blue Jays hit four home runs in a 5-3 win. It was the first time in franchise postseason history that Toronto had accomplished the feat. Ironically, the last time that any team hit four home runs in a game also came in Texas, when the Cardinals hit four against the Rangers in Game 3 of the 2011 World Series.
Texas hosts the Cleveland Indians in the American League Championship Series beginning Friday October 14 at 8 p.m. ET.