What. A. Game.
The Toronto Blue Jays' epic, 16-inning win yesterday could turn out to be the best game of the year.
Who knew after Ricky Romero struggled through a four-run Indians rally in the second inning that the Jays would have 14 more chances—and around four hours—to cut into that lead.
There were some frustrating moments for Jays fans, no doubt. Romero's five-inning performance left much to be desired. Justin Masterson's dismantling of the Jays' lineup was supremely frustrating.
Masterson left Jays fans with only one truly exciting moment—Jose Bautista's solo home run in the fourth inning. Then came Rajai Davis' brain cramp in the top of the 15th where he decided to stand at the plate and watch while the Indians turned a double play.
It certainly didn't seem like the Jays were going to win this game. But they did. And Jays fans should be absolutely ecstatic about that.
Not only did the team come back from a three-run deficit in the ninth inning, there are a huge number of positives the team can take away from the victory.
Most obviously, the bullpen was spectacular.
After Romero left the game after the fifth, the Jays' revamped bullpen allowed a grand total of four hits and zero runs. Sure, they walked eight batters but they held the Jays in the game for 10 innings. It would be safe to say the bullpen won the game for the Blue Jays.
Going into the season, the improvement of the bullpen was a huge requirement in order to raise the team's win total from a year ago.
Who Deserves the Most Credit for Jays' Win?
Gone are the days of Jon Rauch, Frank Francisco and Shawn Camp with their blown saves and bloated ERAs.
In are the days of the 2012 Jays bullpen: Seven pitchers who have totaled 11 IP with an ERA of 0.00.
Doesn't that look glorious, Jays fans?
Sure it's only one game, but we're allowed to get a little excited. The game wasn't pretty but the Jays are still undefeated. A 162-0 record is still a possibility.
Beyond the bullpen, J.P. Arencibia was excellent defensively, Jose Bautista looked spectacular and Yunel Escobar showed he can be a spark-plug.
Jays fans were shown an incredible baseball game Thursday afternoon.
Not just that, their team showed why they're much improved in 2012.