Blue Jays return to the postseason

BlackburnNews.com photo by Stephanie Chaves.

In this historic, topsy-turvy Major League Baseball season, the Toronto Blue Jays will see some postseason action.

The Jays clinched a spot in the American League playoffs with a 4-1 win over the New York Yankees Thursday night in Buffalo. This is Toronto’s first trip to the playoffs in four years.

It was a first for Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo, who is taking his first playoff trip as a big-league manager.

“I’m just so proud of my club and everything we’ve gone through all year,” said Montoyo, who is in his second year as the Jays’ skipper. “These kids, the ups and downs, the tough games and coming back and winning games after tough losses. We kept believing in ourselves. I’m so proud of this group. I’m the happiest guy right now.”

This was a happy ending to a regular season that left the Blue Jays without their usual home, the Rogers Centre, due to government restrictions on border-crossing implemented due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The club took up temporary residence at Sahlen Field in Buffalo, the home of its Class AAA minor league affiliate, the Buffalo Bisons.

The Jays got off to a slow start, but a six-game winning streak earlier in this abbreviated season placed the club above the 500-mark for good. Montoyo said he never lost his positive outlook.

“I have a kid who’s had four open-heart surgeries, so I know it could be worse,” said Montoyo “That’s why after tough losses, I could turn the page and say, ‘Let’s go. Let’s get ready for the next game.’”

The Blue Jays finish the regular season starting Friday night with a series in Buffalo against the Baltimore Orioles.

If the playoffs were to start Friday morning, Toronto would take on the Tampa Bay Rays in the first round. The playoff schedule will not be finalized until Sunday night.