(Scotiabank Field at Nat Bailey Stadium - Vancouver, B.C.) - A flurry of 'dings' on my cellphone usually means that the Blue Jays game is on and someone, somewhere wants to talk about what is happening in the game. Without so much as looking at my phone, I can usually tell if something has happened on the field based on how many 'dings' I get within a two to three minute span.
That's how we talk in 2016 with smart phones, split screens and all the analytical information available at our fingertips. Dave 'dings' me, I 'ding' Joe and then we go silent until the next big thing happens in the game and we all feel around for our phones to chat from our different locations.
Boy, this Blue Jays playoff run has been something hasn't it? They go from being a dominant force against the Rangers to becoming a team that looks like they are sifting underneath the sofa cushions for loose change against a Cleveland team that has pitching, pitching and more pitching.
It's tough to knock the Jays for perhaps hitting the wall a little bit as we close in on the cream rising to the top (RIP Macho Man Randy Savage). Remember, Toronto spent the last three weeks of the season in "everyday is the last day" mode, and just got into the post-season before knocking off Baltimore and Texas. With it, legions of Blue Jays fans across Canada began to once again believe that this year, much like 1992 and 1993 was our year.
However, it's not been an easy ride, nor has it been lopsided.
Let's not forget that despite the Blue Jays scoring just one run in the first two games of this series, Cleveland had only scored four over that same stretch (through two games). So for fans to begin sliding back off the bandwagon is unfortunate as the Canadians parent club could be right back in this by tonight.
Former Vancouver Canadians Marcus Stroman pitches Game 3 and another former C's star Aaron Sanchez gets the ball in Game 4. It's go time for the Blue Jays or some will consider the season a failure.
If this season ends against Cleveland, have we seen the last of either Edwin Encarnacion and/or Jose Bautista?
Here's some thoughts for you to chew on, and yes, I know in a few hours these numbers will change, but, here's the trends;
* Cleveland slugger Mike Napoli led with 34 regular season home runs, and yet thus far in the post-season has been a virtual no-show. The AL Central powerhouse won 94 games, swept Boston and lead the Blue Jays two-games-to-none and are 5-0 in the post-season largely without their big slugger. Let this sleeping dog lay.
* Cleveland manager Terry Francona brought up an interesting point with the series shifting to Toronto stating that the shadows during 4pm game could be a factor for both teams' offence. Personally, I think we have seen the last of the dome open at Rogers Centre. With a struggling offense, the Blue Jays need those optimal conditions and added noise to give them a true hometown edge.
* Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista came out and said some of his guys are battling 'circumstances' which many are translating to him whining about the strike zone. He might be, but, as Cleveland's PR team takes on-line shots at #19, remember, he plays better when he's choked -- so barring the umpire calling a strike on a pickoff attempt to first base, we should see Jose rise to the occasion, or ahem, should I say -- circumstances.
* Kevin Pillar is sore, not hurt. He needs to step up. 0-for-6 with a .143 on-base percentage is not going to cut it. That said, Russell Martin (1-for-7) and Troy Tulowitzki (1-for-8) aren't exactly world beaters either. In every series, there is a player in the shadows who for a brief moment steps up and becomes a difference maker (see Mark Lemke, Sid Bream). One of these three is going to have to become a factor.
Can the Blue Jays come from behind?
All of Canada is hoping so.