No Doubt at the Dome

BLUE CRUSH… RED CRUSH

TORONTO (Oct. 20) — Forget, if you can, the final score, which was wildly flattering to the visitors. On a night the real Toronto Blue Jays had to show up… they did. With rocket fire. A blue wave that overwhelmed the Kansas City Royals and rattled the innards of Rogers Centre. Happening at the same time a red wave splashed over our country in the form of a Liberal government to be led by Prime Minister Trudeau. Pierre’s kid. And, what a familiar sound that is to Canadians who remember the late–60’s and early–70’s.

The 2015 American League Championship Series is a contest once again after an 11–8 Toronto victory in Game 3, which the Blue Jays cracked wide open with six runs in the third inning to lead, 9–2. Unconfirmed reports had Johnny Cueto’s agent, Bryce Dixon, being talked off a high ledge in Del Mar, Calif. after his soon–to–be free agent imploded for all the baseball world to see. Cueto departed after two horrendous innings and eight earned runs. As of this moment, Johnny’s rep can present Major League general managers with a ghoulish 36.00 ERA on behalf of his client in the playoffs this autumn. Ouch!

As we awaken Tuesday to a new government, the Blue Jays and Royals will soon be trickling back into the Dome for Game 4 and a 4:07 p.m. first pitch. R.A. Dickey will try to pitch the Blue Jays back to even against 6–foot–10 righty Chris Young. Here’s what my trusty NIKON saw in Game 3:

FSCN9791edited-XFOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE MID–APRIL, A BLUE JAYS HOME GAME BEGAN AFTER DARK, AS MARCUS STROMAN THREW THE OPENING PITCH AT 8:07 P.M. EASTERN.

RSCN9802edited-XPAINTED IN FRONT OF EACH DUGOUT.

RSCN9840edited-X  RSCN9843edited-XOPPOSING MANAGERS JOHN GIBBONS AND NED YOST SHAKE HANDS DURING INTRODUCTIONS AND KANSAS CITY PLAYERS STAND AT ATTENTION FOR NATIONAL ANTHEMS (BELOW).

RSCN9849edited-XRSCN9862edited-X  RSCN9863edited-XCEREMONIAL PITCH WAS THROWN BY DEVON WHITE: CENTER–FIELDER ON THE BLUE JAYS WORLD SERIES TEAMS OF 1992 AND 1993, WHO LEFT THE TURF WITH MARK BUEHRLE.

RSCN9889edited-X  RSCN9878edited-XLEAD–OFF HITTER ALCIDES ESCOBAR SAID HELLO TO JAYS CATCHER RUSSELL MARTIN AND PROMPTLY DELIVERED A MARCUS STROMAN PITCH (BELOW) INTO RIGHT FIELD FOR A LEAD–OFF TRIPLE. BEN ZOBRIST FOLLOWED WITH A GROUND OUT THAT SCORED ESCOBAR 90 SECONDS INTO THE GAME.

RSCN9882edited-XRSCN9908edited-X  RSCN9911edited-XROYALS STARTER JOHNNY CUETO TOOK THE MOUND IN THE BOTTOM OF THE FIRST WITH A 1–0 LEAD AND LIKELY HAD NO IDEA HE WAS ABOUT TO BE CRUSHED BY A FREIGHT–TRAIN.

RSCN9939edited-XJOEY BATTS HAD A QUICK WORD FOR SALVADOR PEREZ BEFORE HIS FIRST PLATE APPEARANCE. IT WAS JOSE’S 35th BIRTHDAY — AND FANS CAME ARMED FOR THE JUMBOTRON (BELOW).

RSCN0120edited-XRSCN0167edited-XTHE DOME WAS PACKED AGAIN WITH 49,751 FANS — THIS VIEW FROM SEC. 521 OF THE UPPER–DECK.

RSCN0049edited-X  RSCN0084edited-XIN THE BOTTOM OF THE SECOND, THE BLUE JAYS HAD TROY TULOWITZKI AT THIRD BASE AND KEVIN PILLAR AT SECOND WHEN RYAN GOINS CAME UP WITH A TERRIFIC AT–BAT. HE FOULED OFF SEVERAL CUETO OFFERINGS AND THEN LASHED A TWO–RUN DOUBLE TO LEFT THAT PUT HIS CLUB ON TOP (2–1) TO STAY. IT HAD TO FEEL GOOD AFTER GOINS GAME–ALTERING GAFFE SATURDAY IN KANSAS CITY.

RSCN0065edited-X  RSCN0103edited-XRSCN0083edited-XJOSH DONALDSON SCORED GOINS WITH A SINGLE TO LEFT AND JAYS FANS WERE ON THEIR FEET.

RSCN0312edited-X  RSCN0318edited-XTULO’S BAT CAME ALIVE BIG–TIME IN THE BOTTOM OF THE THIRD. HE TOOK A CUETO OFFERING OVER THE CENTER–FIELD WALL FOR A THREE–RUN HOMER THAT STARTED TO BLOW THE GAME WIDE OPEN.

RSCN0191edited-X  RSCN0194edited-XRSCN0199edited-X  RSCN0213edited-XA MOUND MEETING WENT NOWHERE AND IT WAS BYE–BYE JOHNNY WITH NOBODY OUT AND THE JAYS LEADING 7–2. KRIS MEDLEN CAME IN TO PUT OUT THE FIRE, BUT ADDED MORE FUEL WHEN JOSH DONALDSON TOOK HIM TO LEFT FOR A TWO–RUN HOMER AND A SEVEN–RUN TORONTO BULGE.

RSCN0249edited-X  RSCN0255edited-XRSCN0325edited-XIT WAS A LONG WAY TO THE FIELD FROM SEC. 521, ROW 13. BUT, I DIDN’T MISS MUCH.

RSCN0394edited-X  RSCN0398edited-XRALLY–TOWELS WAVED AFTER GOINS HOMERED TO PUT THE JAYS IN DOUBLE FIGURES.

RSCN0276edited-XRSCN0287edited-XHOTEL ROOMS FACING THE ACTION WERE FILLED TO CAPACITY — LIKE THE REST OF THE STADIUM.

RSCN0442edited-X  RSCN0441edited-XAARON SANCHEZ RELIEVED STROMAN IN THE SEVENTH AND DONALDSON HELD AN INFIELDERS’ CHAT.

RSCN0448edited-X  RSCN0455edited-XIT WAS STANDING ROOM ONLY IN THE 100 LEVEL — FOR FANS AND WORKERS.

FSCN0479edited-XAND THE C.N. TOWER WAS BATHED IN BLUE.

EMAIL: HOWARDLBERGER@GMAIL.COM

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