|Bautista staredown pic courtesy of TheRealJeffS|
In previous years, getting to the ballpark about 60 minutes in advance of the game is usually plenty of time to receive your giveaway at the gate. This year ... not so much. I waltzed up at about 11:50am to Gate 2 only to find all the Jose Bautista Bobbleheads were gone by around 11:45am.
I tried a couple of other gates just for kicks to see if they had any, but it was to no avail. All the "Baubbleheads", as Navin so cleverly coined them, were all gone. I learned from this experience that if you want your giveaway, make sure you're there when the gates open or prepare to go home empty-handed.
I'll admit, it was a little disappointing, but at the same time there was a silver lining to it all. It was very encouraging to know there were 10,000 fans who were already into the Rogers Centre at 12:00pm.
That just goes to show you that folks in Toronto either really love their bobbleheads or really love Jose Bautista. It might actually be a combination of both, but more so the latter than the former.
As far as the game was concerned, it was a very exciting contest. Other than the first few innings, Brett Cecil didn't really seem to be on his game. As the pitch count progressed, his fastball velocity trickled downward, which lead to him being yanked in the fifth.
The errors by Edwin Encarnacion were a little disheartening, but it was to be expected. Earlier in the game, fans were cheering him as he came up to bat. By the time his third at bat rolled around, they had already turned on him and were beginning to boo.
As questionable as some of Toronto's infielders have been during this series, they weren't nearly as bad as Minnesota's. Just ask the Twins how they feel about Tsuyoshi Nishioka after his big league debut this past weekend.
When the game rolled on into the late innings, the fans were on the edge of their seats. The air was let out of their sails when Jon Rauch gave up that solo shot to Denard Span in the top of the ninth. However, that didn't keep them from standing on their feet for nearly the entire bottom of the ninth.
With runners on second and third with two out, Jose Bautista came up to the plate poised to be the hero on his very own bobblehead day. He didn't tie the game, but he did extend the inning with yet another walk.
Adam Lind promptly swung at the very first pitch he saw from Joe Nathan which was ultimately the game-ending out. I'm not going to nitpick and say Lind should have known better than to swing at the first pitch, but obviously he was sitting fastball and Nathan countered with a breaking ball.
It was a comeback attempt that fell short, but it was an exciting game nonetheless. If the Blue Jays were going to lose that game, I can't think of a more exciting fashion for them to do it in.