Season ends in 11th on homer off Jimenez -
Dan Connolly

Season ends in 11th on homer off Jimenez

Photo credit: Joy R. Absalon

TORONTO – That was playoff baseball.

Say what you want about the Orioles and Toronto Blue Jays and how neither team could seize a playoff spot until the very end of the season.

But they engaged in a tremendous battle Tuesday night here, one that ended with Edwin Encarnacion’s walkoff, three-run homer against Ubaldo Jimenez to give the Blue Jays a 5-2 win in 11 innings.

There were so many key decisions and so many memorable moments, from Mark Trumbo’s first postseason homer, to Mychal Givens’ tremendous outing to Hyun Soo Kim dodging a can of beer in left field while making an inning-ending catch.

In the end, manager Buck Showalter’s decision to bring in Jimenez, who nearly got the start in this game, proved costly.

But honestly, that’s what happens in the 11th inning of a game.

The lingering question was why did Zach Britton, the Orioles’ best pitcher, never enter. The easy answer is that Showalter was waiting for the spot, perhaps a save situation. And the rest of the bullpen did its job.

Ultimately, the Orioles season ends with a huge blast against one of their biggest rivals.

The Blue Jays go to Texas; the Orioles go home.



  1. Tiss

    October 5, 2016 at 12:09 am

    The Orioles just played a game that lasted 11 innings. With the season on the line. And their best pitcher…and one of the best 10?…5?…3?…pitchers in the league…never threw a pitch. This is not Jimenez’s fault. He shouldn’t have seen the mound until the 13th. At the earliest.

    Buck Showalter, the bullpen guru, gurued the O’s out of two innings more of chances to score a run. He saved Britton for a lead the Orioles won’t have on the Blue Jays until April of 2017.

    Earth to baseball managers everywhere. The save rule was not handed down from God to Moses as the 11th commandment. The goal is to win. Not to get your closer a save.

    • OsFanStuckInNY

      October 5, 2016 at 12:15 am

      Well said.

      • Sjcolmus

        October 5, 2016 at 2:28 am

        I couldn’t have said this any better. Why play for a hypothetical future inning? When you’re on the road, you need to fight for each at bat; and leaving Britton in the pen while O’Day, Duensing, and Jimenez took the mound is some pre-analytic, dinosaur thinking. Kind of disappointing that Buck fell into it, but he really seemed to overthink this entire last weekend.

    • ubetonit

      October 5, 2016 at 12:23 am

      Ubaldo having some late season success as a starter is one thing Starting isn’t Sudden Death. Using Ubaldo in a pressure-packed high-leverage situation is a horse of a different color.

      • ubetonit

        October 5, 2016 at 12:52 am

        Am simply astonished that Rogers Center security didn’t find that perp & escort him out. Cannot believe they would allow a fan to do that unpunished.

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      October 5, 2016 at 8:50 am

      Tiss … where have you been with the comments all year? This post is spot on.

  2. Tiss

    October 5, 2016 at 6:04 pm

    I appreciate the kind words on my post. I have been a reader for a while, but haven’t posted lots until recently. I think I just needed to get it out…the post was therapeutic for me.

    I think the thing that makes me the angriest is that the metrics folks get picked on all the time by the “old school” folks because we’re “too focused on the numbers.” Yet it is these same old school types defending Showalter today. I ask this question not hypothetically; I’d really like an answer: Britton was not put in last night because of a stat…the Orioles lost their 2016 season because of the save statistic. Is this not the most blatant example of being too focused on the numbers?

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