There’s Still Hope: 3 Ways the Blue Jays Can Recover

John Gibbons. Photo: Getty Images

Is there any hope left for the Toronto Blue Jays, who’ve fallen behind the Cleveland Indians 3-0 in the American League Championship Series?

Sure, even the most optimistic fans are starting to lose heart, but hang in there—this series isn’t over yet. Manager John Gibbons hasn’t given up yet: “It’s definitely a daunting task, but it’s been done before.”

While coming back from a three-game hole has been done only once before (the Boston Red Sox in 2004), it’s not impossible. Here are three compelling reasons that the Jays can win the next three games.

  • The bats will awaken: The first three games have seen the Jays’ big hitters—Josh Donaldson, Edwin Encarnacion, Jose Bautista and Troy Tulowitzki—hit a woeful 8 for 45 (.177 avg) with no homeruns. These players are far too talented to remain silent and cannot be shut down forever. Expect the bats to explode in Game 4. And when these guys heat up, nothing can stop them.
  • Cleveland’s bullpen will spring a leak: The boys at the back end of the Indians’ staff have been virtually unhittable, especially closers Andrew Miller (who’s struck out 13 Jays in 5 innings) and Cody Allen. They’ve been mowing down Jays’ hitters at a ridiculous rate. At some point the dam will burst and the Jays will pile up some runs.
  • Missing arms: For the rest of the series, Cleveland will have to rely on two starting pitchers going on three days rest. Somehow, they’ve eked out three wins while missing three regulars but it’s asking a lot of an already overworked staff. If the Jays can get by Bauer today, it’s not inconceivable that a rested Aaron Sanchez, Eric Estrada and J.A. Happ can even the series, creating a winner-take-all Game 7.