The Toronto Blue Jays will open and close the 2015 season on the road. They begin the year against the Jeter-less New York Yankees Monday, April 6 and finish out the year in Tampa Bay Sunday, October 4. The home opener is set for Monday, April 13 against the Rays.
Another successfull season for the Canadians came to an end last night, but unfortunately the Canadians streak of three consecutive Northwest League championships came to an end.
The Canadians fell behind early 4-0, they managed to score 3 runs, but it wasn't enough, as they fell 4-3, losing the series 2 games to none.
The Vancouver Canadians will need to win two on the road if they hope to win their fourth straight Northwest League championship after dropping Game 1 at Nat Bailey Stadium Saturday night.
The Blue Jays take their five-game winning streak into Fenway Park. The home squad is coming off one of those soul-crushing defeats - taking a lead into the ninth inning, only to have your closer give up a pair of solo home runs. That's possibly good news for Toronto. Of course, the fact that it was the Yankees abusing the Bostonians definitely wasn't good news.
Vancouver moves on and will once again vie for the Northwest League Championship.
The Vancouver Canadians won a nail-biter in Game 1 of the Northwest League North Division final at Nat Bailey Stadium Wednesday night. Pitching, defence and a bit of timely hitting helped the C's grab a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three series.
warms up in the pen with pitching coach Jeff Ware
looking on. The Illinois native stranded two singles by striking out the side in order to end the first inning and survived a leadoff triple. The 15th round pick of 2012 stranded all six runners over seven shutout innings by giving up just five hits. He plunked a batter but struck out four. He also got some help from left fielder Jonathan Davis
with three of the best catches I've seen a left fielder make live since the days of Reed Johnson
After a very strong season in Lansing and Dunedin, Taylor
Cole had one of his most disappointing starts of the year, giving up 6
runs. Dunedin was unable to come back
from the early deficit, and lost the game, which gave Daytona a 2-0 series win.
Vancouver won a pitching duel in game 1 of their series
versus Spokane, as Ryan Borucki and the bullpen were brilliant.
With playoff spots already wrapped up, the Vancouver Canadians and the Spokane Indians made one last curtain call for the regular season. This gave the C's a chance to give some playing time to their back-ups and put their singing talents to good use.
In a tradition that has taken place over the last few seasons, the Canadians players, coaches and other on-field personnel sing O Canada for the last regular season game at Nat Bailey Stadium. Among the players in the choir include #6 Richard Urena
, #9 Justin Shafer
, #16 Phil Kish
and #47 Jairo Labourt
. The tallest of the group is 6-foot-8 Matthew Smoral
Two playoff games were scheduled for the affiliates but just one was played and it didn't turn out well...at all!
Six days on the road, beginning tonight.
The Vancouver Canadians clinched the second-half North Division title with a comeback victory over the first-half champion Spokane Chiefs at Nat Bailey Stadium Sunday afternoon.Matthew Smoral
was given the start for the C's and he gutted his way through five innings, surrendering just two first-inning runs. The Ohio lefty had trouble finding the plate with his array of 77-94 MPH pitches by walking five batters. He received a visit from pitching coach Jeff Ware
who presumably told Smoral to re-establish his fastball after going offspeed for a number of pitches. Smoral was able to induce two double plays and pick off a runner at first base to minimize the damage. His best inning was his last as he struck out two of the three batters he faced, including a swinging strikeout on an 82 MPH offering. He allowed three hits and struck out five.
The final day of the minor league regular season saw the affiliates come away with a 2-2 record. Buffalo and Vancouver put one in the win column. New Hampshire played for far too long and Lansing not enough.
Today's the day the 25 man limit on the active roster is no longer operative. The Blue Jays, apparently, are definitely calling up LH pitcher Daniel Norris and some reports say RH pitcher Kendall Graveman is also headed to the Show.
On Sunday the affiliates were 2-3, with the wins coming from the affiliates heading to the playoffs in Vancouver, and Dunedin. With the Canadians win, they qualified for the playoffs which start on Tuesday versus Spokane. Buffalo unfortunately was eliminated from the wild-card race, with a loss.
The hitters were taking Labour Day seriously, taking a break from work. Dunedin had 2 and 3 hits in two games, Buffalo, New Hampshire and Lansing each had four hits. That's a total of 17 hits in five games. Even with so few hits Buffalo were able to win, the others all lost. Brandon Morrow pitched for Buffalo.
Vancouver had a big come from behind win to lower their magic number to one.