Metro Morning

Emotional hangover for Blue Jays fans after 'unique' 7th inning

Blue Jays fans in Toronto and across Canada are nursing emotional hangovers today, after a roller coaster of a 7th inning that lead to a win against the Texas Rangers Wednesday night.

"Walking out of that stadium last night, I've never felt closer to the city.”

Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Marco Estrada sprays champagne on fans after defeating the Texas Rangers in game five of the ALDS. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press)

While there were certainly tense moments throughout the Blue Jays game against the Texas Rangers last night, many fans say the memory of a lifetime may be the seventh inning.

"That inning was like opera," Stacey May Fowles told Metro Morning host Matt Galloway today. Fowles is the author of a newsletter called Baseball Life Advice and a passionate Jays fan.

She watched the game, including what she believed will become an iconic inning, from the 200 level at the Rogers Centre.

"I watched it again when I got home and it was just incredible how long it was, how emotional it was, how it had absolutely every emotion possible in it," Fowles said about the controversial call in the top of the inning.

That's when a throw between pitches from Jays catcher, Russell Martin hit Rangers' Shin-Soo Choo's bat and initially the home plate umpire called the play dead. Texas asked for a review, and after a discussion, the umpire crew allowed the run.

That inning was like opera- Stacey May  Fowles

That put the Rangers up 3-2 and prompted an immediate outcry from Blue Jays fans, including some of them throwing beer cans onto the field.

"I was watching cans fall in front of me, you know sort of rain down," said Fowles. "I just thought this is not going to end well if they don't win this game, your sort of greatest sports fear could happen."

As the crowd became more aggressive, sports columnist Cathal Kelly said he was suddenly very aware of the fact that there were only about a dozen police officers on the field.

"It was the uncertainty I think that started to tip the crowd towards a little bit of madness," Kelly told Galloway. "You just got the sense if two or three dummies got on the field something really bad could happen."

But then in the bottom of the seventh the Rangers made errors in three consecutive plays, something that has never happened before in post-season baseball. 

Kelly has covered the Olympics and the FIFA World Cup but said that inning was a first of its kind, especially topped off with Jose Bautista's three-run homer.

"The emotional swing from frothing rage … a crowd that you really thought was on the edge of doing something truly terrible was back to jubilance half an hour later," Kelly said, "I've never been a part of anything like that and I don't think I ever will be again. It was completely unique."

The Jays went on to win the game 6-3.

"I think this city is completely in love with this team, people who never would have even thought about baseball before are all in," said Fowles.

"Walking out of that stadium last night, I've never felt closer to the city."

The Blue Jays will play the first game of the American League Championship series against the Kansas City Royals tomorrow night.


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