Now a reliever for playoff-contending Kansas City, the right-hander got Cleveland’s Jason Giambi to fly out in the bottom of the ninth inning Tuesday night to secure a 7-1 victory for the Royals, whose magic number to eliminate the Blue Jays from playoff contention was one.
In Toronto, the Blue Jays did Kansas City a huge favour by beating Seattle for a second straight night, 10-2, allowing the Royals to extend their lead over the Mariners to three games for the second wild-card spot in the American League.
Longest active MLB playoff droughts
Should Kansas City hold on and make the playoffs for the first time since 1985, the Blue Jays would take ownership of the longest current post-season drought in baseball at 21 years. The Jays haven't been to the playoffs since they won the 1993 World Series. Since then, they have played more than 3,300 games.
On June 7, Toronto was first in the AL East Division, 14 games above .500 at 38-24 and, according to Baseball Prospectus had an 86 per cent chance of clinching a playoff berth.
By early July, the Jays were 47-43 and managed to go seven games above .500 in the first week of August (61-54). But a month later, they were back to hovering around the .500 mark.
So, where does the team go from here?
Will left-fielder Melky Cabrera be re-signed before hitting free agency? Has the time come for Anthony Gose to supplant Colby Rasmus in centre-field? Where does injury prone third baseman Brett Lawrie fit in? At third? Second base? Do young pitchers Marcus Stroman, Aaron Sanchez and Daniel Norris all start the 2015 season in the starting rotation?
It’s time for you to make like Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos and decide what needs to be addressed first and foremost during the off-season to not have a repeat of June and August 2014 next summer.
Vote in the poll below and share your thoughts.