One of the most controversial topics in baseball is bat flipping. Should players be allowed to bat flip? Tim Anderson and Jose Baustista say yes, while Rougned Odor and Goose Gossage say no. But in the 2015 ALDS Game 5, Jose Baustista bat flipped. He bat flipped hard.
Back in 2015, the Rangers went 88-74. But in a weak AL West, it was enough to take the crown. Meanwhile, the Blue Jays were competing in a tight AL East. Even though they went 93-69, they still took the division by 6 games.
The Blue Jays were loaded with talent offensively, as they had Edwin Encarnacion, Jose Bautista, and Josh Donaldson. Pitching was good, but it wasn’t like any of the pitchers were hall of famers. (Except for Mark Buehrle) In the bullpen, they had Roberto Osuna and Brett Cecil.
The Rangers on the other hand came into the ALDS as a team with no consistent performers. They did have Prince Fielder and Shin-Soo Choo, but that wasn’t going to be enough to stop the Blue Jays.
So when the Rangers took a 2-0 lead and were one game from advancing to the ALCS, we were all pretty surprised. But then the Blue Jays came clawing back behind the stellar pitching of Marco Estrada and the bats of Kevin Pillar and Chris Colabello. That meant a 2-2 tie in the series. A game would have to be played to settle this tie.
The pitching matchup was set to be Marcus Stroman v Cole Hamels. The Rogers Centre, which had a capacity of about 49,000, held 49.742 people. The Rogers Centre is a dome, and with 50,000 screaming fans, it’s going to be pretty loud in there.
But a Prince Fielder RBI Fielder’s Choice in the 1st inning let them know that they’d be in for a long game. In the Top of the second, Stroman barely got out of the inning. And in the Top of 3, Shin-Soo Choo hammered a HR.
But in the Bottom of the 3rd, Ben Revere scored on a Jose Bautista double. We would go until the Bottom of the sixth inning until we saw runs. That was when Edwin Encarnacion launched an earth shattering HR.
In the Top of the seventh, Stroman was pulled. He had settled down after struggling early in the game. Aaron Sanchez cam into the game, and a weird run was scored. Basically, Russell Martin was throwing the ball back to the pitcher, and Choo’s bat got in the way. It hit off of the bat, and Rougned Odor, knowing the rule, scored. Fans weren’t happy, and beer cans were being thrown all over the field.
It was 3-2 going into the bottom of the 7th. The Rangers committed 3 straight errors to start the inning. The Rangers got the next out at home, and they pulled starter Cole Hamels and replaced him with Sam Dyson. Josh Donaldson popped it up, and what seemed like a routine play turned into a mess. Rougned Odor misjudged the ball, causing it to go right past his glove. They got the out at 2nd, but the game had been tied at 3.
That’s when Jose Bautista stepped up to the plate. And on a 1-1 count, he blasted that ball to LF. There was no doubt about it. Bautista then threw his bat and jogged around the bases.
The Blue Jays won the game 6-3, but then they lost 4-2 to the Royals in the ALCS. But still, this moment lives on in Blue Jays’ fans hearts. One person in particular didn’t take this very well and got his revenge the next year…