Toronto’s Mark Buehrle fails in bid to pitch 200 innings

Smiling Texan John Gibbons doesn’t mind going back home for the first round of the playoffs.

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Toronto Blue Jays’ Cliff Pennington, left, beats the throw to Tampa…

Luckily for the Blue Jays, the team locked up their division crown a few days ago meaning they will avoid too much drama today.

Well, things didn’t go as planned (TOR-TB GameTracker)… The tough part’s out of the way of getting in.

After the Blue Jays swapped Estrada from the bullpen into the rotation, the right-hander took off. He’s carried multiple no-hitters deep into games, mastered the changeup-fastball combination and given the Blue Jays the performance of a mid-rotation starter at a value price. He went 2 for 5 Friday.

Teammates didn’t think Buehrle had anything to be embarrassed about, and in particular outfielder Jose Bautista had no time for the argument that the Blue Jays shouldn’t have started Buehrle with a chance at earning home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. Recently, Mike Wilner of Sportsnet surveyed “everyone in uniform” from the Blue Jays clubhouse for a handful of team awards and announced the results prior to last night’s game on The Fan 590.

“We’re been so good at home”, Gibbons said. “I thought his timing was pretty good for being out so long”.

Blue Jays: SS Troy Tulowitzki doubled in three at-bats during his second game after missing three weeks due to a cracked scapula and upper back bruises. The Rangers were 48-52 that day and finished 40-22. Butler had a two-run shot during a three-run fifth.

“That’s what they do”, Gibbons said. I’ve always believed that the most indicative awards, though, are those voted on by the players themselves. “Look at what our crowd’s turned into, not just big crowds but insane crowds”. “That’s probably going to help us”. He reigns as the league’s active leader in games started with 492. A Royals loss could’ve allowed them to clinch the top spot in the American League several hours later.

“We got it in the first round (and) if we’re fortunate enough to get to the World Series, we got it”, Gibbons said.

The Rays wrap up their regular season today with a 3:10 game against the AL East champion Blue Jays.

General manager Alex Anthopoulos said the Blue Jays wouldn’t decide based on who’d be better to pitch at home but rather, “Who’s our best option to win that game”. Should he have started Buehrle in a game Toronto arguably needed to win, instead of someone like Drew Hutchison who was fully rested?

Mark Buehrle was given the start for the Toronto Blue Jays in their regular-season finale against the Tampa Bay Rays on Sunday and was expected to pitch two innings. He’ll remain ready in case of injury.

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If Texas wins, the Blue Jays face the Rangers in the ALDS. The possibility still exists of a one-game playoff between two of those teams to earn the right to face the Yankees.

Toronto Blue Jays slugger Josh Donaldson left and Texas Rangers first baseman Prince Fielder will be expected to provide power to their respective teams in the ALDS that starts Thursday