Blue Jays clinch playoff berth at Sahlen Field

Sports

Toronto Blue Jays players, coaches and staff celebrate a 4-1 win over the New York Yankees in a baseball game in Buffalo, N.Y., Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020. Toronto clinched a postseason berth with the win. (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus)

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — In what has turned out to be the weirdest MLB season yet, the Toronto Blue Jays clinched a playoff spot for the first time since 2016 on Thursday night at Sahlen Field, their “home away from home.”

“It’s been a crazy year not only for us, but for everybody. We could have easily looked at it in a negative way, but we didn’t,” Blue Jays second baseman Cavan Biggio said. “We took it with a little bit of a chip on our shoulder and we played with an edge. We’ve worked our way here, and we’re happy that we’re here.”

“I’m just so proud of my club and everything we’ve gone through all year. The up and downs, the tough games, coming back and winning the games after we had tough losses. We kept playing, we kept believing in ourselves, it’s awesome. I’m so proud of this group, I’m the happiest guy ever right now,” Blue Jays Manager Charlie Montoyo said.

“Definitely it feels great, celebrating with these guys in the minors, celebrating down there, now celebrating in the big leagues now that we’re in the playoffs,” Blue Jays first baseman Vlad Guerrero Jr. said. “We still have three games to go, a lot of work to do ahead, and we’re going to play those games like we haven’t made the playoffs yet, but yeah, it feels good. It feels good definitely.”

Toronto sealed the deal with a 4-1 victory over the AL East rival New York Yankees on Thursday night. The win brings them to 30-27 on the season with three games left to play in the regular season.

It’s been a tough road to get to this point, but even with all the doubters, the Blue Jays knew they could make it to the playoffs all along.

“This is the expectation I had, but there were some tough games. The coaching staff, everybody stayed positive, that was my main message to the coaching staff was to stay positive. They’re young kids, they’re going to go through ups and downs,” Montoyo said. “From the beginning, from spring training before the pandemic hit, then we went home, they were starting to believe.

“I was sending messages, then people got hurt, people came in and picked up the other guys, I just told them I’m proud of everything you’ve gone through, not having a home, playing here, it’s been a great ride. Just enjoy it now, and have fun.”

“It’s definitely something that we pictured bringing a winning attitude and mindset to, to Toronto and the big league level. What’s going to make it special is doing this consistently and doing it from years to come, so in my mind, this is just the start of it, and we’re going to have fun with it,” Cavan Biggio said.

The Blue Jays feel they’ve hit their stride, in the right part of the season. So as they prepare for the last few games of the regular season and to participate in MLB’s big dance, they’re going to attack the postseason the way they’ve attacked the entirety of the 2020 season.

“I’ve said it from day one: we’re here, and we’re going to compete,” Biggio said.

“We’re just going to go out and enjoy it. Enjoy every minute of it,” Montoyo said. “We know what’s coming. We know it’s not easy, but that’s fine. It hasn’t been easy the whole time.”

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