Call it wishful thinking after a dramatic come-from-behind win that rode a full range of emotions — from disheartening, to desperate, to excruciating and ultimately exhilaration.
“I just think we’re playing our game of baseball,” Bassitt began in an impassioned soliloquy of his team’s DNA. “I know there’s been a lot of talk about hitting … We’re the best pitching staff in the big leagues and then we play, I think, the best defence in the big leagues.
“I think the hitting side of it all, the story of our hitters not being great, is skewed. I just think we’ve got to get multiple guys hot, that’s what makes great offences.
Of course, those who follow, manage, micro manage and play for the Blue Jays have been waiting for it all season.
And had enough of those hitters arrived earlier on Saturday, extra innings would not have been necessary against a lightweight version of the Red Sox.
But perhaps Bassitt is right. Recent post-seasons have shown us that shut-down pitching can take teams to a deep and prosperous post-season run.
“We have four or five different guys that can easily do that.
“I’ve seen it,” Bassitt said. “If you don’t have pitching, you don’t have a chance. If you don’t play defence, you don’t have a chance. We have both. And then it’s just get the right hitters hot at the right time. It’s literally a three to four week stretch of what hitters can carry who.”
As it has long been wished for, a potential revival starts with Vlad Guerrero Jr., whose solo homer in the seventh inning was his third long ball in as many games. It’s just the fourth time in his career that Guerrero has gone deep three consecutive and the first since 2021.
“What Vladdy’s done the last couple of days is a big boost,” said extra-innings hero. Merrifield. “Hitting is contagious, so hopefully a spark like that will get somebody else going and we can roll these last 13 games.”
There were other signs of life on Saturday, though it took a while, given that Red Sox starter Chris Sale was mowing down Jays hitters through the first six innings.
There was Daulton Varsho’s RBI triple in the ninth to force extras, one that included a highlight-reel celebration at the bag.
There were rocket blasts from Bo Bichette and Davis Schneider in the 10th that found gloves rather than turf. And then there was Merrifield’s winner, a little lucky perhaps, but high on the clutch meter.
“Usually you kind of know when you have a swinging bunt,” Merrifield said of his first walk-off winner since 2019. “I had a feeling that it was a good chance nobody was going to throw me out.”
Manager John Schneider is well aware that more is needed from his offence but also knows that with 13 games remaining, a flawed win is as significant as a dynamic one.
“And then a swinging bunt wins it. That’s baseball sometimes.
“A win is a win at this point. That’s a tough game to lose either way. You need breaks sometimes, especially in games like that ”
The Jays need them now, mainly because they have played themselves into a position of chasing rather than being chased. But taking the first two against Boston set up an opportunity to move back into the third AL wild-card spot, pending how Seattle fared against the Los Angeles Dodgers on the West Coast late Saturday night.
There were so many twists and turns in this one that perhaps it stands as a preview of more drama to unfold over the final two weeks of the season.
And in the bigger picture, perhaps the Bassitt bravado may eventually prove to be bang on, even if it is a development the team has been forecasting for months. Guerrero is certainly a potential trigger for any offence, Bichette is getting back up to speed and who knows, maybe George Springer’s bat will come around one of these days?
But for now, the Jays will take a huge, if fortuitous, triumph and see where it might take them.
“Our pitching is going to be able to keep us in every game,” Bassitt told the Toronto Sun earlier in the week. “I think we have the team, not to just get in the playoffs, but hopefully make a long run.
“We have the pitching to give us a chance every day.”
AROUND THE BASES
Don’t look now, but a team that is playing its final 15 games against the AL East has now won seven of its past 10 against divisional opponents … Bassitt reached career highs in games started (31) and innings (186.2) with Saturday’s seven innings of work.
Matt Irwin Deserves a Spot on the Canucks’ NHL Roster, Right?
How to Spot a Trustworthy Online Casino in Canada
Spotting a trustworthy online casino isn’t hard once you know what to look for, but until then, you better hold off on signing up or making a deposit. This quick guide on how to find a reputable online casino will cover five different factors you can evaluate to determine whether or not a casino is trustworthy. While you could just use a site like the trusted source WikiHow that lists the best online casinos Canada, it does help to be able to evaluate the trustworthiness of casinos on your own. Likewise, you shouldn’t believe everything you read on the internet. Casino review sites are a great resource, but it doesn’t hurt to also do a little digging of your own. Without further delay, here’s a quick and easy guide on how to spot a trustworthy online casino.
Checking for Proper Licensing and Regulation
One of the first things you should do when assessing the trustworthiness of the best online casinos Canada is to check for proper licensing and regulation. Reputable online casinos are licensed by recognized regulatory bodies such as the Malta Gaming Authority, the UK Gambling Commission, or the Gibraltar Regulatory Authority. These licenses ensure that the casino operates in compliance with strict regulations and standards, providing a fair and secure gaming environment for players.
Never play at a casino that does not have a license or whose license is unverifiable. The easiest way to verify a license is to head to the licensor’s website and cross-check their registry with the name of the casino you’re looking at. If a license does appear in the registry, always double-check the names and domain names associated with the license. Some scam sites use domains that look similar to real casinos and act as if they are operating under their license. When in doubt, head to the URL listed on the license you find in the registry to be sure that you’re at the right site.
Evaluating the Casino’s Security Measures
Examining the Casino’s Game Selection
Game selection is another important factor to consider when choosing from the best online casinos Canada. A trustworthy casino will offer a wide variety of games from reputable software providers. Look for popular titles from well-known developers such as Microgaming, NetEnt, and Playtech. Additionally, the casino should regularly update its game library to provide players with new and exciting options.
Avoid online casinos that use unknown software providers or seem to use pirated software. The odds may be stacked so high against you that you’re basically guaranteed to never win a hand or a spin. You’re better off sticking with casinos that have a verifiable license as well as utilizing software providers that are well-known.
Verifying the Casino’s Customer Support
Good customer support is essential for a positive online casino experience. A trustworthy casino will have a responsive and knowledgeable support team available to assist you with any queries or concerns. Look for casinos that offer multiple support channels, such as live chat, email, and telephone. Additionally, check for the casino’s operating hours to ensure that support is available when you need it. You should also try and give their customer support a test run. By simply asking their 24/7 Live Chat simple questions about the site, you can get a feel for their response time and overall knowledge. Sites with poor customer service will often take a long time to connect to an agent and be unable to answer even the simplest of queries.
Looking for Fair and Transparent Bonus Terms
Bonuses and promotions are a common feature of online casinos, but it’s important to carefully review the terms and conditions associated with these offers. A trustworthy casino will have fair and transparent bonus terms, clearly outlining the wagering requirements, maximum bet limits, and any other conditions that apply. Avoid casinos that have overly restrictive or confusing bonus terms, as this may indicate a lack of transparency.
In conclusion, when looking for a trustworthy online casino, it’s important to consider factors such as proper licensing and regulation, security measures, game selection, customer support, and bonus terms. By taking the time to evaluate these aspects, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable gaming experience. Remember to always gamble responsibly and set limits for yourself to avoid any potential issues.
Canadiens acquire Tanner Pearson, trade Casey DeSmith to Canucks
A third-round pick in 2025 also goes to Montreal in the deal completed Tuesday.
Pearson hasn’t played since suffering a broken hand last November during a game in Montreal.
Pearson, 31, had one goal and four assists in 14 games last season.
In 590 career games with the Canucks, Pittsburgh Penguins and Los Angeles Kings, Pearson has 133 goals and 139 assists for 272 points.
The Kings picked the Barrie Colts product in the first round (30th overall) of the 2012 NHL Draft.
Pearson is in the final year of a three-year contract with a cap hit of $3.25 million.
DeSmith, 32, has been with the Pittsburgh Penguins since 2017-18. He was acquired by the Canadians in a three-team deal also involving the San Jose Sharks last month.
DeSmith was 15-16-4 with a 3.17 goals-against average and .905 save percentage last season.
In 134 career games, the undrafted DeSmith is 58-44-15 with a 2.81 GAA and .912 save percentage.
DeSmith is on the final year of a two-year deal with a cap hit of $1.8 million.
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