Coming into this series, I said Toronto was probably the better team. I thought their rotation, overall, was better. Their hitters were patient, but hit the ball hard. The Rangers issued the 2nd-most walks in the American League, and Toronto was a team that forced pitchers to come into the zone.
So if you had told me that in Game 3, the Rangers would have 6 runs and Matt Bush on the mound to preserve a tie, I'd have taken it.
And if you had told me that he wouldn't get strike calls, I'd have believed you, but been disappointed.
Of playoff teams, the Rangers pitching staff had strikes looking above average (SLAA) of -10.29. Easily the worst of all playoff teams, and one of only three teams in the negative -- the other two being the Mets and Orioles, which should surprise no one who actually watched those games.
Meanwhile, the Toronto offense had an SLAA of -12.48, easily the best mark of all playoff teams, and the only team on the "negative" side. If you're following along, -10.29 of that came in three games against Texas.
All the while, the Texas offense had 3.30 SLAA in the series. All told, that's a 15.78 strike advantage for the Blue Jays in a series they needed no help in.
So no, it wasn't a fairly called series. And really, for a Texas pitching staff that amassed a -108.41 SLAA on the season, I shouldn't have been surprised.
But I'm still dumbfounded. Watching Russel Martin recover from what should have been strike 5, only to ground into a potential double play that ended up getting botched by Rougned Odor... there are no words. Maybe the Germans have one.
I just know these Toronto Blue Jays didn't need help, but they got it every step along the way. It's a damn shame.