Ranger reliever Matt Bush was on the mound the last time the Rangers were at Rogers Centre in Toronto. It was the 10th inning when the Blue Jays won Game 3 of the ALDS for the sweep and eliminate the Rangers for the second consecutive season.
Bush had one out when a potential inning-ending double play did not end well for the Rangers. Rougned Odor’s relay throw to first for the final out was wild, allowing Josh Donaldson to come around for the winning run.
It was a heroic outing for Bush, who had not pitched more than two innings in a major league game before going 2 2/3 that night. Bush remembers feeling shocked that the game and season was over.
42 Pitches for Matt Bush in 2 2/3 innings of relief in Game 3 of the ALDS against the Blue Jays last October. He also struck out five. All three are career highs for him.
“A lot of shock, I think. The way it happened,” he said. “I was just battling out there. I was giving it all I’ve got. For it to go down the way it did was kind of shocking. I never thought of defeat out there and felt like I was going to get out of it there and it didn’t happen. It was tough.”
But Bush and the Rangers aren’t dwelling on the past. Bush said he enjoys the rivalry that has been built between the clubs but there’s nothing more substantial about playing the Blue Jays.
“I’m not thinking of the history or what happened,” Bush said. “We have very competitive games with these guys and it’s a lot of fun. There’s a little something going on there, but I think it’s just two competitive, hard-nosed teams. Both play hard. It’s a good little rivalry we’ve got going on. I look forward to having the chance to get back out there and maybe give them a little revenge from last year.”
Bush said beating the Blue Jays isn’t any more important than beating any other team at the moment.
“We need to win games, that’s it. I don’t think anyone in here is focused on a rivalry with the Blue Jays,” he said.