The Toronto Blue Jays previously won three straight elimination games, allowing them to march into the American League Championship Series (ALCS). Now, they need to do that again in order to participate in the World Series.
Toronto sustained a disastrous 14-2 loss to Kansas KC Royals and must face them again on Wednesday for Game 5. That match is a must-win for the Jays are they are trailing 3-1 in the ALCS.
Blue Jays pitcher R.A. Dickey's rough start, coupled with a a late-game bullpen meltdown, had put the team in a 3-1 hole, right on the edge of being eliminated from the ALCS's best-of-seven games.
It may not be entirely too late for Toronto as teams with a 3-1 standing in a best-of-seven series had previously managed to advance, 84.5% of the time. The last team to overcome that challenge was the San Francisco Giants three years ago. The Giants emerged from the bottom to take on the St. Loius Cardinals in the 2012 NLCS.
Meanwhile, things between the Blue Jays and the Royals started to heat up when the latter expressed concern that there is more to Toronto's home field advantage that just cheers from the crowd. Prior to Tuesday's Game 4, KC Royals pitcher Edinson Volquez said that his teammate, fellow pitcher Johnny Cueto, believes that Toronto is "using a plant in the centre-field stands of Rogers Centre to steal signs," according to a CBC Sports report.
Volquez, who is slated to start on Wednesday's Game 5, said that "I think he [Cueto] said last night, they got a guy in centre field. You see how hard it is, he look to the centre field and he see somebody do this or do that, it's really hard to do that. But when the guy gets on second base, he said something about that, too, they were giving signs to the hitter."
The pitcher appeared not too convinced that the Toronto Blue Jays were using someone in the outfield seats to identify the catcher's signals and relay them to the pitcher. He also reiterated that he did not know if Cueto's claims were accurate and noted that it is the pitcher's job to make it difficult for his signs to be read.
The ALCS' Game 5 gets underway at Toronto's Rogers Centre on Wednesday at 4:00 p.m. ET. Both Royals and Blue Jays fans who opted to ditch their cable subscriptions or just looking for ways on how to watch the games online have a handful of options to do it for free.
One option is to register to an online streaming service called Sling TV. It gives users access to several TV channels including ESPN and TBS. The service does charge people $20 a month for subscribing. However, it also offers a free 7-day trial period so fans who are away from the TV sets for a week may want to try out Sling's service at no cost. It will require users to input their credit card information upon registration. If they cancel it before the trial period expires, they will not be charged.
Other alternative live streaming sources are Baseball24.com and LiveBall.tv; both sites stream the games for free. Those who like to keep track of the ALCS just by listening can tune in to the games' radio broadcast here (for Royals fans) and here (Blue Jays).