TORONTO -- Today is noteworthy because Oct. 21, 2015 is the day Marty McFly traveled to in the DeLorean time machine in "Back to the Future Part II" and learned that the Cubs were World Series champions that year. The question remains, who will win the American League pennant -- and no, it won’t be Miami.
The odds favor the Kansas City Royals. The Royals lead the American League Championship Series 3-1, and 85 percent of teams that have held that advantage in a best-of-seven series have gone on to win it. But the Toronto Blue Jays aren’t out of it. After all, the Jays had the same advantage over the Royals in the 1985 ALCS and Kansas City came back to win the final three games.
Can the Blue Jays reverse roles and go "Ahead to the Past"? Well, they will have to pitch far better than they did Tuesday when they lost 14-2 and resorted to using infielder Cliff Pennington to pitch some relief in the ninth inning. Their starters also have a 7.20 ERA this series, so Marco Estrada will have to pitch much more like he did in the regular season than in Game 1 of this series.
They also will have to hit more like they did in Game 3 -- when they swatted three home runs -- than Game 4, when they managed just two runs and one extra-base hit. They also will have to do it fairly early in the game because the Royals have one of the best bullpens in baseball.
Who will win? Well, we'll just have to wait and see because right now, only Marty McFly knows for sure.
Who’s up: Estrada starts Game 5 after losing Game 1 when he allowed three runs in 5 1/3 innings. He held opponents to the lowest batting average in the American League this season so he has the stuff to come up big. Meanwhile, the Jays face Edinson Volquez, who held Toronto scoreless in Game 1.
Who’s not: Jose Bautista is hitting .167 this series, although he has walked six times and came through huge in the deciding game of the division series. LaTroy Hawkins has an ERA of 45.00 this series and has an ERA of 37.22 this postseason.
What’s at stake: The entire season. It’s a win-or-go-home game for Toronto. If they win, they close the series to 3-2 and regain some momentum. If they lose, the season is over and it's time to start getting ready to shovel snow.