Blue Jays outfielder was 0-for-3 on Sunday afternoon against the Astros, putting his 16-game hitting streak in jeopardy. The Blue Jays afforded him one more opportunity to extend it, and it happened to be in the bottom of the ninth inning with one out. The tying run was on third base in Jose Reyes and the winning run was on second base in Jose Bautista.
Colabello reached out for a 1-2 breaking ball from closer Luke Gregerson, sending it weakly back up the middle for a walk-off two-run single. The 31-year-old has been a diamond in the rough for the Blue Jays, now batting .355/.400/.529 with four home runs and 19 RBI in 129 plate appearances this season.
Colabello’s story is fascinating. He played independent league baseball through age 27 before the Twins signed him to a minor league deal in 2012. In December 2013, he received a $1 million offer to play in South Korea, but turned it down as he didn’t want to give up his dream of playing in the majors.
Sunday’s walk-off win extends the Blue Jays’ winning streak to five games, putting them at 28-30, leaving them just 4.5 games behind the first-place Yankees.
2019 has been one long nightmare for the Pirates. They’re in last place in the NL Central, have had multiple clubhouse fights, and can’t stop getting into bench-clearing incidents. The embarrassment continued on Sunday as the club lost 16-6 to the Cubs, suffering a three-game series sweep in Chicago.
One of those 16 runs the Pirates allowed was particularly noteworthy. In the bottom of the third inning, with the game tied at 5-5, the Cubs had runners on first and second with two outs. Tony Kemp hit a triple to right field, allowing both Ben Zobrist and Jason Heyward to score to make it 7-5. The Pirates thought one of the Cubs’ base runners didn’t touch third base on their way home. Reliever Michael Feliz attempted to make an appeal throw to third base, but it was way too high for Erik González to catch, so Kemp scored easily on the error.
The Pirates lost Friday’s game to the Cubs 17-8 and Saturday’s game 14-1. They were outscored 47-15 in the three-game series. According to Baseball Reference, since 1908, the Pirates never allowed 14+ runs in three consecutive games and only did it two games in a row twice before this series, in 1949 and in 1950. The Cubs scored 14+ in three consecutive games just one other time, in 1930.