Blue Jays manager: Stroman ‘the perfect guy’ to pitch in big Game 3

Marcus Stroman is confident in himself heading into ALCS Game 3.
Dan Hamilton/Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Make no mistake about it: Game 3 of the ALCS is a must-win for the Toronto Blue Jays.

Down three games to none in a best-of-seven series doesn’t necessarily mean a team is eliminated, but only one team has been able to overcome that sort of deficit — the 2004 Boston Red Sox.

That’s why, with their backs nearly up against the wall, manager John Gibbons has all the confidence in righty Marcus Stroman.

"He keeps coming up in those big games for us. There’s a reason for that," Gibbons told the media via Newsday. "He’s the perfect guy for it. I think he thrives on this kind of situation. He’s been known to rise to the occasion in a short career."

His teammates agree.

"We’re confident with Marcus out there," centerfielder Kevin Pillar said.

Many people counted Stroman out for the season after a torn ACL in spring training, but he continues to defy odds.

"The bigger the crowd, the bigger the moment, I feel like I’m able to put myself in a position that I excel better," he said. "I don’t know if that’s the nature of how I was raised, [but] I feel like pressure situations don’t necessarily faze me. They excite me more. And they make me pitch better and they bring out the best in me."

Stroman stepped up big in Game 5 of the ALDS, pushing the Jays towards the ALCS, and they will need that same mentality on Monday.

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