Friday night, Alek Manoah fumbled it against the Mariners. By then, Luis Castillo was in top form and the Blue Jays were forced to fall back on Saturday’s game.
Kevin Gausman did well, but the relief faltered. In the end, an 8-1 lead melted like snow in the sun to set the stage for one of the biggest comebacks in playoff history.
Seven points difference is something.
Obviously, this opens the door to the Mariners, who will officially play playoff games in Seattle for the first time since 2001. We can understand their satisfaction.
But in Toronto, it’s different.
In the camp of the Blue Jays, a club that missed the playoffs in 2021 by one game, we see it as another missed opportunity to go a long way in series.
The gigantic collapse of Game #2 brought out the “Toronto collapses in the playoffs” jokes since it looks, of course, like what the Maple Leafs would have done.
The “Blew Jays”, the Jays who lost a lead, made the front page of the Toronto Sun.
The Jays are a tight-knit group. Everyone plays for everyone and the long months spent on the road during the pandemic (due to borders) have welded the core of the club.
That said, in the series, the results are slow to arrive.
For three years, the Jays have more victories than 11 clubs in the American, but the results are slow to appear in the playoffs.
After all, from 2020 to 2022, the Jays are 0-4 in the playoffs. We are talking about two losses against the Rays (2020) and two losses against Seattle.
One thing is certain: the effort of the guys is not to be doubted. Why? Because the team leaders gave their all.
We can blame a lot of things on George Springer, but this guy always gives, even if he is injured.
Yesterday, it took everything to get him out of the game, even if he is “quite battered”, according to his manager.
Obviously, it will have taken the game that everyone is talking about (when Springer and Bo Bichette got in touch) to get it out of the game.
When the two guys were seen on the ground, it seemed like it rang the bells for everyone: this match was getting a bit out of reach.
But if the effort is not at stake, it is because the composition of the club will still have to change a bit. The heart of the team will be back, but…
But it will take additions. It’s going to take guys who are able to help the club take it to the next level for 2023.
Does it go through additions on the mound? I think so, but it will be to follow during the off-season of Major League Baseball.
At this time, only Ross Stripling, David Phelps and Jackie Bradley Jr. are players who can leave via the free agency market. Apart from Stripling, these aren’t the biggest tunes in the club.
Club officials are therefore going to have some big returning players, but clearly, additions will have to be made to move up to #NextLevel, as the club’s 2022 slogan dictates.