Kevin Gausman needed a big start this afternoon for the Jays. Indeed, yesterday, Alek Manoah was not necessarily the Alek Manoah we know.
It was therefore facing elimination that Gausman made his first playoff start in Toronto. He was up against a guy who knows the place, Robbie Ray.
The key to success for the hosts: to score the first points.
And that’s exactly what they did. After a double from Alejandro Kirk, Teoscar Hernandez sent Ray’s slippery ball into the left field stands.
Then in the third, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. hit an opportune single that sent Santiago Espinal in. He was back in action after a long absence.
In the fourth inning, George Springer made a nice catch, but as he drove into the wall, he seemed to hurt the hand that was hit yesterday by Luis Castillo. NOT‘let’s hope nothing more serious in his case.
A few minutes after this catch, Hernandez homered, his second of the game to give his team a four-run lead. This strike also meant the end of the match for Robbie Ray. After three innings and a batter, the former Jays gave the Jays four earned runs and six hits.
In the top of the fifth, Carlos Santana came within an inch of hitting the long ball, but unfortunately for him, his shot stayed in the park for a resounding double. Adam Frazier came to score afterwards, but instead of two points, Seattle scored just one.
But the Blue Jays regained a four-point lead in the next inning. After a single from Espinal and a double from Bichette, Cam Raleigh and pitcher Paul Sewald failed to communicate. Result: A passed ball from the receiver meant that Espinal scored easily.
Sewald had a tough exit. Karma?
But that was not all. The Blues’ attacking machine scored three more points to give themselves an 8-1 lead. After the ball passed, Teoscar Hernandez was hit and Danny Jansen hit a double.
The Mariners fielded three pitchers in the inning. Diego Castillo’s first pitch hit Whit Merrifield directly in the head. Intentional or not? Judge for yourselves… One thing is certain, the tension has risen a bit.
As a precaution, I imagine, he was replaced by Ramel Tapia. We don’t want a Tua Tagovailoa situation to happen again. The decision to take him out of the game was therefore easy, especially since his team was leading by a touchdown and a one-point conversion at the time.
The Jays fans had a scare: the next inning, Tapia dove to catch a ball, but he fell very hard. He eventually stayed in the encounter, but he took a while to get up.
After five and two-thirds innings, Kevin Gausman’s game was over. He was hot in the sixth inning, loading the bases with no outs, but came out on top with a strikeout and an inside flyout on first base.
It was his replacement, Tim Mayza, who struggled. From his first throw (off target), he allowed Seattle to score a point.
Then, two pitches later, Carlos Santana brought the Mariners to life with a three-run homer. 8-5 Jays at this time.
He’s been really good against the Jays this season, that one…
The points of insurance, it is Danny Jansen who produced them. The Toronto catcher hit a big single in the seventh with runners on the ends.
In the eighth, the Mariners threatened again. Do not count them as beaten. They scored a run, then they brought the tying run at bat. John Schneider therefore decided to bring his closerJordan Romano.
After two strikeouts by the Canadian, everything seemed fine. But no, everything fell apart. It all fell apart… JP Crawford scored all the points on the trails with a double.
The worst part of it all: George Springer and Bo Bichette collided. Bichette got up, but Springer got help from the kart to leave the field…
9-9 after eight. At one point in the game, it was 8-1…
In the ninth, Seattle took the lead for the first time in the game. Adam Frazier went there with a double which brought in Cam Raleigh.
Toronto failed to score late in the game.
Final Score: 10-9 Mariners
John Schneider’s troupe is eliminated, therefore. Toronto is cursed, ladies and gentlemen. We’ll have to figure it out…
Seattle will go on to face their division rivals, the Astros in the Divisional Series.