BLUE JAYS BLOW 8-1 LEAD, ELIMINATED BY SEATTLE

2022-10-09 · 3 min read · MLB/Baseball
Toronto Blue Jays

Sportsnet | The Score

In a game that can best be described as “the most Leafs’ thing to do”, the Toronto Blue Jays have been eliminated from the playoffs after blowing an 8-1 lead, to lose 10-9.
A heartbreaking, crushing defeat at the hands of the Seattle Mariners - a team that will now face their division-rival Houston Astros in an all-AL West ALDS matchup. Through five innings, Toronto held a comfortable 8-1 lead before Gausman’s questionable removal ignited a massive Mariners’ comeback. A Carlos Santana three-run shot off of Tim Mayza in the sixth started Toronto’s downfall, an inning that Jays’ fans - and Manager John Schneider - will be seeing in their nightmares.
For a time, Toronto was completely in control - two homers by Teoscar Hernandez forced the ex-Jay Robbie Ray into a short outing, followed later on by Paul Sewald imploding on the mound for Seattle. Thankfully for both of them, the never-say-die offence of the Mariners came in handy thanks to the first of many dreadful outings by Toronto’s relievers in Tim Mayza. Yimi Garcia was the only competent arm to come out of Schneider's bullpen today as Mayza, Bass, Romano, and Cimber combined to allow six runs over 3 ⅓ innings.
Seattle’s comeback hit a breaking point when J.P. Crawford, facing Jays’ Closer Jordan Romano, hit a bases-clearing double to tie the game at nine in the eighth inning - a play that resulted in Bo Bichette and George Springer colliding at full speed. Springer, visibly shaken up, was removed from the game while the lesser-hurt Bichette remained. A bloop pop-up into shallow centerfield was the cause, with Springer smashing into the oncoming Bichette as he dove to try to catch it. Throughout the Majors in recent years there’s been a seemingly scary uptick in plays - or near misses - like these, with Springer’s health now becoming Toronto’s primary concern.
On the Mariners’ side, the team will now have at least one home game on the schedule - a much-deserved reward after a painfully long playoff wait. Logan Gilbert, one of Seattle’s many ultra-talented youngsters, will likely have the ball for Game 1 versus Houston in a series that will draw massive interest throughout the country.
To put it bluntly, Toronto deserved to lose. It’s easy to hear the praise of the offence (zero runs in Game 1) and the bullpen (six runs in Game 2) in theory, but it takes certain intangibility to make it a reality. And that is something that the 2022 Blue Jays did not possess in the postseason. There were plenty of positives this year for Toronto, but every team can make that claim. Toronto has a lot to look forward to, but every team can say that. The long and short of it is, is that this team simply cracked under pressure - something I really didn’t think would happen.
Toronto wasn’t the only team eliminated today though, as Tampa Bay lost 1-0 in fifteen innings to Cleveland - a loss that is equally as painful as what the sold-out Rogers Centre went through. The Rays managed just one run in two games - 24 innings - against a top-tier Guardians staff that poses a significant threat to their next opponent, the Yankees.
As of this moment (8:49 pm on Saturday), Game 2 of both the Mets-Padres and Phillies-Cardinals are tied - with New York and St. Louis on the hot seat tonight. Losses by the Mets and Cardinals would result in four straight 2-0 sweeps in the inaugural three-Wild Card system.
There is no silver lining right, and to make one up would be willfully ignorant of the flaws that this Toronto team has. So for now, shut off the TV, go outside for a walk, have a glass of chocolate milk, and focus on the fact that hey! At least we’re not Pittsburgh!
Sports Tree Profile

By: Gus Cousins

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