2023-04-13 · 2 min read · MLB/Baseball
Blue Jays ace Kevin Gausman

Getty Images | Whalley Chiefs Twitter (@Whalley_Chiefs)

Heading into Monday’s off day, much of the conversation revolved around Toronto’s first home series of the year - a three game set against the beleaguered Detroit Tigers, a team struggling to score more than three runs a game. With Manoah, Gausman, and Bassitt lined up, and coming off a successful 6-4 road trip, a perfect storm was brewing - or so it appeared.
After a quick 1-2-3 first inning for the Jays’ ace on Tuesday, things quickly spiraled out of control as he tossed more than 40 pitches in the second while struggling with his command. Five home runs and 4 ⅔ shutout innings by the bullpen later, the last team in the Majors to host a home opener finished off the Tigers for a 9-3 win. Sure, Manoah was bad, but that’s not fun to talk about - Jays win, end of story.
A fifth(!) come from behind to win the season in the books, with Gausman toeing the rubber in Game 2. Heading into the ninth down 3-1 behind surprisingly competent Tigers’ pitching thus far, Trey Wingenter entered for the save. A single, walk, and hit-by-pitch later, Trey Wingenter exited the game. Two sacrifice flies off the bats of Whit Merrifield and Alejandro Kirk against newly-entered Chasen Shreve later, Detroit had officially blown another lead. 3-3, off to the tenth we go.
Unable to put a run across in the top half, the score remained 3-3 going into the bottom half. All in the span of about five minutes, Kiermaier dropped a perfectly-placed bunt to move Danny Jansen to third, Shreve was replaced by Jose Cisnero, and Springer then singled-in Jansen to end the ballgame. A 4-3, come from behind win - now their sixth(!) in twelve games - and one game away from a sweep.
Kevin Gausman tossed eight innings of three-run ball, striking out 11 and allowing just five hits. Through twenty innings this year, he’s allowed just three earned runs total - good for a 1.35 ERA, sitting at more than a strikeout an inning (1.25). A bullpen-saving day, with only Tim Mayza and Jordan Romano throwing a shutout inning each. It’s Toronto’s first walk-off win of the season, and Detroit’s sixth loss in a row - ninth overall. Toronto moves to 8-4, opposite the Tigers’ 2-9.
Chris Bassitt will look to help propel Toronto a sweep, as he’ll go up against Spencer Turnball in Game 3 Thursday night. Although early, it would be a huge start to the homestand as their next opponent, Tampa Bay, has yet to lose a game - they currently sit at 12-0.
In other Canadian baseball news, Toronto’s A-Ball team - the Vancouver Canadians - had their home opener the same day as their father club did, and pulled out a walk-off win of their own; a 2-1 victory over Tri-City thanks to a wild pitch by Willian Suarez allowing Devonte Brown to trot home. A nice touch to a fantastic - if not slightly stressful Blue Jays home opener.
Sports Tree Profile

By: Gus Cousins


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