Blue Jays reflect on Game 2 collapse

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As far as gut-punch playoff losses go, this one harm greater than most for the Toronto Blue Jays.

With a seven-run lead and help from a boisterous sellout crowd, a Game 2 victory appeared like a digital lock of their wild-card collection in opposition to Seattle.

The Mariners had different plans. They accomplished an inconceivable comeback with a pair of four-run innings earlier than taking the lead within the ninth for a surprising 10-9 win.

Instead of planning for a decisive Game 3 on Sunday at Rogers Centre, the Blue Jays had been left to ruminate on a crushing defeat that ended their post-season.

“We fought and we battled,” stated Blue Jays nearer Jordan Romano. “It simply wasn’t adequate.”

Two key moments stood out in Saturday’s collapse.

Tim Mayza relieved starter Kevin Gausman within the sixth inning and gave up a three-run homer to Carlos Santana.

A pair innings later, J.P. Crawford lifted a blooper off Romano into shallow centre discipline. Toronto outfielder George Springer and shortstop Bo Bichette collided on the play and three runs got here throughout.

Springer was taken off the sector on a golf cart whereas Bichette stayed within the sport. Manager John Schneider stated Springer was “doing OK” however did not present harm specifics.

(*2*)Toronto Blue Jays centre fielder George Springer (4) leaves the sector on a cart after being injured in opposition to the Seattle Mariners throughout eighth inning American League wild card MLB postseason baseball motion in Toronto on Saturday, October 8, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

Toronto was swept from the wild-card spherical for the second time in three years.

“It stinks now nevertheless it’s solely going to make us higher and stronger,” stated catcher Danny Jansen. “We’re going to get to the place we wish to be.”

The Blue Jays gained 92 video games over the common season and appeared to be peaking for the playoffs.

Toronto went 22-11 down the stretch to clinch the highest wild-card seed and home-field benefit within the first spherical.

The Blue Jays might solely tip their cap to scorching starter Luis Castillo in a 4-0 shutout loss in Friday’s Game 1. The Jays’ bats got here alive in Game 2, however the Mariners answered because the Toronto bullpen hiccupped.

Seattle turned the third crew in MLB historical past to return again from a seven-run deficit to win a post-season sport. The Blue Jays might solely try to search out constructive takeaways.

“We discovered find out how to navigate a full season and find out how to play significant video games in September and end them out,” stated Toronto third baseman Matt Chapman. “There’s a number of issues that we will be happy with.

“I hope that all of us use this as motivation to proceed to get higher.”

The Blue Jays had been a pre-season favorite to go to the World Series. A middling first half value Charlie Montoyo his job as supervisor and Schneider changed him on an interim foundation.

A younger core of ace Alek Manoah, who took the Game 1 loss, Bo Bichette, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., and others gained essential playoff reps in a shedding effort.

But extra will probably be anticipated in 2023 and past for a crew constructed to win now.

Toronto Blue Jays aid pitcher Jordan Romano (68) seems on throughout ninth inning American League wild card MLB postseason baseball motion in opposition to the Seattle Mariners in Toronto on Saturday, October 8, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

General supervisor Ross Atkins tinkered on the commerce deadline however did not push all in. The Mariners went huge by giving up some high prospects to land Castillo from the Cincinnati Reds and the transfer paid off.

The Blue Jays have most of their core gamers underneath contract. Ross Stripling, who emerged as a dependable starter after Hyun-Jin Ryu’s season-ending harm, is a notable free agent.

Atkins additionally has a call to make on Schneider, who put his stamp on the crew after his promotion from bench coach. He delivered robust ends in the second half earlier than developing quick on the playoff stage.

“My message going ahead into the low season is as a lot because it sucks proper now, it would make that group higher,” Schneider stated.

Next up for Seattle is a best-of-five American League Division Series in opposition to the top-seeded Houston Astros beginning Tuesday.

Since profitable the ALDS in 2016, the Blue Jays have misplaced eight of 9 playoff video games.

This report by The Canadian Press was first revealed Oct. 9, 2022.

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