Blue Jays collapse, blow 7-run lead as Mariners advance to ALDS
FiredUp Network Sports Writer
Saturday, October 8, 2022
Final Score: 10-9
TORONTO – The score was 8-1.
8-1 for the Blue Jays with Kevin Gausman in the midst of an absolute gem, headed into the sixth inning.
Surely, they can hold onto this right? The offence is producing, Gausman is delivering, and the defence looks sound.
Surely, everyone was wrong.
John Schneider said just one sentence when asked about what happened this evening at Rogers Centre. “Everything that could go wrong, did go wrong.” And his assessment is spot on.
J.P. Crawford looped one into no man’s land in a shallow centre field which dropped gently on the artificial turf beside what was a violent, and scary collision between George Springer and Bo Bichette. Bichette was shaken up on the play while Springer had to be carted off the field. The hit cleared what was a juiced set of bases to tie the ball game up at nine in the top of the eighth inning. This was the cherry on top of four-run efforts in both the sixth and eighth innings, which were followed up by the go-ahead run in the ninth. The Blue Jays were unable to claw back late as they were handed a devastating 10-9 loss to end their 2022 postseason run.
Gausman was absolutely electric through the 5 2/3 innings he pitched, surrendering just five hits. But manager John Schneider left many scratching their heads when he opted for lefty Tim Mayza with just one out to go in the sixth. The move, although bizarre, was glossed over as Schneider’s squad held a comfortable 8-1 lead. But that quickly became 8-2 with a bases loaded wild pitch that allowed all runners to advance, including Ty France who came in to score. And suddenly their lead was down to just three as Carlos Santana belted the offering from Mayza out of the park for a three-run shot.
All 47,156 fans in attendance collectively tensed up as the ball soared over the outfield wall, but things were okay. We have nothing to worry about…right?
Many started to believe it was just a close call as Mayza, with the help of Yimi Garcia, escaped the seventh inning unscathed, before Toronto plated another run for that extra bit of insurance in the bottom of the frame.
But what followed, will stick on the minds of many across the country for time to come. Cal Raleigh singled to bring around Eugenio Suarez, before Mitch Haniger and Adam Frazier got themselves on base to load them up for Crawford’s unfortunate double.
The Blue Jays came up empty handed in the bottom of the eighth before Frazier laced a double down the line in right field to score Raleigh in the top of the ninth, pushing the Blue Jays to their final three outs, in which they were retired entirely unspectacularly.
When asked about his pitching decisions postgame, Schneider backed the decision stating, “Gausman was outstanding I think and yeah, there's always going to be times where I can sit here for about six months and second guess myself… but right now I don’t.”
All of Canada will use those six months to mull over a loss that resembles being punched in the gut. As for the Toronto Blue Jays, it’s a disappointing end to what was still a well-fought season.