Blue Jays on brink of two-and-out following game 1 loss to Mariners

Stefan Luciani
FiredUp Network Sports Writer


Friday, October 7, 2022

Final Score: 4-0

TORONTO – “Pressure is something you put in your tires. This is just baseball.”


That was Alek Manoah with a very Alek Manoah-esque response prior to Friday evening’s American League Wild Card matchup with the Mariners. 


The quote was very fitting for a guy who had delivered eight straight starts making it deeper than the sixth inning heading into Toronto’s first home playoff game since the 2015 Wild Card series against the Baltimore Orioles. 


Why wouldn’t we have confidence in this guy? The poise, the charisma. He’s exactly what a game 1 starter looks like.


Unfortunately for him and every Blue Jays fan out there, his quote didn't exactly age well. 


Manoah struggled to find his groove in his first postseason appearance lasting 5 and 2/3  innings with fours across the board. Four runs on four hits while sitting down just four in what would be an eventual 4-0 loss. What’s worse is that three of the four runs came in the top of the opening frame before all 45,000+ fans had even made it into their seats comfortably. 


Manoah hit rookie Julio Rodriguez on the hand early in the first who would eventually come around to score the first run of the game just a few batters later. Manoah then gave up a two-run blast to Cal Raleigh, who was Seattle’s regular season hero with a walkoff bomb that sent them here in the first place. 


It was a tough first inning that had a sold out Rogers Centre delivering crickets by the time their home team got to the sticks.


Luis Castillo was brilliant for Seattle going 7 1/3 giving up just six hits and punching out five. The ace has quite the arsenal but stuck primarily with his sinker that had the Jays predominantly right-handed lineup whiffing at air. 


The Mariners on the other hand have an array of versatile hitters including switch-hitters Raleigh and Carlos Santana to accompany their three other lefties. It’s awfully clear then that lefties were the ones who delivered the most punishment on Manoah throughout the season hitting .237/.313/.367 against him with 11 homers compared to .159/.211/.249 and five homers for righties. 


The Blue Jays now stare down the barrel of a two-and-out playoff appearance as they’ll have to bounce back against an old friend who they are all too familiar with. 


Robbie Ray will get the start tomorrow as the regning AL Cy Young winner left the birds to join the west-coast Mariners this offseason. The Blue Jays will counter with Kevin Gausman in the do-or-die contest with first pitch going just after 4PM.