Gausman delivers yet again as Blue Jays are unable to support start, fall to Phillies in extras

Stefan Luciani
FiredUp Network Sports Writer


Thursday, September 22, 2022

Final Score: 4-3

PHILADELPHIA – Baseball is a very weird game.


If Toronto’s 18-11 win over the Phillies on Tuesday night wasn’t enough of an indicator, the same two teams faced off again on Wednesday combining for a lowly seven runs - less than 24 hours after putting up a total of 29. 


But hey, baseball is a weird game, especially when there are just 12 remaining games in a 162-game season. 


The Blue Jays were back at Citizens Bank Park on Wednesday night to close out their two-game set with the Phillies capping a four-game season series with their NL counterparts. Kevin Gausman was on the mound looking to deliver another quality start as a postseason berth becomes more and more of a reality for the team from up north, and a quality start is exactly what he gave.


The righty went six full innings of shutout baseball allowing just five hits and two walks while collecting eight punchouts during his tenure on the mound. The performance will surely be a reassuring one amid the guessing game that is in full swing right now with regards to what a playoff series pitching rotation is going to look like. Alek Manoah and Gausman will almost certainly be two of the most heavily relied upon guys with many tipping Ross Stripling as that number three man.


But pitching coach Pete Walker was showing none of his hand when asked stating the coaching staff has spent a lot of time playing around with the different rotational options that exist emphasizing that “it may not be what many people are assuming.” He followed it up by stating their main focus right now is to keep everyone healthy into the end of the season, and feeling good towards October baseball. 


The Blue Jays held a 3-0 lead late in Wednesday’s contest after Vladimir Guerrero Jr. clobbered a three-run shot to tally his 300th career RBI officially making him the youngest homegrown Blue Jays player to accomplish the feat. Unfortunately for both him and Gausman, the solid performances were put to waste as a bullpen that has been so consistent as of late, was unable to hunker down the fortress allowing the Phillies to crawl their way back into it sending it to extras deadlocked at three apiece. 


It was in the bottom of the tenth where Adam Cimber gave up a single to Matt Vierling allowing Yairo Munez to come around and walk it off for the Phillies 4-3, who are battling for a Wild Card spot of their own in the NL. 


“Just a tough night,” interim Blue Jays manager John Schneider said. “You always feel good with a three-run lead and the back-end of our bullpen. It didn’t work out tonight.”


“We rely on those guys a lot,” Gausman said. “It’s going to happen. It’s baseball. This time of year, you don’t want to think about it too much … flush it and move on.”


Flush it and move on is exactly what the birds will try to do, still sitting atop the AL Wild Card standings a full two games ahead of the second place Rays who they’re set to battle for the next three days. The Blue Jays will take a trip down to Tampa looking to exercise some demons at what has been their favourite (not) place to play in baseball - the Trop. 


Jose Berrios will be on the bump looking to continue what has been, his best run of consistency this season as the Rays will counter with JT Chargois as first pitch flies at 6:40PM.