Gausman leads way in playoff-esque win over Yankees

Stefan Luciani
FiredUp Network Sports Writer


Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Final Score: 3-2

TORONTO – It seems almost inevitable that the New York Yankees - despite an almost historical collapse through the months of July and August - will secure themselves a 21st division title to guarantee themselves a bye into the ALDS. 


It also seems inevitable that along the way, Aaron Judge - who is just one homerun away from tying Roger Maris’ American League single season home run record - will make history with long ball number 61, with many Blue Jays and Yankees fans alike, excited about the prospect of it occurring right here at Rogers Centre. 


But despite what many see as written in the stars, the Toronto Blue Jays were in no mood to roll over Monday night in their series opener with the Bronx Bombers, delaying said inevitable for a walkoff 3-2 win in extra innings over their division rivals.


Kevin Gausman was on the bump for Toronto and once again delivered a playoff-caliber performance going 6 1/3 innings allowing just two runs on six hits while sitting down seven. But it wasn’t just the Gausman performance that encouraged fans to be optimistic about a playoff run, rather the brilliant deployment of the pitching staff that was worked by skipper John Schneider. Scoreless support from Adam Cimber and Yimi Garcia paved the way for a Jordan Romano appearance in a 2-2 ninth inning ball game. The righty struggled to locate his slider early, before finding his groove and proceeding to strike out the side. 


In the top of the tenth, John Schneider went with Anthony Bass giving him the bottom of the lineup to work with. Unfortunately for Bass, he surrendered a walk meaning he was going to have to deal with Aaron Judge at the top of the shop. 


But Schneider opted for a gamble. Rather than have Bass pitch to Judge with two out and two on, Schneider brought in lefty Tim Mayza. Mayza then intentionally walked Aaron Judge to load the bases for a more favourable matchup against lefty Anthony Rizzo. The play worked to perfection as Mayza got Rizzo to ground out to first base to end the threat.


The bottom of the tenth was where Vladimir Guerrero Jr. took matters into his own hands. The slugger laced one 117mph off the bat for a deep single to left field which was enough to bring around the ghost runner on second to walk it off. 


“Such a team effort tonight,” manager John Schneider said afterwards. “For (Guerrero Jr.) coming through with two outs is huge for him. He’s been grinding a little bit. Hopefully this catapults him down the stretch."


The victory sees the Jays gain a game on both the Rays and Mariners who had the night off last night with the magic number down to three for their playoff fate to be sealed. 


They’ll go again tonight against the Yankees as it’s Jose Berrios who will get the nod looking to erase the messy start he delivered down in Florida just a few nights ago. He’ll be going up against Jameson Taillon for the Yanks with first pitch just after 7PM here at Rogers Centre.