|George Springer had a pair of hits and was hit by a pitch in a 4-0 loss to the Mariners.|
After an off-day yesterday, the Blue Jays opened the wild card series against the Mariners, who won the season series 5-2 outscoring the Blue Jays 28-21. However, the Blue Jays won the series in Toronto and the disastrous sweep in Seattle came in very extenuating circumstances with the team still grieving and in shock over the sudden death in a tubing accident of Julia Budzinsky, daughter of Blue Jays 1st base coach Mark Budzinaky. Also, it was at the end of the Charlie Montoyo managerial era. Alek Manoah got the start with Alejandro Kirk behind the plate. George Springer was back in the field after the final day of the regular season off Wednesday. Teo was back in the field after DH'ing in the season finale Wednesday and as was Raimel Tapia, who started that game on the bench but later pinch hit. Danny Jansen served as DH today. Could the Blue Jays open the 2022 playoffs with a win? Here is today's game recap.
- The Mariners opened the scoring in the top of the 1st as Eugenio Suarez doubled scoring Julio Rodriguez
- A batter later, Cal Raleigh belted a 2-run blast to right; also scoring Suarez
- The Mariners added a run in the top of the 5th on a ground out by Suarez that scored Rodroguez
- Alek Manoah pitching line: 5.2IP 4H 4R (all earned) 1BB 4K 79 pitches (52 for strikes)
- Luis Castillo pitching line:7.1IP 6H 0R 0BB 5K 108 pitches (78 for strikes)
- Final score: Mariners 4 Blue Jays 0
- It was a nightmare start for Alek Manoah, who gave up 3 runs on 2 hits and a hit batter in the 1st inning. Undoubtedly Manoah was jacked up and very likely nervous for this game (a bit like Jose Berrios was on the opening night of the regular season. The difference was Manoah was able to settle down and allowed just one more run on two hits and a hit batter the rest of the way. Manoah retired 9 in a row at one point. He'd next be available for a game 2 or 3 start should the Blue Jays advance to the next round.
- The bullpen held the Mariners to 3 hits and a walk while striking out 2 over the final 3.1 innings. I was a bit surprised that Yusei Kikuchi didn't finish the game with the outcome pretty much set in the 9th inning.
- Offensively, the Blue Jays didn't get much against the Mariners pitchers. Their biggest threats to score came in the 3rd inning when they has runners on 1st and 2nd with 2 out (Vlad flew out to right to end the inning) and runners on 2nd and 3rd in the 5th with 2 outs (Bo Bichette grounded out to end that threat)
- A scary moment for the Blue Jays came in the bottom of the 8th when Springer was hit in the hand with a pitch. He was able to finish the game. We'll see how he feels tomorrow - hopefully no swelling overnight
- Up next, the second game and potential elimination time. The Blue Jays will face former ace and last year's Cy Young winner Robbie Ray. You can bet the ex-Blue Jay will be extra motivated to eliminate his former team. Kevin Gausman starts for the Blue Jays.