Alek Manoah was fantastic through eight innings in yesterday’s start against the Reds. Were the Blue Jays right to pull him before the ninth inning?
It’s a legitimate debate, and one that Blue Jays fans had on social media for a good chunk of Saturday. If you asked the sophomore right-hander, there’s no way he wanted to come out of the game against the Reds, and he fought with Charlie Montoyo and Pete Walker to let him stay for the ninth. He even refused to shake Charlie Montoyo’s hand after the eighth inning, which is a symbolic way to let him know that his work was done for the day.
To Manoah’s credit, he was outstanding against the Reds, and more than likely could have finished what he started. He allowed just one run on seven hits and no walks, striking out four and only throwing 83 pitches. He still looked sharp in the eighth inning as well, and under different circumstances I’m willing to bet the Jays would have at least let him start the inning.
Baseball has evolved an awful lot over the last decade or so, with starting pitchers having shorter outings than ever. Manoah is a bit of a different breed that way, and a self-described workhorse, but he’s still relatively young in his MLB career. It would have been great to give the 24 year old the chance to pick up the first complete game of his career, but I’m sure this won’t be the last time that Manoah threatens to go the distance.
In this case, let’s look at the arguments for and against pulling Manoah on Sunday.