Considering this year was “the movie” for the Blue Jays and their fan base, it is safe to say losing in the AL Wild Card is not how this club expected the 2022 campaign to go.
The Jays faced a Seattle Mariners squad that finished two wins behind them at 90-72, bolstered with an excellent pitching corps that ultimately kept them in each of the Wild Card games. The first night saw an absolute gem from Luis Castillo, who outdueled Blue Jays ace Alek Manoah, followed by hard-throwing right-handed reliever Andrés Muñoz that kept the Jays out of the run column and limited them to just seven hits on the day.
Last night seemed more like a horror movie, as the Jays were up 8-1 heading into the sixth inning before the bullpen imploded, with Tim Mayza allowing a three-run shot to Carlos Santana before the likes of Anthony Bass and Jordan Romano surrendered five more runs combined to hand the Mariners the lead and ultimately the win. Teoscar Hernández stole the show for the Jays with his two home runs with Alejandro Kirk and Danny Jansen both also having multi-hit days.
The top of the eighth saw a scary collision between Bo Bichette and George Springer that saw the outfielder get carted off the field, and also took the wind out of the Rogers Centre sails as the Mariners tied the game. With the Mariners’ comeback win, the Jays enter the wrong side of the record books as it became the largest comeback by a road team in a playoff series and the largest comeback to clinch a postseason series.
With the season now over, it is time to start turning our attention to the impending offseason while the playoffs continue to sort themselves out. The Blue Jays have a few things they need to take care of this winter that could have some major impacts not only on next season but beyond.