In frustrating fashion, the Toronto Blue Jays fell to the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday night 3-1. At no point during the game did the Jays feel like a real threat to take back the lead from the Twins, which continues a troubling trend that began early in the regular season and snowballed.
It only felt fitting that the Blue Jays were the team to help the Twins secure their first playoff win in their last 19 games. Yes, Minnesota was riding a historic 18-game losing streak in the postseason. Entering the first Wild Card game yesterday, there were many sharing the sentiment that the Blue Jays were going to be the lucky team to break the Twins' cycle. At least they didn't disappoint in that regard.
Kevin Gausman was unable to get it done on the mound, letting Royce Lewis singlehandedly defeat the Blue Jays thanks to a two-homer game. Sure, the Jays' bullpen was as advertised and the club actually did out-hit the Twins, but driving home the runners continued to be an issue for them.
It's all up to José Berríos to keep the Blue Jays' postseason hopes alive
A former Twin and one of the most improved pitchers on the Blue Jays' pitching staff, José Berríos is set to take the mound in Game 2 of the Wild Card Series and will have some sky-high expectations on his shoulders. With John Schneider using nearly every reliever in last night's game, they're going to need some length out of Berríos. As Sportsnet's Ben Nicholson-Smith pointed out, Yimi García and Jordan Romano are the two relief pitchers that are the most rested, so they will need to be leaned on as well to piece together a win.
It's worth noting that both Yusei Kikuchi and Chris Bassitt will have fluid roles heading into tonight's game as well. If you're in a win-or-go-home scenario, every single asset on the club needs to be available to contribute as they can. Kikuchi figures to be used as a long-man if Berríos is unable to eat some innings, but Bassitt, Game 3's expected starter if the Jays make it that far, should only be used in case of emergency, but he's an option.