José Berríos took the mound for Wednesday's Wild Card Game with the weight of the world on his shoulders. True to the form that he's shown all season long, he went out there and dominated; allowing just one earned run on three this with five strikeouts through three innings.
Wait, if he was pitching so well, why did he go only three innings?
Playing the matchup move like he typically does, Blue Jays manager John Schneider made the move to pull Berríos in favor of left-hander Yusei Kikuchi. Once again, as it typically does, the move quickly led to the Blue Jays' unraveling and eventually playing from behind in the game. While we're still only in the fifth inning as of right now, this move has the potential to be one of the worst made by a manger in-game in recent memory.
It isn't by fault of Kikuchi's necessarily, but the tie game very quickly evaporated once he took the mound. By the end of the inning, the Jays were suddenly playing from behind thanks to a 2-0 nothing defecit. Everyone knew that a Kikuchi relief appearance was 100 percent on the table for this afternoon's game, but it just doesn't seem wise to bring him in so early.
Naturally, Blue Jays fans are extremely unhappy, and they should be. This was a tight game that featured both Berríos and Twins starter Sonny Gray engaging in a pitching duel for the ages.
There is no doubt that this decision was not Schneider's and Schneider's alone. This is not going to be something that he does "because he feels like it", but that doesn't mean that it was the right move by any means. This move could very well be the one that ended the Blue Jays' season, and if this is the case, there's no guarantee that Schneider is brought back to lead this club next year.