The Decisions That Lead To The Blue Jays’ Game 2 Collapse

Oct 11, 2022

The long weekend is over and I’m still trying to digest everything that transpired over the weekend, turkey and all. I’m going to try to keep this brief as I’m still in too much shock and disbelief from what was the biggest meltdown in MLB postseason history.

While there are a lot of things that have to go wrong for a team as strong as the Jays to squander an 8-1 lead, it has to start somewhere.

That somewhere started in the 5th when interim manager John Schneider, pulled starting pitcher Kevin Gausman. After working an impressive 5 ⅔ innings, Gausman handed the ball over with the bases loaded, thus setting the stage for the Mariners comeback.

Without a doubt, this was the turning point that cost the Jays the season. When Gausman has his stuff working the way it was, you need to trust that he’ll get out of his mess. He was 93 pitches in, with 7 Ks and his splitter looking downright filthy. Why wouldn’t you trust him to at least work Santana into a ground ball situation? Sure, Santana smoked a double his last at bat, but this is your starting pitcher and you’re scared of him facing the number 7 hitter in the order a 3rd time?

So this sets the table for Tim Mayza’s wild pitch, 3-run homer and ultimately sending the Jays into a tailspin. Numbers show that switch-hitter Carlos Santana doesn’t hit as well from the right, but the call to bring in the southpaw is baffling. His weakness is right-handed batters (look no further than Aaron Judge’s 61st home run) and is generally only used in left-on-left situations. With righties like Yimi Garcia and Adam Cimber at your service, the decision to bring in Mayza had me yelling at the screen during the commercial break.

Completely echoing everything that transpired Saturday, former Blue Jays Manager John Gibbons spoke about this on our podcast, Down By Two. One of the topics that rings true is making decisions based off analytics, instead of simply ‘trusting your eyes’. Gibbons goes on to say “The new analytics has really helped baseball no doubt, but I feel like we get carried away with it. A lot of teams have dismissed the human element, which is also a big part of it”.

We discuss pulling pitchers too early, compared to the way baseball used to be played, exhausting your bullpen and leveraging the right pitchers in meaningful situations. All of which hit too close to home while watching the Jays implode. Gibby was absolutely on the money with his takes thus proving that going with the numbers isn’t always the right decision.

That’s it though, the season is over and head office is left looking over different options in an offseason that came around a lot quicker than anticipated. Locking up their young stars long-term and deciding whether or not to keep John Schneider as Manager (I say they do) are the biggest question marks. As constructed, I believe this team is poised for a postseason push in 2023, but we’re all looking for a different end to this ‘movie’.



Josh Elijah

Touring stand-up comic with Yuk Yuk’s. Host of the ‘Down By Two’ Podcast and ‘DB2 Bets.’ Take him on the over.

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