TORONTO — Even 147 video games in, you see issues for the primary time.
Sunday at Rogers Centre, it was the unthinkable: Jordan Romano blowing a save on his dwelling turf. Romano has owned the dome, coming in with a 0.31 ERA at dwelling this season, however the Orioles managed to load the bases within the ninth and scrape throughout three runs, handing the Blue Jays a 5-4 loss on a day that had “sweep” written throughout it.
“He’s been so good the whole year,” stated interim supervisor John Schneider. “I thought his slider was a little bit flat. I thought they were sitting on it. You have to give them credit for getting a couple hits and working some walks. There was a really close play 3-2 and I was surprised they ran, given how many people Jordan strikes out, but it worked out for them. You’ve got to tip your cap to some good hitting.”
Toronto rallied within the backside half, with George Springer coming simply inches in need of a game-tying dwelling run as he waved his arm up the first-base line, making an attempt to will the ball over the wall. The margins really feel thinner by the day because the season fades.
It’s a blow to the Blue Jays, however one which’s softened considerably by how nicely they’ve performed thus far in September. The loss drops them to 13-5 for the reason that calendar flipped, nonetheless a outstanding stretch of baseball that’s seen all of them however bury the Orioles within the AL Wild Card race. At this level, that race is extra about seeding, with the Blue Jays, Mariners and Rays battling it out on the rostrum with priceless home-field benefit on the road.
“This entire series was awesome. I thought we played great,” Schneider stated. “It speaks volumes to what we did in the ninth against a really good reliever. It just shows the mentality of this team. The defense was good again. The at-bats were good up and down. It’s a tight game, and the fact that we got something going says a lot. I’m proud of how we played all homestand, but especially this series.”
With a Toronto loss and a Tampa Bay win, the Blue Jays now maintain only a half-game lead for that prime Wild Card spot, which might give all of them three video games of the Wild Card spherical at Rogers Centre. The Mariners at the moment are two video games again of the Blue Jays for the highest spot, however they’ve a straightforward schedule down the stretch with a chance to make this fascinating.
This stretch of play has additionally put the Blue Jays again into the combo for the AL East, which is a dialog many gave up on two months in the past. It was comprehensible on the time, on condition that the mighty Yankees had a 16 1/2-game lead over Toronto within the East as not too long ago as July 11. A win Sunday would have stored the Blue Jays simply 4 1/2 again of the Yankees, however even at 5 1/2 again, it’s a steep — however not inconceivable — mountain to climb, particularly if Toronto is ready to take its Sept. 26 sequence from New York at dwelling.
Alek Manoah, who might be on the forefront of any postseason run, was his outdated self Sunday. Even with out his finest stuff, Manoah labored six innings of one-run ball, dancing round 4 walks and 4 hits whereas putting out 5. With his ERA now all the way down to 2.40, you’ve come to anticipate these wonderful begins from the co-ace of the employees every time.
Even with the tight loss, Manoah loves what he’s seen from his teammates in September.
“We’re doing a great job of picking each other up,” Manoah stated. “A starter might not have his best stuff, but nobody is pointing fingers. The offense comes out and comes right back. Sometimes the offense isn’t going, and the arms pick up that slack. We have one of the best bullpens in baseball. We have a really good starting rotation. We have the best closer in baseball. We feel really good with where we’re at, we just have to keep firing on all cylinders and picking each other up.”
In an ideal world, Toronto is clicking in each part of the sport, however that’s for October. In September, this model of the Blue Jays has been arguably the perfect we’ve seen in ‘22, and it’s put them within the driver’s seat for the stretch run.