After failing to win a single game during a crucial stretch in the American League wild-card race, the Toronto Blue Jays have lost four in a row and now face a postseason berth that is far from assured.
Toronto fell 2-9 in the final game of a four-game series against the Texas Rangers of the 2023 Major League Baseball (MLB) World Series at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, on Friday. The Jays improved to 80-67 on the season and closed to within 1.5 games of the fourth American League wild-card spot and the third-place Seattle Mariners.
Texas lined up in the following order: Marcus Semien (second base), Corey Seager (shortstop), Nathaniel Lowe (first base), Mitch Garber (designated hitter), Robbie Grossman (right field), Jonah Heim (catcher), Josh Smith (third base), and Ezekiel Duran (left field). Nathan Eovaldi will get the start.
Toronto, looking to snap a three-game losing streak, started George Springer (designated hitter), Bo Bissett (shortstop), Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (first base), Davis Schneider (second base), Cavan Biggio (right field), Matt Chapman (third base), Whit Merrifield (left field), Alejandro Kirk (catcher), and Kevin Kiermaier (center field). Kevin Gausman got the start in center field.
Texas struck first. They struck first in the top of the first inning, with Seager pulling a two-pitch splitter from Gaussman over the right-center field fence for a leadoff solo shot.
Toronto answered right back. In the bottom of the first, Bissett led off with a single to left and Guerrero Jr. followed with a two-run shot to left off Iboldi. The score was 2-1.
Dedicated to the upset, Texas regained the lead in the top of the second. Seeger, who had a leadoff single in the top of the first, hit a two-run double to left field with runners on second and third. Merrifield followed through and made a jumping catch, but the ball slipped through his glove for the out. It was Seeger’s 40th double of the season.
Texas began to close the gap in the top of the third on a solo shot by Haim. Toronto tried to turn the tide in the top of the fourth when center fielder Kiermeyer made a sliding catch of Garber’s hard-hit line drive with the bases loaded, but they were unable to capitalize and remained stranded with two outs.
The two-run gap remained until the bottom of the seventh, when Texas, in need of an insurance run, finally broke through with a big inning in the top of the eighth. After a leadoff double by Duran and a walk to Carter, Simeon followed with an RBI double, and after Trevor Richard’s automatic high four, Lowe followed with an RBI single. Grossman’s push single and Smith’s sacrifice fly extended the lead to seven runs.
Toronto, desperate to make a comeback, was unable to close the gap and the game ended in a seven-run victory for Texas. It was a frustrating end to a four-game homestand for both the players and the fans watching.
Starter Gausman suffered his ninth loss of the season, allowing four runs on six hits (two homers) with six walks and five strikeouts in 4⅔ innings, while fourth starter Trevor Richards gave up five runs on three hits and two walks without recording a single out. The offense didn’t have a single player with multiple hits except for Bissett, who went 2-for-3 with a double, a walk and a run scored.
After the game, Gausman told local media, “We played a disappointing game in every way, and it was a tough series. All the players are very upset,” he said, expressing his disappointment with the outcome of the four-game series against Texas.
Ben Nicholson-Smith, a reporter for Canadian outlet Sportsnet, wrote on social media, “We started the week in a good spot, but after the Texas game, we were completely overwhelmed. “The fans were booing the players, and rightfully so.” “The combined score of the four games was 9-35. “The fans were booing the players, and rightfully so. They’ve never looked so precarious,” he said of Toronto’s current situation.
The Jays needed at least two or three wins in the four-game series to stay on track for a postseason berth, but things went awry from day one. Starting pitcher Chris Bassitt struggled, giving up five runs on nine hits in 5 1/3 innings, including one home run, with three walks and three strikeouts, and the Jays fell to a 4-10 defeat.
The only time Toronto was able to even the score was in Game 2 of the series, when “Korean Monster” Ryu Hyun-jin got the start. Matched up against Max Scherzer, Ryu gave up three runs on five hits (one homer) with one walk and five strikeouts over six innings, his first quality start since returning from injury. The process wasn’t bad, as he suffered his third loss of the season with no run support.안전놀이터
However, a batting lineup that failed to score a run in six innings didn’t help Ryu, and despite a late rally, it wasn’t enough to overturn the deficit and they fell 3-6. The scenario of a three-game sweep was already out of the question.
Game 3 was the “worst. While starter Yusei Kikuchi struggled, giving up six runs on five hits (two home runs) in five innings with two walks and three strikeouts, the offense remained silent throughout the game. Outside of Santiago Espinal and Ernie Clement’s multi-hit efforts, no one else had a breakout game. Toronto was unable to avoid an 0-10 start.
That’s how it went down to the final game, and there was no reversal. It’s hard to say that two wins in four games is good enough, but to come away without a win is something that Toronto needs to reflect on.
It’s now difficult for Toronto to make the postseason on their own. With one of the two wild-card teams, Texas or Seattle, slipping, Toronto will need to rebound to change their position.
Toronto now has just 15 games remaining. A three-game homestand against the Boston Red Sox from April 16-18, followed by a six-game road trip against the New York Yankees from April 20-22 and the Tampa Bay Rays from April 23-25. It remains to be seen if the Jays can overcome their current predicament.