It wasn’t the postseason run that the Toronto Blue Jays were hoping for or expected, as their season has been brought to an early end.
After fighting to get into the Wild Card spot, the Jays had a matchup with the Minnesota Twins in a best-of-three series. Many analysts were commenting on how this was the easiest draw of the postseason, but few expected what came next after they were beaten 2-0.
Let’s review Toronto's playoff run and what they could have done differently.
After a grueling 162-game season, the Blue Jays found themselves in the playoffs once again and they were hoping for a much better showing than what they managed in the previous campaign.
Matched up against the Seattle Mariners in 2022, Toronto lost Game 1 at home but they looked on course to force a decider in Game 2, having moved into a 6-1 lead. However, that’s when Toronto pulled Kevin Gausman and the worst case scenario started to happen.
The Blue Jays blew a five-run lead to lose the game and end their season. So, Toronto was ready to avenge last season’s terrible showing in the Wild Card this year and, instead of having to play the Rays or Rangers, they were matched up with the American League Central winner, the Minnesota Twins.
Of all 12 postseason teams, the Twins were commonly viewed as the most beatable.
In Game 1, it was a battle of aces as Pablo Lopez started for the Twins and Gausman opposed him for the Blue Jays. In the end, Royce Lewis’ two-homer day powered the Twins to a 3-1 win.
Once again, the Blue Jays had their backs to the wall. For Game 2, John Schneider decided to start Jose Berrios instead of Chris Bassitt or Yusei Kikuchi. The decision looked very smart as Berrios was dominant and allowed just two hits and five strikeouts through the first three innings.
But in a shocking move, Schneider pulled Berrios in the fourth inning. This move changed the game and ultimately ended Toronto’s season because the Blue Jays bullpen allowed the Twins to rally and score. Following the game, a lot of the heat went onto Schneider due to his decision to take out Berrios.
The Blue Jays lost Game 2 by a score of 2-0, so while the decision to take out Berrios was a big reason for the loss, a lot of the blame could also be put onto the offense. In Toronto’s two most important games of the season, they managed just one run.
The lone star of Toronto’s playoff run was Bo Bichette, who went 4-for-6 with the only run scored. Between George Springer, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Brandon Belt, they were 3-for-24 in the two Wild Card games.
When Toronto needed their offense the most, it disappeared. If the Blue Jays want to be a threat in the AL East next season and aim to get into the Wild Card again, they will need to make some moves in their lineup, bullpen, and possibly even front office.