This past weekend, the Toronto Blue Jays made a brief playoff run against the Seattle Mariners during the two games of their American League Wild Card matchup. The Jays clinched their playoff spot for the fourth time since winning back-to-back World Series titles in 1992 and 1993. This was also the first time since 2016 Jays fans could be present for the team’s postseason run since they played the 2020 season in Buffalo, New York, without fans, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, their playoff stint ended quickly in something Toronto sports fans are all too well- disappointment.
During their first Wild Card game in a best-of-three series against the Mariners on Friday, the Jays fell 4-0 after an outstanding performance by Seattle’s starting pitcher Luis Castillo. Toronto’s starting pitcher, Alek Manoah, was left frustrated by his time on the mound. However, despite the unfortunate loss in front of Toronto’s home crowd, many were still hopeful going into the do-or-die game on Saturday.
Saturday’s game started strong. The Mariners not scoring any runs against the Jays until the 5th inning. By the end of the fifth inning, the Jays had an impressive 8-1 lead over the Mariners, and it seemed nothing could go wrong, but then it did.
At the top of the sixth inning, Jays starting pitcher Kevin Gausman was pulled from the game and replaced by relief pitcher Tim Mayza. Gausman managed to get two of the necessary three batters out for the Jays to get another chance at furthering their lead with two men on base. Still, the Mariner’s designated hitter, Carlos Santana, scored a three-run homerun off Mayza. This initiated the start of Toronto’s most significant postseason collapse in team history.
Two hours later, the Jays lost the game with a score of 10-9 in favour of the Mariners, leaving fans, staff and the team shocked and disappointed.
No one could’ve predicted for the tables to turn as they did in such an important game. But as Toronto sports, specifically Maple Leaf’s fans, know, it doesn’t matter the team’s lead. There’s always time to be completely let down by your sports team.