John Schneider defends decision not to pull Jordan Romano: “It’s your closer, it’s the guy you trust in any situation”
Photo credit:© Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports
By Cam Lewis2 months ago
For the first time in over two months, Jordan Romano wasn’t able to complete a save.
The Blue Jays brought in their closer to finish things off with a 6-5 lead over the Tampa Bay Rays in the ninth inning but Romano got tagged for two runs on four hits.
Yandy Diaz led off the inning with a double, Harold Ramirez put runners on the corners with a single, and Curtis Mead tied the game with another single. Romano got Isaac Parades to strike out and then nearly got out of the inning with a double play but Junior Caminero beat the throw at first. Josh Lowe came up next and walked things off with a single.
It was a frustrating loss for the Blue Jays, who were just one inning away from securing their first series victory at Tropicana Field since early in the 2021 season. The two teams will now play the rubber match of the series on Sunday.
During the ninth inning, Romano appeared to be dealing with a finger issue. Manager John Schneider and the team’s trainer came out on the field to check on him but Romano told them that he was fine to stay in and pitch. After the game, Schneider said that Romano is dealing with a cracked fingernail that happened during his appearance in the series opener on Friday.
Schneider received some criticism for opting to leave Romano in the game through the cracked fingernail to face the left-handed hitting Josh Lowe. The Blue Jays had Tim Mayza warmed in the bullpen and Lowe has posted a .548 OPS against lefties this season.
Despite the blown save, Schneider stood by his decision to let Romano work through the ninth inning, saying “It’s your closer, it’s the guy you trust in any situation.”
The blown save was only Romano’s fourth of the season, as the Markham, Ontario native has converted 36 of 40 save opportunities. His last blown save came on July 21 against the Seattle Mariners. Since then, Romano had allowed just two earned runs over his 15 appearances.
Romano said after the game that the broken nail wasn’t the reason for his struggles on Saturday and that he was feeling fine physically.
“Sometimes you go out there, you throw pitches and sometimes they find holes,” Romano said. “Today was a day where I felt like I battled hard out there, it just wasn’t good enough today.“It’s into September, you know? Everyone is grinding along. I’m no different than anyone else … I’ve just got to keep grinding, but I feel as good as I can be.”
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