What went wrong for the Blue Jays in their playoff sweep to the Twins
Photo credit:© Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
By Nick Prasad1 month ago
With the blink of an eye, the Toronto Blue Jays season has come to an end. The Blue Jays took a demoralizing two-game sweep by the gritty Minnesota Twins, who advanced to the American League Division Series.
This disappointing effort has finalized the third postseason sweep the Blue Jays have encountered in the last four years. In two games, Toronto was only able to push across one run, while the pitching staff held their weight. In game two, Toronto even out-hit the Twins and still couldn’t get a run across.
Although this one sting and the hype is deceased, it is fair that we decipher in full the occurrences of game two. There were various odd scenarios that took place in this game, and various theories that added to the recipe for elimination.
Here’s what went wrong for the Blue Jays against the Twins
The talk of the town with this game is probably the hottest topic in the Postseason at the moment. Why was Jose Berrios prematurely removed from the game? We saw a similar move in game one, however, Kevin Gausman was struggling, and in this case, Jose Berrios was rolling.
Berrios lasted just 3.0 innings giving up only one earned run, three hits, one walk, and five strikeouts. He had a 68% strike rate with seven called strikes, eight swinging strikes, and six strikes in play. He finished his line with only 47 pitches. The real question is, why was he removed from the game?
Not a knock on Yusei Kikuchi, as he was a solid option in this game, but the fact that Berrios was effective and dialled in. His tempo was good, his delivery was repeated, and he was composed, given the fact that it was an elimination game against his old club. Everyone including the commentators and tweeters were in shock about the bullpen move.
The obvious assumption was that the decision came from higher and that analytics took precedence over the naked eye test. In his post-game interview, manager John Schnieder advised that this was a planned move and that Berrios was advised of it. The premeditated strategy was definitely one of the analytical factors with the matchups.
Baseball columnist Mike Wilner has confidence that the move is not of Schneider’s playbook, but one from the boss’s office. Regardless of whose decision it was, it was a low-occurrence high-impact gamble, which took away from an elite performance and a chance to win.
Moving on and away from this, it was a fact that things were not effective offensively. Let’s start with Vladimir Guerrero Jr., who was picked off at second base with two outs, a runner at third, and Bichette at the dish. This was a novice mistake and leaked all the momentum the offence was riding at the time. Base running blunders will cost the team heavily.
Stranded runners were the main mishappen this entire series, but specifically in game two, in a must-win series, Toronto out-hit the Twins and left nine men on base. The pokes were there, the ducks were on the pond but the execution was absent.
The approach at the plate the entire series was horrible. Blue Jays hitters did not know what they were looking for, and the majority of the at-bats displayed just that. The long ball was supposed to be the team’s strength, but maybe one ball came close to leaving the yard in these two games. The long ball and the short game were both entirely absent. At the end of it, this was a season-long story that transpired into the playoffs, many expected this outcome regarding the offence.
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