Second Wild Card Playoff Game

What a victory in the first game. It was amazing! Jump out the door like that to score three in the first against Manoah. The fact that the Mariners were able to give a guy like Luis Castillo such a solid lead did wonders, and he was able to totally control the Blue Jays lineup for the majority of the game before going in the eighth.

Game 2 begins at the same time as Game 1 of the series and kicks off at 1:07 p.m. this afternoon. With the Wild Card series only having three games, it’s already set for a potential series-winning game today for the Mariners. Let’s go and see what it takes for them to get Game 2 and the series win this afternoon.

Mariners @ Blue Jays: Pitch Preview

Saturday, October 8 at 1:07 p.m. – Robbie Ray vs. Kevin Gausman

It’s an incredible game for me. Not just because these two guys are amazing pitchers (they are) but because you look at Robbie Ray, who just left the Jays after winning the Cy Young, and Kevin Gausman who was his backup.

These situations always interest me. Are we going to see them take it up a notch, try to prove the “other team” wrong by letting them go/replacing them? Or will they start spilling, leaving too many mistakes on the board and end up getting hit really hard because of it?

There is honest concern about Robbie Ray this afternoon. He’s had some dominating streaks this year…but he can also struggle a bit against RH, who the Blue Jays roster is loaded with. They could have a whole lineup full of HR today to take on Ray. Here are his gaps against LH and RH.

  • vs HR – .236/.308/.431 – 28 HR in 568 AB
  • vs LH – .212/.260/.387 – 4 HR in 137 AB

If Ray can keep the ball in the park tonight, the Mariners are going to have a great shot.

On the other side, Gausman is sort of the opposite of Manoah. Where Manoah had an ERA about one point higher than his FIP, Gausman is the reverse. He actually led the league this year with a 2.38 FIP. It’s going to be a tough game for sure.

Mariners @ Blue Jays: Hitters to Watch

Yesterday the big boys came out for the Mariners. Julio got to base a few times, Geno hit him, Big Dumper hit a bombo and Geno came back late getting a run to make it 4-0.

Today, I think we will have to turn to Haniger, our “veterinarian”. He went 1-4 yesterday, but I think we’re going to need something more from him in game two. He’s back in the five holes today, so if anyone’s going to get the opportunity to drive in races, it’s probably him.

Jarred Kelenic is the other one I want to watch. He doesn’t need to go 3-4 or anything crazy. What he needs to do is be patient at home plate, work matters, get the runners going and continue the inning. He’s been much better the last two months of September than the rest of the MLB season, and this would be a great opportunity for him to prove that he truly belongs on baseball’s biggest scene.

On the other side, it’s all those HR. Castillo held them in Game 1, but it’s going to be a lot tougher for Robbie Ray. Springer has done damage at the top of the range and will be looking to do it again after seeing his X-rays come back negative after being dipped yesterday. Chapman is the one scaring me today. He can easily get into a groove and seemed to start after a multi-hit game to open the series, capped off with a double on the line at 104 mph from the start.

Mariners @ Blue Jays: Final Thoughts

The biggest story for me today, and I think you can probably guess it from the topic of the article, is Ray vs the HR. If he can keep the Jays in the stadium, I think this streak will be over after today. However, I’m afraid he’s made a key mistake at an inopportune time. Say, round 3 with two runners, serving one to Baby Vlad.

The Mariners have been hitting better lately, and having a fairly healthy roster makes them fearsome, though far from scary. They certainly have plenty of guys who can hit the long ball and change the game in an instant, but they will have to capitalize on any mistakes Gausman made, of which I suspect there won’t be many.

It’s already do or die for the Blue Jays, since it’s only a best-of-three series. Can they continue the series, or will the Mariners win it in two games? This afternoon could either spell the end of the season for the Jays or push it into Game 3 on Sunday. Come on sailors!

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