Steadfast and unpredictable, Manoah dismantles Yankees in Blue Jays debut –

Steadfast and unpredictable, Manoah dismantles Yankees in Blue Jays debut – fr

TORONTO – As recently as last week, as the crisis deepened in the Toronto Blue Jays’ starting rotation, debate raged within the organization as to whether Alek Manoah was ready for the big leagues. The front office is thinking a lot about optimizing transitions for his top prospects and the 23-year-old right-hander has only had 35 professional innings out of nine minor league starts to his name.
Too early? Three weeks at triple A, is that enough? Would its development be truncated?

Need finally made the decision and on Thursday afternoon, step by step over six shutout innings, Manoah methodically closed all doubts about his arrival. And by leading the Blue Jays to a 2-0 victory in the first half of a double-face against the New York Yankees, he also gave a significant boost to a team that was desperate for some rotational stability.

As impressive as the results are, what really stands out is how Manoah dismantled the Yankees. He regularly beats the elite hitters in the strike zone with his fastball. He was unpredictable – primarily using a four-seam machine sitting at 95.1 mph and a slider that generated two puffs, six called-up hits and four foul balls – but also his lead and a change that led to three misfires.

And no matter what he felt inside, he behaved with constant confidence and unfazed calm in the midst of what can be an intimidating environment.

Rather than a question, it looked not only like an answer, but also a very, very obvious answer.

Back-to-back home runs from Marcus Semien and Bo Bichette in Domingo German’s third round backed Manoah, while Jordan Romano locked things in seventh. Manager Charlie Montoyo couldn’t have asked for more before the last drink.


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