The Toronto Blue Jays suffered a devastating collapse in the 2022 postseason, blowing an 8-1 lead in an elimination game en route to being swept by the Seattle Mariners in front of the home crowd; All-Star closer Jordan Romano still hasn’t forgotten the devastating loss with the 2023 season just days away.
“A game like that, I don’t think you can ever truly forget it and flush it,” Romano told The Toronto Sun last week in the Jays’ Dunedin, FL clubhouse.
“I don’t think about it dally, but I’m trying to use that as a little bit of fuel. It’s what can I do better to make sure it doesn’t happen again? What can I do to be stronger at the end of the year? It was a tough one, but I’m trying to use it in a more positive way.”
Looking ahead to 2023
The right-handed ace may never forget the crushing loss, but he’s using the disappointment as fuel for this season.
“It comes down to the total picture,” Blue Jays’ Jordan Romano explained. “How I’m eating. How I’m preparing. How I’m sleeping. It doesn’t let you miss a step because you know what the scenario could be. It drives you to make better decisions so you won’t be in that spot again. I feel like the mental game is huge for relievers…I still work on it every day. As a closer, if you can’t you’re going to have a short shelf life.
I think that’s why there’s so much turnover in relievers. It’s how to handle those big moments when you are not doing well. If you have a bad week, it’s very hard to get the confidence back and keep performing. It’s why I work on it daily.”
A postseason to forget
It was the first postseason appearance in Romano’s career, and he allowed four hits and two earned runs while striking out four over 1.2 innings. But the loss helped him to keep things in perspective going forward.
“I’ve pitched so much worse than that and gotten away unscathed,” Romano said of the October loss. “I was feeling strong and I pitched fine and that just happened. During the course of the season, I’ll blow some big games but you just have to turn the page. I’d like to think I’ve become pretty good at that.”
Blue Jays ace closer Jordan Romano will try to build on an excellent 2022 season; he had the best year of his career with 36 saves over 64 innings pitched. And the Toronto Blue Jays will look to have playoff success after adding talent at nearly every position in the offseason.
“I think everyone has improved a little bit from last year,” Romano said. “I’m liking what I’m seeing. Obviously I’m trying to tune things up myself, but seeing everyone else’s work, it’s been nice to see.”
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