The rivalry between the New York Yankees and the Toronto Blue Jays has a deep-rooted history, which further intensified in 2022 due to a face-off between Alek Manoah and Gerrit Cole, prominent starting pitchers from each team.
The confrontation commenced when Manoah warned Cole not to cross the Audi sign, setting the stage for a potential clash. However, Cole seems to be having the last laugh as he maintains stellar performance records this season, while Manoah has been demoted to the Blue Jays’ minor-league affiliates.
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Manoah exited the team carrying a 6.36 ERA, coupled with a 70.3% left-on-base rate, 14.9% HR/FB ratio, and 6.07 xFIP across 58 innings, indicative of his need for a confidence boost.
However, the 25-year-old starting pitcher faced fierce competition from the Yankees Florida Complex affiliate team, largely comprised of 17-20-year-old budding players. This encounter proved disastrous for Manoah, who conceded 11 earned runs on 10 hits, two walks, and two home runs.
An Unexpected Twist
Remarkably, some players born as recently as 2004 seemed to be taking batting practice against Manoah, who was a contender in last year’s Cy Young race with a 2.24 ERA across 196.2 innings. This unforeseen turn of events has led to a social media frenzy, with Manoah facing backlash for his bold words in 2022.
In Manoah’s most recent encounter with the Yankees, he suffered from the onslaught of five earned runs, two home runs, and seven walks in a span of just 4.0 innings.
Though the Yankees may not encounter Manoah in the near future, they would certainly have an upper hand if he were still in the majors. His ongoing struggles, contrasted with the Yankees’ strong performance, have added a new dimension to this long-standing rivalry.