Toronto Blue Jays fans have the pleasure of witnessing Alek Manoah's electric pitching and swagger every time he takes the mound. The rest of the baseball world got to experience it Tuesday at the 2022 MLB All-Star Game.
Manoah entered the game in the second inning and struck out three batters. The catch? He was wearing a microphone and communicating with the broadcast booth while doing it.
Alek Manoah needs to be mic'd up every game he pitches 🤣pic.twitter.com/BoBIEexXnW
— Yahoo Sports (@YahooSports) July 20, 2022
The 24-year-old made quick work of William Contreras and Joc Pederson before hitting Jeff McNeil with a pitch. We can blame MLB legend John Smoltz for the beaning, as he requested Manoah finish off the batter with a back-foot slider on an 0-2 count.
The Blue Jays ace rebounded to strike out Ronald Acuna Jr. and skipped off the mound ecstatic about his "three punchies," leaving baseball fans just as fired up as he was. You can watch Manoah's entire inning of work here.
I know you can't do this in regular season games, but this is awesome hearing Alek Manoah talk his way through his inning of work. Baseball gold.
— Jared Carrabis (@Jared_Carrabis) July 20, 2022
That was great entertainment from Alek Manoah. Elite multitasking.
— Bobby Nightengale (@nightengalejr) July 20, 2022
Alek Manoah was the #AllStarGame MVP and you can’t tell me otherwise.
— Tyler Conium (@tylerconium) July 20, 2022
Highlight of the All-Star game was Alek Manoah’s mic session
— Borgen (@Actually_Borgen) July 20, 2022
The AL may have won the All-Star Game.
Giancarlo Stanton may have won the All-Star Game MVP.
But Alek Manoah won the NIGHT.#AllStarGame
— Lukas Weese (@Weesesports) July 20, 2022
Manoah's performance was crucial for both entertainment purposes and for the outcome of the game itself. The National League put up two runs off American League starter Shane McClanahan in the first frame, so a shutdown inning was sorely needed. Manoah set the tone out of the bullpen as the entire AL relief corps held their rivals to just one hit over the rest of the game en route to a 3-2 victory.
Toronto's other four representatives in the contest didn't leave much of a mark, as Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Alejandro Kirk each went 0-for-2, while Santiago Espinal went 0-for-1 with a walk. Reliever Jordan Romano did not appear in the game.
The first half of Manoah's sophomore season has been nothing short of remarkable. The big right-hander boasts a 10-4 record with a 2.28 ERA through 18 games and has completed at least seven innings in six of his outings. If he can replicate his numbers in the second half he'll certainly find himself in the mix for a Cy Young award.
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