Blue Jays' Manoah tosses 6 shutout innings in debut vs. Yankees
Alek Manoah's debut lived up to the hype and then some.
The Toronto Blue Jays pitching prospect put on a show against the New York Yankees in his highly anticipated first big-league start Thursday, striking out seven batters while allowing only two hits across six shutout innings at Yankee Stadium.
Manoah left the seven-inning contest with the Blue Jays ahead 2-0. Jordan Romano preserved the victory for Manoah with a perfect seventh.
The West Virginia product is the fourth visiting pitcher to toss at least six scoreless innings in his MLB debut at any iteration of Yankee Stadium, according to Andrew Simon of MLB.com. He's also just the second Blue Jays hurler to do it against any opponent, joining Mauro Gozzo in 1989, according to Sarah Langs of MLB.com.
Manoah's performance even caught the eye of at least one former Blue Jays player. New York Mets right-hander Marcus Stroman, who wore No. 6 in Toronto before being traded, had high praise for the youngster.
The 23-year-old had a loud cheering section in the Bronx led by his mom, Susanna, who was quite emotional while pumping up her son during the start. Manoah also teared up while talking about his mom's impact postgame.
"I couldn't look up (during the game) ... but I heard them a ton," he told Sportsnet's Hazel Mae. "They keep me going, man. That's who I do it for."
He added, "I've seen my mom not eat dinner to feed me and my brother. And (for) those kinds of things, I'll give her the world, I'd do anything for her. She's my inspiration."
The Blue Jays drafted Manoah 11th overall in 2019. He made just three starts at Triple-A before getting called up to the majors.