Two out of three ain’t bad. Especially since we came in playing terrible baseball, and the Mariners had won 9 of their last 11 games, but I really wanted the sweep.
Two errors by Josh Donaldson in the 12th inning cost us big. I guess the second one wasn’t called an error but it really was.
Josh made a throwing error to start the 12th inning, throwing wide of first on a soft ground ball, and Guillermo Heredia got to second base. Then Ben Gamel bunted. Ryan Goins, playing first, made a great throw to third base, but Josh had the ball come out of his glove on the tag. An easy sac fly later, we were walked off. R.A. Dickey, making his first relief appearance as a Blue Jay, gets the loss but really he did nothing wrong.
That home run by Jose Bautista (man he crushed that pitch) in the 9th inning was one amazing moment, in our home park of Safeco. It was great to see the park go wild.
Aaron Sanchez had a great start. 6 innings, 4 hits, 1 earned, 3 walks and 5 strikeouts. He could have been saved the earned run if Kevin Pillar hadn’t dropped Norichika Aoki’s single, trying to bare-hand it and make a quick throw home.
The only time Aaron had any trouble was the 3rd inning. Jesus Sucre doubled, and, after a strikeout, Aoki singled up the middle. Pillar may have had a play at the plate but, trying to rush, he missed the ball and then, he still could have got Aoki trying to go to second but he continued to have trouble with the ball.
Our bullpen did a great job. Joaquin Benoit, Brett Cecil, Jason Grilli, Joe Biagini, Roberto Osuna, Danny Barnes, Aaron Loup and Ryan Tepera combined for 5 scoreless innings.
Aaron Loup had some trouble, coming in with 1-out in the 11th. He gave up two walks, before getting a popout. He gave way to Ryan Tepera, who imediatedly threw a wild pitch putting the runners on 2nd and 3rd and then walked Mike Zunino on 3 more pitches, none of which were anywhere close to the plate, but then he got an easy ground ball to ‘first baseman’ Goins.
Offensively, we couldn’t do much against Felix Hernandez. Felix went 7, allowed just 2 hits and 3 walks. And then until Bautista’s 1-out home run in the 9th, we didn’t do much against the M’s bullpen.
We had a chance to score in the 4th inning. Josh Donaldson started the inning off with a double, and went to 3rd on Edwin Encarnacion’s ground out, but Jose Bautista grounded out to a drawn in third baseman, Kyle Seager and Russell Martin also grounded out. After that, there wasn’t much for offense at all.
In the 8th, Justin Smoak led off with a walk and Dalton Pompey pinch ran but he was thrown out stealing 2nd on a heck of a throw, then a great tag by Robinson Cano. I thought that was going to be our last shot. I’m glad Jose proved me wrong.
We had a good chance to take the lead in the 10th. Michael Saunders hit a lead off double, and then Ryan Goins bunted pinch runner Melvin Upton to 3rd. But Kevin Pillar’s soft liner was caught by someone named Mike Freeman. I’ll admit I swore loudly enough for my neighbors to hear, but I’m sure they just thought ‘Tom’s watching the Blue Jays’. It was a great diving catch. Kevin, tho, swung at several pitches off the plate, I wish he would have taken the walk offer. After that Devon Travis struck out on three pitches.
And we had another very good chance in the 11th, Josh singled, Edwin walked. But Jose struck out and Russell Martin hit into a 1-6-3 double play.
Ryan Goins singled in the 12th, but that was all we’d get.
In 12 innings, we’d only get 6 hits and 6 walks. Donaldson had 2 of the hits.
Jays of the Day: Jose (.112 WPA), Smoak (.148, 1 hit, 2 walks), Saunders (.109, 1 double), Osuna (.228), Sanchez (.140) and Tepera had the number too, .105, but he had a wild pitch and a 4 pitch walk, in which he never came near the plate and only got 1 out, so I’m not giving him one.
Suckage: Dickey had the number, -.374 but that was all on Josh so I’m not giving him one. Pillar (-.401, 0 for 5, he had a rough day, he had a long at bat in the 10, fouling off a lot of pitches, but not one of those pitcher was in the strike zone, and he had that dropped ball). Martin (-.311, 0 for 4 and walk, but that double play ball cost us big), Tulo (-.175 for an 0 for 5), Travis (-.153, 0 for 4, walk and he dropped throw from Martin that should have been a caught stealing). And a extra Suckage award for Donaldson. That was a rough inning for the guy.
I’ll be happy about the series win tomorrow. Tonight I’m grumpy about all the missed chances.
We had 1241 comments, pretty good for an afternoon GameThread, especially when half the Jays fans in western Canada were at the game. DangYouToHeck led us to a difficult loss.