Saturday, August 24, 2019

Game #131 Toronto Blue Jays (52-79) @ Seattle Mariners (55-74) - game recap

Teoscar Hernandez drove in a pair of runs in a losing effort as the Mariners came from behind to defeat the Blue Jays 7-4

After being swept by the LA Dodgers, the Blue Jays made their annual trip to Seattle to face a Mariners team that took 2 of 3 in Toronto a week ago. Trent Thornton got the start against Mariners lefty Justus Sheffield. Happy birthday to Billy McKinney, who got the day off as a Bday present. Cavan Biggio was moved to the 7th spot in the lineup with Derek Fisher batting 2nd. Vlad got the half day off, serving as the DH tonight. Justin Smoak was also back at 1B after 2 days in a row off. Reese McGuire got the start behind the plate. Could the Blue Jays snap the 5 game losing streak? Here is tonight's game recap.

Game Highlights:
  • The Blue Jays took the lead in the top of the 1st as Justin Smoak singled home Bo Bichette
  • A batter later, Teoscar Hernandez doubled scoring Derek Fisher
  • The Mariners got one back in the bottom of the 2nd as Omar Narvaez swatted a solo blast to right
  • Four batters later, Dee Gordon tripled home Jake Fraley
  • The Blue Jays retook the lead in the top of the 3rd as Hernandez singled home Randal Grichuk
  • The Mariners tied the game in the bottom half of the inning as Kyle Seagar doubled home JP Crawford
  • Justus Sheffield pitching line: 4IP 7H 3R (all earned) 3BB 3K 86 pitches (51 for strikes)
  • The Mariners took the lead in the bottom of the 5th as Crawford hammered a solo bomb to dead center
  • Trent Thornton pitching line: 4IP 9H 4R (3 earned) 1BB 4K 80 pitches (50 for strikes)
  • The Blue Jays tied the game in the top of the 6th as Vladimir Guerrero Jr. singled home Reese McGuire
  • The Mariners retook the lead in the bottom half of the inning as Seagar walked with the bases loaded to force in Gordon
  • A batter later, Mallex Smith scored on a wild pitch by Tim Mayza
  • Two batters later, Austin Nola scored on a wild pitch by Neil Ramirez
  • Matt Magill pitched a perfect 9th for his 3rd save of the season
  • Final score: Mariners 7 Blue Jays 4
My Take:
  • Once again, consistency and command continue to plague Trent Thornton. Tonight, he gave up 4 runs (3 earned) on 9 hits while walking 1 and striking out 4. Simply put, too many pitches caught too much of the strike zone. He may be in a fight next year for a rotation spot with several arms in the minors, and Ryan Borucki waiting in the wings.
  • Reese McGuire had a rough inning in the 6th, having 2 wild pitches squeak through his legs, leading to 2 runs.
  • Offensively, the Blue Jays had a decent night, getting 11 hits (all but Brandon Drury got at least one hit). Bo Bichette had a 3-5 night, raising his average to .333 and his OPS to 1.023. Teoscar Hernandez also had a pair of hits and drove in 2 runs.
  • The difference in this one was the Mariners drove in base runners more effectively than the Blue Jays tonight
  • Not only is Seattle a "home" game in a road stadium with Blue Jays fans making the trip down to the Emerald city from BC, Reese McGuire hails from nearby Kent, WA.
  • Up next, the Blue Jays try to snap the six game losing streak with Felix Hernandez coming off the IL to start for the Mariners. The veteran righty has missed the bulk of the season with a shoulder injury. The Blue Jays will have another bullpen day, mixing and matching pitchers to get through, hopefully, just 9 innings. Wilmer Font will pitch as the opener.

Friday, August 23, 2019

Game #131 - Toronto Blue Jays (52-78) @ Seattle Mariners (54-74)

Exhibition Stadium


The Jays have been quite bad this year but now that a lot of the flotsam and jetsam has been cleared out in favour of the youngsters, they're quite tolerable to watch.  If you squint a bit it's not difficult to see a bright future for our squad.  "If things fall just right" the Jays may be back in contention for a wildcard spot in a couple of years.

In recent JITH news, our own Wince has jetted off to Switzerland.  He stopped in Ireland on the way where he ate, according to Dabbles, a "rasher".  Meanwhile, Joe McD was highly impressed with the skill of the bartender who poured the perfect pint of Guinness.  Like many on this site, Joe has extensive experience with spirits of various kinds (liquid ones).   In related news, Joe McD has been making a variety of questionable comments of late and we all hope he can come back to the straight and narrow before he's permanently banned from the site, with no chance of reinstatement.

This just in, Wince has been expelled from Switzerland and is currently on a high-speed train through Germany, heading for Denmark.  Apparently he attended a pre-season hockey game but didn't realize the players took shifts instead of playing the whole game.  When the second line took over before the first whistle was even blown he went into a deeply rageful state and assaulted an usher.  He was lucky to not be thrown in jail - hopefully he makes it back OK and can return here to comment further on the downfall of today's game - the Opener.

Very Short Seattle Baseball History

The Mariners, 1977 expansion cousins to the Blue Jays, are a relatively new club.  However, baseball has a long history in the Pacific Northwest and specifically in Seattle.  The Seattle Indians began play in 1903 in the newly formed Pacific Coast League.  The league changed somewhat over the years and the team would change to the Rainiers, the Angels, and back to the Rainiers.  This name, of course, was due to ownership of the club being taken over by Emil Sick of the Rainier Brewing Company.  

Dugdale Field - 1913-1932 (Burned Down)

The aptly names Sicks Stadium, normally holding 15,000 spectators, was quickly "expanded" to 30,000 as a condition for the newly awarded expansion team, the 1969 Seattle Pilots.  Contemporary accounts suggest that by opening day, construction was well behind and they were only up to about 17,500 seats ready.  Some of those who showed up for opening day had to wait a few innings for their seats to be made.  Water pressure was inadequate, sewage occasionally leaked, and as the summer progressed and more seats were made available, many of them were obstructed view.  For those interested, a quick Google search will reveal a wealth of books that cover the history of ballparks, some pictorials and other with the stories behind them.  On another mostly unrelated note, the very recently deceased Jim Bouton was a member of the '69 Pilots and wrote his famous and groundbreaking book "Ball Four" about that season.

Sicks Stadium

Needless to say, the Pilots season was a disaster, they went bankrupt, and the club was sold to Bud Selig and moved to Milwaukee.  

Moving on, other stuff happened, the Kingdome was made, baseball returned to Seattle, some good players eventually showed up, the Mariners had one of the best seasons in the history of the game but once again lost in the playoffs, and they have been mediocre ever since.  In tomorrow's instalment we'll take a closer look at some of the greatest players in Mariners history.

For those interested, here's a small selection of photos I took in Seattle in 2003.  I had closeups of the players during warmups but have been unable to find them for years.  The search continues....

Trent Thornton, who has looked quite decent lately and seems to be making adjustments, gets the start against recently recalled Justus Sheffield.  Both of these "middling at best" squads have been out of playoff contention for months so the only real interest left, other than the pure enjoyment of the game of baseball, is in seeing strong performances from pieces of the future.

The Jays will be looking to forget about the Dodgers series, particularly last night's game, where they lost in heartbreaking fashion in the bottom of the 9th, and where a strong outing from the club's pitchers was ruined in short order.  Upon seeing that debacle, I strongly considered deleting this game threat!  What's the point of making a game threat for this nonsense when it doesn't matter....when I won't be watching anyway!  In fact, this text is the last you will hear from me, as last night's awful loss will be the last involvement I will have not only with Blue Jays baseball but with the game of baseball in general.  I am even going to burn my collection of baseball cards!


Game #130 Toronto Blue Jays (52-78) @ LA Dodgers (85-44) - game recap

Jacob Waguespack threw 7 shutout innings in a losing effort as the LA Dodgers came from behind in the 9th to edge the Blue Jays 3-2

As expected, the Blue Jays lost the first two games of this series to the juggernaut LA Dodgers, who may be the best all-around team in the majors. The first game wasn't close (a 19-3 drubbing that saw all the big bats in the Dodgers lineup come up big. Russell Martin even played the final 2 innings at 3B and got 2AB. Richard Urena pitched the 8th for the Blue Jays. The second game was much closer and included a blown save by Kenley Jansen off an unlikely HR by Rowdy Tellez. Tonight, The Blue Jays turned to Jacob Waguespack to try and avoid the series sweep and halt the 4-game losing streak. Vlad was back in the starting lineup after most of the day off yesterday, except for 2AB's and 1 2 innings in the field. Ken Giles was placed on paternity leave with  Danny Jansen was also back behind the plate after a complete day off yesterday. Rowdy Tellez got his second straight start at 1B, presumably as a reward for the last gasp heroics to briefly delay the loss. Could the Blue Jays escape LA with a win? Here is tonight's game recap.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Game #130 - Toronto Blue Jays (52-77) @ Los Angeles Dodgers (84-44)

Thu, Aug 22 • 10:10 PM EDT
At Dodger Stadium
Jacob Waguespack vs Kenta Maeda

Game #129 Toronto Blue Jays (52-77) @ LA Dodgers (84-44) - game recap

Max Muncy hit a walk-off HR in the bottom of the 10th as the Dodgers edged the Blue Jays 2-1

After a thorough beat down against one of the premier pitchers and top starter of this decade (hat tip to Tom Jackson on the leg work) Clayton Kershaw and the juggernaut offence that features Cody Bellinger, who is neck and neck with Christian Yelich for the NL MVP this season, and Joc Pederson, who faced off against Vlad in the HR derby this year in an epic round that featured a COMBINED 79 HR between two of the better young guns in the game that Vlad narrowly won when he hit 2 in 3 tries in the second OT round. Tonight, the Dodgers sent one of the game's best young righties in Walker Buehler to the mound. Buehler is 10-3 on the season with a 3.31 ERA. The Blue Jays had their second straight bullpen day with Wilmer Font serving as the opener, with Sammy G expected to pitch next. A few lineup changes for tonight. Vlad was given the day off after facing Kershaw yesterday (perhaps playing him yesterday wasn't wise, but then again I don't trust the HPD/Training staff with a paper cut). Billy McKinney also got the start in LF, in place of Derek Fisher, who homered off Kershaw last night. Rowdy Tellez got the start at 1B (it will be interesting to see in the final 6 weeks of the season how Montoyo splits the starts at 1B. Personally, I think Tellez should get more of the starts, but he has to play well and earn the playing time). Finally, Reese McGuire got the start behind the plate after Danny Jansen had a long day behind the plate with the Dodgers pummeling the relievers last night. Will the Blue Jays have better luck against Buehler? Here is tonight's game recap.