Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Game #13 - Seattle Mariners (5-8) @ Toronto Blue Jays (6-7) - game recap


Yusei Kikuchi threw 6.2 strong innings in a 6-1 loss to the Mariners

After another solid win over the Mariners thanks to  some clutch hitting, including a 2-run jack from Bo Bichette and 6.2 strong innings from Chris Bassitt, the Blue Jays were looking to extend the win streak to 3 games and complete their first series sweep of the seeason. The Blue Jays traded righty Wes Parsons to the Cleveland Guardians for International Signing Bonus Pool Space. Parsons made 2 appearances this season for the Blue Jays and gave up 6 runs on 6 hits while walking 2 and striking out 2 over 5 innings. He was DFA'd April 4. Back to today's game. Yusei Kikuchi got the start with Alejandro Kirk behind the plate. Vlad got the half day off as DH with Justin Turner at 1B. Daulton Varsho was in LF. Ernie Clement was at the hot corner. Could the Blue Jays make it three straight wins and complete their 1st sweep of the season? Here is today's game recap.

Game Highlights:

  • The Mariners opened the scoring in the top of the 3rd as JP Crawford singled scoring Dylan Moore
  • Yusei Kikuchi pitching line: 6IP 3H 1R (earned) 2BB 9K 89 pitches (58 for strikes)
  • The Blue Jays tied the game in the bottom of the 7th as Vladimir Guerrero Jr.  hammered a solo bomb to the second deck in left-center
  • Logan  Gilbert pitching line: 7.2IP 5H 1R (earned) 1BB 8K 89 pitches (56 for strikes)
  • The Mariners took the lead in the top of the 10th as Cal Raleigh whacked a 2-run blast to the opposite field in right-center and into the Mariners bullpen; also scoring Luke Raley
  • Five batters later, Ty France doubled scoring Dominic Canzone
  • A batter later, Mitch Haniger singled home Crawford and France
  • Final score: Mariners 6 Blue Jays 1
My Take:

  • Yusei Kikuchi was solid against his former team, giving up a run on 3 hits while walking 2 and striking out 9 over 6 innings. Kikuchi retired 9 of the first 12 batters he faced and 9 of the last 11  he faced. Pete Walker and the coaches deserve a ton of credit for the turnaround Kikuchi had from his first season with the Blue Jays. He has a  completely different delivery now, has much better command of his pitches and even added a changeup to his arsenal. Kikuchi has also worked hard on his English speaking skills and can now strategize with his catcher without an interpreter. Well done and it certainly gives the Blue Jays an advantage to have a southpaw in the rotation so batters aren't facing all righties every game.
  • The bullpen had mixed results today. Nate Pearson and Yimi Garcia were excellent, throwing a combined 3 shutout innings, walking a batter and striking out 4 other batters. Tim Mayza and Mitch White were utterly disastrous. There has to be big concern over Mayza,who has arguably been the team's most ineffective reliever. He gave up 3 runs on a hit and 2 walks and retired just one of the four batters he faced. Is Mayza trying to pitch through an injury? He's already been through Tommy John surgery that cost him the 2020 season. Mitch White's struggles is perhaps more expected. White is probably only on the roster because Jordan Romano and Erik Swanson are out with injuries. Mayza could be the odd man out at this point when Romano and/or Swanson are ready to return.
  • Offensively, Vlad provided the only real fireworks with a no-doubter to the second deck in left-center. He and Justin Turner, who had 2 base hits, were the only Blue Jays to reach base multiple times. Turner has turned into a pleasant surprise offensively, being easily the Blue Jays most dangerous hitter.
  • The Blue Jays were 0-6 with runners in scoring position.
  • Up next, after an off-day tomorrow, the Blue Jays open a weekend set against the Colorado Rockies. The Blue Jays won the season series 2-1 last year, outscoring the Rockies 27-22.
  • Kevin Gausman starts against Rockies righty Ryan Feltner