Following a pair of dramatic, extra-inning victories against the Detroit Tigers this weekend, it appears the Toronto Blue Jays are low on gas right now. They certainly didn’t show the same type of competitive spirit in Seattle last night anyway.
Instead, they played the role of jester, as King Felix and the Seattle Mariners crushed them 11-1 in normal time. Toronto’s lone show of offence came from a Jose Bautista home run in the top of the fourth inning – he can’t do it all on his own, folks.
Felix Hernandez made short work of the Jays over seven solid innings. He allowed the one earned run off three hits, issuing no walks while tossing eight batters out. Of his 96 pitches on the night, 68 landed for strikes. Now this is what a true ace puts up for numbers.
From here, Joe Beimel and Danny Farquhar each pitched a perfect inning of relief for the Mariners, pushing their win total on the season to 63 games. The win also saw Seattle jump ahead of Toronto in the race for the final Wild Card spot – they now have a one-game edge over the Jays, with the Tigers holding the final spot at the moment.
Following the win, Hernandez’s ERA dropped to an American League best 1.95. Add his 13 wins to that impressive figure and you may have the AL favourite for the Cy Young award this season.
The Jays, on the other hand, got another start to forget from Drew Hutchison. Earlier in the season, it seemed Hutchison could only win on the road. Now it’s like he can only win at home, as evidenced by his dominate victory over the Baltimore Orioles last Wednesday at Rogers Centre (he has three wins in his last ten starts and two of them came at home). For whatever reason, Hutchison has also been alternating between strong and disastrous starts all season – a consistent pattern of inconsistency one could argue – with the Jays’ record paying the price.
Hutchison lasted only 5.2 innings last night, getting hit for six runs (all earned) off seven hits and two walks. He did manage to toss five batters out via strikeout, but this is of small solace. Brad Mills took over from here, but he actually fared worse, allowing five runs (all earned) off three hits and three walks in just 2.1 innings of relief work. It’s barely worth mentioning that he recorded two strikeouts – who cares? They were probably mercy strikeouts.
Mills’ ERA with the Jays now stands at a very unhealthy 27 (yes, you read that correctly) on the season. It’s safe to assume the Jays will return him to the Buffalo Bisons soon – he was really in the bullpen yesterday to give the regular arms a day of rest following Sunday’s marathon win over the Tigers.
Here’s the great thing about baseball, however. The Jays go right back out there tonight, getting an instant shot at redemption. J.A. Happ – one of the team’s best pitchers since June – gets the start, while Chris Young takes the mound for Seattle.
With playoff implications on the line, let’s hope for a stronger showing from the Jays today. They should get a free pass on last night’s loss.