Blue Jays by the Numbers
Series Recap: Seattle Mariners July 22nd-24th
The Blue Jays began their current home stand with a three game series against the Seattle Mariners this weekend. They entered Rogers Centre with a decent three game winning streak and looked primed to stay hot. However, the Mariners were able to cool off the Jays and steal two out of three in Toronto.
The opening game of the series was a close one. Unfortunately, the Blue Jays’ offense could not overcome the Mariners as they scored only one run on four hits during the affair. Troy Tulowitzki logged the only multi-hit game for Toronto, going 2-4 and collecting two strikeouts. Michael Saunders provided the lone run with a solo home run in the second inning.
Marco Estrada started the game on the mound and pitched well. He allowed only two runs on seven hits while ringing up three strikeouts and issuing a lone walk. Estrada’s ERA sits at 2.94 on the season now. Brett Cecil, Bo Schultz, and Joe Biagini combined to close out the game with a scoreless relief effort, but two runs would be all that the Mariners needed.
Seattle opened the scoring in the first inning with one run in the top half. Toronto was able to answer in the bottom of the second and tie the game with Saunders’ four bagger. However, the Mariners tacked on the winning run in the fifth inning and the Blue Jays were unable to recover and received the loss.
The second game was a high scoring afternoon, though not in the favor that Toronto fans are accustomed to watching. The Blue Jays tallied five runs on eight hits but could not best Seattle for the second day in a row. Michael Saunders and Devon Travis each had good days at the plate, but reigning MVP Josh Donaldson was kept quiet on the day. Saunders went 2-4 with a two RBI home run and Travis provided a 3-4 effort with a strikeout.
R.A. Dickey began the day on the mound for Toronto, but the veteran knuckleballer could only muster three innings of work. He surrendered six runs on seven hits, including a home run, before being removed from the game. Franklin Morales entered the contest and gave two innings of scoreless relief as he allowed only one hit. Jesse Chavez was then brought out to face the Mariners but was shelled for five earned on six hits during .2 innings. Bo Schultz was able to finish the inning for Chavez and gave Toronto another scoreless inning in the seventh. Drew Storen was next to be tabbed in the bullpen, and he proceeded to allow three runs on three more hits. Joe Biagini was then asked to finish off this mess of a game and did so while allowing only one hit.
On a day full of fireworks, the Blue Jays were able to draw first blood. They scored their first run in the second inning before Seattle sent four runs across the plate in the third. The Mariners added on another two runs in the fourth and then five more in the sixth inning. Toronto put up another run in the bottom half of the sixth, but the Mariners continued to mow down the Blue Jays as they added three more runs in eighth inning. The Jays scored three runs in the bottom of the eighth, but by then it was too late for a comeback.
The final match of the series fared better for Toronto as they scored two runs on four hits to avoid the sweep. Edwin Encarnacion sent a solo shot over the wall to open things up and then Josh Thole smacked an RBI double to power the Jays to victory.
J.A. Happ provided six strong innings from the mound allowing no runs to score. Happ struck out six but handed out four free bases during his outing. Brett Cecil and Jason Grilli bridged the gap with two no-hit innings, setting up closer Roberto Osuna. Osuna shut the door to notch his 20th save of the year for the Blue Jays.
Encarnacion’s solo shot to deep center field opened the scoring on the day during the fourth inning. Josh Thole added on in the sixth and that was all the Blue Jays needed to put away Seattle.
Numbers That Mattered
- 3 home runs allowed in Game 2
- 25 strikeouts for the Blue Jays lineup
- 5 Mariners batters were hit by pitches
- 1-11; Josh Donaldson on the series
- 0-11; Blue Jays with RISP
- 3-10, 2 HR, 3 RBI; Michael Saunders
- J.A. Happ picked up his 13th win of the year
What the Numbers Mean
The Blue Jays did not have a very good series to begin this home stand. The first game was a tough loss, but the second was simply a pitiful display of pitching. J.A. Happ righted the ship on Sunday, but with Baltimore heating back up and the Red Sox staying in the hunt, the Blue Jays cannot afford to lose many more series if they hope to stay with the division leaders. But while the pitching was nothing to be proud of, the offense also left many opportunities on the board throughout the series. Toronto will face the Padres next in a three game series beginning on Monday. Hopefully the team can get right and gain some ground in the AL East. The Blue jays currently sit in third place, 3.0 games out of first.