If anyone had any expectation of the Jays pulling themselves a little closer to a wild card spot while they took care of business against the Seattle Mariners, they were just flat out wrong. That was also my expectation, so I stand corrected along with you! The Jays were playing in a stadium that had a ton of people cheering them on, against a team that was well under .500, and against a team that was struggling to score runs. The Jays fell flat and are flying out of Seattle having been swept in a series they should have won.
The part that may sting most, however, is how Eric Thames was able to deliver a knock out punch and help his new team get the W. His 4th HR of the season was a no-doubter and drove in 2 RBI, the difference in this game. Watching him round the bases, I couldn’t help but cheer him on, just a little, with the hopes that the Jays would mount a comeback.
Carlos Villanueva was cruising at the start of this game, easily making his way through the first 3 innings but eventually made some mistakes that hurt him. This was his first loss of the season and could have been a win if the Jays were able to score a decent amount of runs. Of note was the fact that Brad Lincoln made his Jays debut and threw 1.1 scoreless innings, needing only 7 pitches to get the job done!
Offensively speaking, Rajai Davis and Colby Rasmus had the best nights with 2 hits a piece. Rasmus and Kelly Johnson each hammered one out in a losing cause, their 19th and 12th HRs respectively. The offence just couldn’t get going without Brett Lawrie, Edwin Encarnacion, and Yunel Escobar who were a total of 0 for 12.
The loss brings the Jays to 51-53 on the year, 5 games out of a wild card spot. To say that they now have a steep hill to climb is a major understatement, as they’d have to gain more than 5 games on the Angels and A’s, both of which don’t seem to be slowing down one little bit.
If you’re wondering what the plan of attack is for the Jays, there has been talk of a 6-man rotation. I’m not sure if it’ll actually be implemented, but if it prevents pitchers from burning themselves out and prevents injury, I’m ok with it. I’m just not sure about how the pitchers will handle the shift in routine. But hey, if it can help Ricky Romero get himself right, I say bring it on!
There’s no timetable for Jose Bautista‘s return, so the Jays will have to continue to score runs without him. While Moises Sierra and Anthony Gose get some experience due to Bautista’s action, it’ll be great to see the big slugger return to the lineup sometime soon.
Here are a few minors notes before I sign off, some bad, some good:
- Jake Marisnick has been struggling in AA of late, hitting a lowly .091 over his last 10 games and .208 on the season (AA portion). The encouraging part is that he’s showing some patience at the plate over his last 10 with 5 BB to his 9 SOs.
- Ryan Schimpf was recently promoted to AA and is 0 for 5 through 2 starts.
- Chris Hawkins stole his 10th base of the season but only has 1 HR on the year through 388 ABs. I certainly thought he was supposed to have more power than he has shown through 2 seasons.
- Jeremy Gabryszwski was alright for Bluefield, earning his 2nd win of the year, allowing 8 hits, 2 BB, and 3 ER over 5 IP.
- Jacob Anderson helped Jeremy get the win with his 2nd HR of the year and a double.
- Emilio Guerrero (SS) has hit .250/.372/.528 over his last 10 with 2 doubles, a triple, and 2 HRs. However, it’s his 7 BB/8 SO that’s most impressive since Guerrero had shown a lot of impatience at the plate in 2011. The latest GCL Jays cleanup hitter is one prospect making his way up the Jays prospects rankings charts!
- Javier Avendano has now gone 11 IP without allowing a run through his last 2 starts. He’s allowed 7 hits, 2 BB, and added up 10 Ks over that span. Great stuff.