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July 21, 2011 at 11:49 AM

Mariners at Toronto Blue Jays: July 21, 2011 game thread

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Seems my report of Seattle’s demise was a tad premature. Miguel Olivo just brought his team back from the dead with the first M’s grand slam of the season to tie the game 5-5 in the eighth inning.
The rally seemed to come out of nowhere. With one out, Ichiro and Brendan Ryan both reached on infield singles and Adam Kennedy walked to end the day for Ricky Romero.
But Romero’s day turned real ugly two pitches later when reliever Casey Janssen served one up to Olivo, who drilled it over the center field wall.
Josh Bard talked last night about the M’s needing somebody to do something special. Don’t think he wanted it to come this late in a game, but Olivo’s slam certainly qualifies as a special feat.

11:14 a.m.: Chris Ray did a great pitching job in allowing just one run after coming in with the bases loaded a none out in the bottom of the seventh. Unfortunately, the apple cart was already wheeless by that point, courtesy of Doug Fister bobbling a bunt attempt in which he had a clear shot at the lead runner at third base.
There were two on and none out at the time and Fister’s gaffe loaded the bases. Yunel Escobar then singled to bring one run home, Eric Thames walked to score another and Fister was yanked. Ray gave up a sacrifice fly to Jose Bautista, then retired the side with no further damage.
But too little, too late. It’s 5-1 for the Blue Jays and the M’s are about to lose their 12th in a row.
Brandon League warming for the Mariners here on Showcase Day.
11:14 p.m.: Toronto went ahead 2-1 in the sixth after Eric Thames reached first base on a wild pitch by Doug Fister during a strikeout. Jose Bautista then doubled over the head of Chone Figgins in left.
Figgins needed to be at least a foot taller to have a shot at the ball.
Fister did a good job of getting out of the inning with Bautista at third and only one out, but his team just went 1-2-3 in the seventh on three strikeouts as I was typing this, so things aren’t looking too hot when it comes to preventing No. 12.
10:55 a.m.: Toronto came back and tied the game 1-1 in the bottom of the fifth. Doug Fister issued a leadoff walk in the inning but then got two quick outs without the runner advancing. The turning point came when he drilled J.P. Arencibia with a pitch to put two on and move the lead runner into scoring position.
Mike McCoy is the only guy to really hit a ball hard off Fister today and of course, he came up next and lined one past the bag at third for the RBI double. I thought things might come undone there with runners at second and third and the top of the order due up.
But Fister got a huge out on a Yunel Escobar grounder to end the inning.
10:44 p.m.: Seattle just took a 1-0 lead in the fifth inning after Blue Jays catcher J.P. Arencibia could not hold on to a two-strike foul tip by Ichiro with two out. Toronto starter Ricky Romero began walking off the mound, thinking his catcher had held the ball. A sheepish Arencibia had to inform his pitcher that no, he did not squeeze it.
Ichiro promptly lined one up the middle for an RBI single. Travis Snider of Mill Creek foolishly threw home — he wasn’t going to nab the speedy Chone Figgins — instead of trying to nail Jack Wilson going from first to third. Ichiro took second on the throw, giving the M’s a great chance to break things open.
But Brendan Ryan went down swinging. Ryan is having an awful game at the plate, with a double play grounder and two key strikeouts with RISP.
Doug Fister has allowed one hit — a single that dropped in front of Ichiro — in four innings.
10:20 p.m.: Doug Fister has retired all nine batters he’s faced so far in a scoreless game now headed to the fourth. The only guy to hit a ball to the outfield was Mike McCoy, who lined out to center to end the third inning.
Otherwise, Fister has three strikeouts, two popouts and three groundouts.
10:01 p.m.: We’re through two innings already and both pitchers have faced the minimum amount of hitters. Ichiro led the game off with a single, but was erased on a double-play grounder by Brendan Ryan.
Doug Fister looks sharp, with a pair of strikeouts, a popout and a bunch of weakly-hit grounders.
9:35 p.m.: That’s a veteran lineup thrown out there today by manager Eric Wedge. For those wondering why Dustin Ackley isn’t in it, I’d say his poor throw on the back-end of that double-play last night had something to do with it. Cost the team three runs and pretty much ended a game the M’s showed signs of coming back in.
You can’t bench veterans and let rookies get away with mistakes like that. Everybody has been made to earn playing time this season and today — good start at the plate or not — Ackley is sitting.
Even if it contributes to loss No. 12 in a row.
Mariners (43-54)
51 Ichiro Suzuki (L) RF
26 Brendan Ryan SS
4 Adam Kennedy (L) 3B
30 Miguel Olivo C
17 Justin Smoak (S) 1B
3 Josh Bard (S) DH
21 Franklin Gutierrez CF
9 Chone Figgins (S) LF
2 Jack Wilson 2B
58 Doug Fister RHP
Blue Jays (49-49)
5 Yunel Escobrar SS
46 Eric Thames (L) RF
19 Jose Bautista DH
26 Adam Lind (L) 1B
10 Edwin Encarnacion 3B
45 Travis Snider (L) CF
16 Corey Patterson (L) LF
9 J.P. Arencibia C
18 Mike McCoy 2B
24 Ricky Romero LHP

Comments | Topics: Brendan Ryan, Chone Figgins


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