Bring on Tavaris Jackson. Or even the 1970s funk group Tavares. Because if heaven is missing an angel, it’d better show up quickly for the M’s, who need a Hail Mary TD pass from somebody soon in a game that’s now 13-7 in the sixth.
Jose Bautista hit his 35th homer of the year off Aaron Laffey and then Aaron Hill singled home another run for his fourth RBI of the night in a three-run Toronto sixth. Hill began the night with 41 RBI so his return of up near 10 percent for one day is far better than even the Dow Jones was offering a couple of days last week. Time to go home.
Oh yeah, Miguel Olivo is out of the game. Somebody must have felt sorry for him, taking a ball off the chin, another off the mask and constantly scrambling to chase after junk balls in the dirt.
If you missed Geoff Baker Live! tonight (see video replay below), we gave you some reaction from myself and M’s manager Eric Wedge to the signing of No. 1 draft pick Danny Hultzen. Somebody asked me whether Ichiro and Franklin Gutierrez should be sitting out to give more playing time to Casper Wells and Trayvon Robinson. Here are my thoughts on that.
9:19 p.m.: And the carnage continues in what’s fast developing into a really bad beer league game. The M’s trail 10-7 after five innings, yielding four more runs in the top of the fifth. Jason Vargas began the inning and ended an attrocious night with another walk — his fourth — and a single. Tom Wilhelmsen then tried to one-up him with two walks, two wild pitches and two sac flies that kept the runners crossing the plate at-will.
Seattle got a run back in the bottom of the frame on a Trayvon Robinson double off the wall in left and a single to right by Kyle Seager. Nice to see the “kids” piling up all these stats, but the pitching on both sides is so bad tonight, I’m not sure any of the numbers really mean that much. Good for confidence, I suppose. But none of this is really telling us anything about 2012. Any more than the Blue Jays unloading on Wilhelmsen is going to dictate their future.
8:27 p.m.: We’ve got another of those nights unfolding here, with the Mariners and Blue Jays now tied 6-6 after just three innings. Remember, the M’s were down 6-0 in the first.
But it helps when the opposing starter refuses to throw strikes. Blue Jays starter Brad Mills has appeared to be “pitching scared” all night and paid for it in the third. He yielded a single to Dustin Ackley and then another to Mike Carp — giving the latter a 16-game hitting streak. Then, with two out, he walked Miguel Olivo to load the bases.
Trayvon Robinson then muscled a ball into left field for a two-run single. Kyle Seager then hit another single just out of the reach of diving left fielder Eric Thames to tie the game.
Kids, don’t pitch like this at home. Certainly do swing the bat this way, though.
8:07 p.m.: Seattle got back into it in the second inning with three runs off Brad Mills to make it a 6-3 game. Mike Carp drew a walk and then Casper Wells homered for the fourth consecutive game. Miguel Olivo followed that with a solo homer of his own and all of a sudden, we have a ballgame again.
The back-to-back homers give the M’s two of those in consecutive games. Prior to that, they’d gone back-to-back just twice all season.
7:27 p.m.: An adventurous first inning for Jason Vargas, which finally ends six runs and 36 pitches later. Vargas was his own worst enemy, walking a pair of batters and yielding a single ahead of a three-run double to right-center by Coly Rasmus. Ichiro might have had a shot at a ball like that a year or two ago. This year? No chance. Barely even broke on it until it was halfway to the wall.
Brett Lawrie followed with an RBI single and then Aaron Hill pumped a 1-0 pitch over the left field wall. Almost like the old days of Carlos Silva right there, the M’s already down 6-0. Folks still coming into the ballpark are feeling ripped off.
Oh yeah, the crowd noise? Lots of it here. Never a good thing before the home side steps to the plate.
18:59 p.m.: Seattle tries to win its second series in a row for the first time in…in…quite a while. Jason Vargas takes on Brad Mills.
The M’s will have a good shot if they can get into Toronto’s bullpen. The Blue Jays dealt away a lot of their top arms at the trade deadline. Then, last night, they cut Trever Miller right after the veteran lefty allowed the tying homer to Mike Carp.
Problem is, the guy who yielded the winning homer to Casper Wells in the ensuing at-bat, Jon Rauch, had some bad stomach pains right after the game. Turns out it was his appendix and he needed emergency surgery.
So, two guys are now up from Class AAA. If you’re the M’s, you want to see that bullpen.