SEATTLE — Too often during this week of struggle, the Toronto Blue Jays have found themselves caught in a vicious circle. Their starter struggles, leaving behind a big deficit and a bunch of innings to cover for the bullpen. The attack, looking for big strikes to close the gap, go out of their way, get too aggressive and fail to post twisted numbers. As this unfolds, a worn bullpen is unable to hold the opposition in check and the game unfolds.
The end result is that problems in the Blue Jays’ rotation led to bad plate habits during a troubling start to July.
“We still have to find ways to be on the base, but it’s hard to come back from the back almost every day,” manager Charlie Montoyo said of his club’s predicament. “This month we are (27th) in ERA and that’s why I always talk about pitching. Pitching is #1 for me. If you roll, you have a chance to win. This month has been tough. We’ve been a lot late and when you’re late everyone feels the pressure. And that is what is happening. Kind of like at the start of the season when we weren’t swinging the bats either. Everyone feels the pressure. Everyone is trying to do a little more. The only way to stop this is to talk to the guys one drummer at a time. If you don’t get your pitch, give it to the next guy. This is what we need to do better.
Well, the Blue Jays did much better on Friday night, but it still wasn’t enough as Eugenio Suarez’s three-run homer in the 11th gave the Seattle Mariners a 5-2 victory Friday in front of a crowd. noisy 32,398 Canuck. at T-Mobile Park.
The winning rally came after the Blue Jays narrowly escaped 10e, as they intentionally walked Ty France with two outs only for JP Crawford to single left. But Lourdes Gurriel Jr., saved the day with a perfect throw to easily bring Abraham Toro back.
On the other hand, the Blue Jays lost for the seventh time in eight games, freezing the momentum that had been building with four wins in five outings after another 4-8 streak, in what is becoming a frustrating period.
“We know we’re not even playing near our best mark in baseball,” said Ross Stripling, who allowed two runs in five brave innings. “I wouldn’t say we’re rushing, I wouldn’t say we’re panicking, but you can say that’s not right either. You can’t necessarily put your thumb on what, why, or what needs to change, but I think everyone would give you the answer that I’m giving, which is that we’re not playing our best version of baseball at the moment and it is necessary to get better. »
At least this one played out very differently from most games in the 1-6 streak that preceded it, thanks in large part to Stripling keeping a growing Mariners roster in check.
The key was how he cleverly limited the damage to two runs allowed in the second and third set rallies, knocking out Sam Haggerty and Andrew Knapp to miss a pair in the second, while swinging Suarez to finish the third after Bo Bichette stole a Carlos Santana single with a jewel.
“Little bit in traffic all night,” Stripling said of her outing. “I really didn’t feel like I was progressing as well as usual. Looks like the point guard was in every round, but he was able to string together some good sticks there and get a few good punches in the second and a few outs in the third and fourth and hold it at two until five.
Not buried early for a change, the offense worked starter George Kirby and meticulously built innings, though it didn’t quite fill them like another early-season bugaboo – hitting with runners in scoring position –– gradually reappeared. 2 for 13 through the first five innings and 2 for 18 overall.
“We got hits, but with men in scoring position, we tried too hard it seemed,” Montoyo said. “There were good drummers, but others who weren’t as good.”
Perhaps most frustrating was the fourth inning when, with two runners, Santiago Espinal plunged a flare into center field which Julio Rodriguez charged just aggressively enough to freeze lead runner Gurriel Jr., allowing him to fire a 99.6 mph strike to third base for a force. .
After a strikeout from Cavan Biggio, George Springer walked to charge the bases for Bichette, who reached a full count and then was frozen by that mesmerizing 97.6mph Kirby heater that was a ball out of the hand before 18 inches of horizontal break brought him back. to the outer edge.
Who can blame him for shoving his bat into the ground out of frustration?
The Blue Jays ran on RBI singles by Gurriel in the second and Teoscar Hernandez in the fifth, but there was no decisive hit, leading to increasingly high innings until the 11th.ewhen the Blue Jays couldn’t get to Borucki and ran out of weapons of leverage to give their offense another chance one night, they had plenty of opportunities.
“It’s been ups and downs all year, hasn’t it?” Stripling said. It’s baseball. It’s a 162-game season. This one feels bolstered perhaps more than most. I don’t know if it’s because we led on the all-star break or maybe it’s just a few winnable games that we don’t win, but I think everyone would say we can play better than what we do.