Vote for Smoak.
6-2 | 7.0 IP | 2 (1) | 6 H | 0 BB | 6 K |
95 PC, B: 27, S: 68 | 3.09 ERA
Remember how good Joe Biagini was last night? Marcus Stroman was even better tonight. His final line reads 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 H, 6K, 0 BB. The six strikeouts were a good sign, as was the fact that he didn’t allow a walk. Even better was his groundball rate. By my count, Stroman recorded 12 groundouts over his 7.0 innings. Additionally, four of the Mariners’ six hits were ground balls that found holes around the infield. That’s exactly the type of outing that the Jays hope for from Stroman. Unfortunately, his defence let him down, which led to a couple of runs on the night.
The first Mariners’ run came in the 2nd. Nelson Cruz led off the inning with a single. He then advanced to second on a wild pitch. Kyle Seager followed with an RBI single that found its way under Darwin Barney’s glove. It happens. The second run was uglier, though. Jarrod Dyson started off the 7th inning with a single. He then took off to steal second. Russell Martin committed a throwing error on the play, as his throw made its way to centre field. To make matters worse, Kevin Pillar overran the ball, and Dyson was able to run all the way home. With Kevin Kiermaier out for an extended period, Pillar might finally find himself in the driver’s seat for a Gold Glove. He can’t let it slip away with miscues like that (of course, I’m really overstating the issue, because it’s not like this has been a problem for him).
The offence showed lots of power tonight. They didn’t hit much, but when they did, they made it count. I don’t really understand why people complain about the Jays being too reliant on home runs. They’re really good at hitting them. Play to your strengths. I suppose the flip side is that the Jays only had four hits tonight (even though they did hit a few sharp outs). Anyway.
The first hit was a two-run blast from Kendrys Morales. It’s always good to be reminded of just how strong he is. Now if only he could hit with a little more consistency. Justin Smoak. got involved a little later with a single. Ezequiel Carrera showed some power, as he hit a deep solo shot in the 8th. Carrera’ defence and decision-making have been awful this season, but fair play to him for maintaining the impressive offence. Finally, Smoak capped off the hitting, as he launched his 18th homer of the season in the 9th. It’s about time you go make him an All-Star. Mariners fans will love that.
Other than the home runs, the Jays walked six times, which was nice to see. Bautista picked up his second walk of the night in the 8th. On his way to 1st, he noticed that the Mariners weren’t paying attention, so he took off and stole 2nd. Sneaky stuff from the Jays’ expert base stealer.
Kevin Pillar didn’t reach base. The Jays need a leadoff hitter.
|J. Smith (2-0)||1.0||0||0||2||0||1||16 (4-12)||2.73|
|R. Osuna (2-0)||1.0||0||0||0||0||2||9 (0-9)||2.92|
The bullpen started to work the 8th. It’s been great to give the relievers a bit of a break over the past few days. Joe Smith was the first into the game. Guillermo Heredia picked up a leadoff single to start the inning. Robinson Cano followed with another single, and the Mariners were in business. The defence helped regain some control of the inning after that. Cruz hit a grounder, which Josh Donaldson was able to snag, before he threw to Darwin Barney to get the out at 2nd. Cruz was initially called out at 1st for the double play, but the out was overturned after the umpires had a look at the replay. Nevertheless, it was an impressive display from the defence. Smith followed that by attacking Seager with his his fastball to get a timely strikeout. Taylor Motter grounded out to end the inning. It wasn’t exactly what we’re used to from Smith, but he was still able to recover from back-to-back singles to hold the Mariners at bay.
Roberto Osuna came in for the save in the 9th. Dyson struck out, Danny Valencia flied out, and Mike Zunino struck out to end it. Osuna threw only nine pitches, and they were all strikes. No panic.
All told, it was an impressive night for the Jays. Stroman looked very good, Osuna was excellent, and the offence launched some balls. That’s a recipe for success.