The Seattle Mariners and the Toronto Blue Jays dueled last night behind great starting pitching from Hisashi Iwakuma and R.A. Dickey respectively. Iwakuma tossed 7.1 innings and was tagged for only two runs, while Dickey pitched 7.2 innings and only gave up a single run via a solo shot by Justin Smoak.
Yet again, the problems for the Mariners came from the bullpen. After Iwakuma exited the game, reliever Yoervis Medina gave up a bases-loaded single to Mark De Rosa which scored two runs and broke up the 1-1 tie. Nearly everyone in the bullpen has been responsible for losing a winnable game of late, and last night it was Medina’s turn to wear the shame of an entire team in their 3-1 loss.
On the flip side, Toronto relievers Aaron Loup and Casey Janssen didn’t give up any runs through 1.1 innings of work.
Of course, the lack of offense from the Mariners should share some of the blame for last night’s loss. The team once again showed its skill in stranding base runners in scoring position and a general inability to capitalize on leadoff hits. The team is now 2-5 in its last seven games and is obviously struggling to continue the success they had in July.
Slugger Raul Ibanez hasn’t hit a home run since before the All-Star break, and the Mariners are hoping that the return of Michael Morse will provide a much-needed shot in the arm to an offense that has slowed somewhat in the last two weeks. Combine a slowing offense with a struggling bullpen, and the team isn’t likely to do well.
Toronto has struggled this season as well. They are dead last in the AL East and look likely to stay there.
Seattle will hope to at least partially redeem themselves from last week’s ninth-inning debacle in Boston when Felix Hernandez takes the mound against Josh Johnson.