Sep. 25, 2016
King Felix let’s everyone know Safeco is his house as Mariners WALK-OFF on Blue Jays in twelfth inning to gain in Wild Card race
9/21 vs TOR by TOM HAYDEN
80-72, 9.5 GB in AL WEST, 2.5 GB in AL WEST ——
Talk about A HUGE WIN. The Mariners narrowly defeated the Toronto Blue Jays of the American League Eastern Division on Wednesday afternoon in what was the series finale of a 3-game set with Toronto at Safeco Field. The Jays took the first 2 of the series in what were some frustrating games for the M’s, but things proved to be different on Wednesday afternoon at the Safe. It was a GREAT day for Felix “The KING” Hernandez as he was able to shut down the solid Blue Jays’ offense who had taken it to Mariners' pitching the previous night’s before in the series. This one was a pitcher’s duel for sure, as TOR RHP Aaron Sanchez also tossed a very good game. It was 2B Robinson Canó who came in clutch with a sacrifice fly out WALK-OFF in the bottom of the twelfth inning to plate Guillermo Heredia for a very important win indeed. The final score was 2-1 Seattle. With the very important win, our Mariners have advanced to 80-72 on the season, 9.5 games behind the Texas rangers who are in first place in the American league Western Division. For a Wild Card spot, the Mariners could’ve been out of it with a loss on Wednesday afternoon, but with the clutch win, the M’s are still right there in contention. Just 2.5 games back with 10 games left to go in the season! It’s almost like a NASCAR race. Multiple cars racing at very high speeds very close to each other with all eyes on the finish line. 10 laps to go. Let’s go get it.
On the Mound on Wednesday afternoon for a beautiful day at Safeco Field was RHP Felix Hernandez, who made his 23rd start of the season for the M’s. Hernandez went 7.0 solid innings giving up no runs on just 2 hits, YUP, just 2 hits! Felix walked 3 Jays and struck out 4 in his impressive outing. The King’s outing was a no decision, so he now maintains an individual W-L record of 11-6. Felix now has an ERA of 3.61 in just under 145 innings pitched to date. In relief on Wednesday afternoon, RHP Steve Cishek (3.07 ERA) went 0.2 innings giving up just 2 walks. Cishek earned himself his 7th hold of the season in this one. RHP closer Edwin Diaz (2.33 ERA) then attempted to earn himself his 17th save of the season in the ninth inning, entering the inning with a 1-0 lead over Toronto. Unfortunately, TOR RF Jose Bautista had planned otherwise as he smacked a solo home run in the inning to left field off of Diaz. Diaz suffered his 2nd blown save of the season in the 1.1 innings of work giving up 1 run on 1 hit while (earned) while striking out an impressive 3 Jays on the afternoon. RHP Evan Scribner (0.00 ERA) went 1.0 inning giving up 1 hit and a strikeout. RHP Tom Wilhelmsen (7.11 ERA) tossed to 2 batters inn the eleventh inning giving up a hit and a walk. It was RHP Nick Vincent (3.72 ERA) whose performance had a lot to do with this win as he went the final 2 innings of the 12 inning ball game giving up just 1 hit while out striking out 2 Blue Jays on the afternoon.
Offensively in this one, the Mariners combined to put up 2 runs on 6 hits off of Blue Jays’ pitching. As a team, the M’s went 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position, leaving a combined 12 on base throughout the day. Clearly, the Mariners could have done more damage for sure, but in the end it didn’t matter anyways because we still came out on top. LF Norichika Aoki (.274 AVG) continues to contribute as he went 1-for-4 at the plate with an RBI single in the top of the third inning which scored Jesus Sucre to put the Mariners up early, 1-0. The RBI was Aoki’s 24th of the season. Contributing big time offensively was C Jesus Sucre (.474 AVG) who has really been a positive factor to this Mariners offense when he plays. Sucre went 3-for-3 at the dish with a run scored. Jesus connected for 2 singles and his 1st double of the season in the ball game. 1B Adam Lind (.234 AVG), and CF Leonys Martin (.246 AVG) each had a single in this one. The Mariners single run was the case all the way up until the bottom of the twelfth inning, as 2B Robinson Canó (.292 AVG) stepped up to the plate with runners on the corners and nobody out. Canó went 0-for-4 in the ball game, but an RBI from a sacrifice fly out in the bottom of the twelfth inning was the difference maker and the game winner! The RBI from Canó’s walk-off now gives him 90 on the season so far.
WHAT’S NEXT? :
Next stop is the beautiful twin cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota where the M’s will open up a 3-game weekend set with the 55-98 Minnesota Twins at Target Field. LHP James Paxton will open up the big series on Friday night in Minneapolis making what will be his 19th start of the season. Paxton (4-7, 3.72 ERA) and the M’s are set and ready to take on MIN RHP Kyle Gibson (6-10, 4.86 ERA)! Be sure to catch all of the series opener action on ROOT Sports NW for watching or listen in on 710 ESPN Seattle Radio! First pitch start time is scheduled for 5:10 PM PAC, 8:10 PM ET!
This is Tom Hayden signing off saying Go Mariners! Stay #TrueToTheBlue as our M’s #KeepFighting for the PostSEAson