Marcus Stroman… handle with care!
The long trip started on a bad note as the Jays and Drew Hutchison resisted during the first five innings but fell apart in the sixth inning and King Felix came out the winner.
Jose Bautista put the Jays ahead 1-0 in the fourth inning with his 23rd homer ofe the season, but the Mariners answered immediately with two runs.
And in the sixth stanza, Robinson Cano greeted Hutchison with his 10th homerun and the Jays were doomed. Drew was touched for six runs on seven hits and two walks while Brad Mills could not do any better as he gave up five runs on three hits and as many walks.
The only good news of the day was that Adam Lind would dressed and ready to play in the second game while Edwin Encarnacion could join the team on Friday in Chicago.
The next day, even with Lind in the lineup, the Jays were unable to get more than one hit with runners in scoring position and they bowed 6-3.
J.A. Happ held his own on the mound, but the lack of offense and a Colby Rasmus’ error sent him to his seventh loss in 15 decisions.
Like the day before, the Jays took the lead on a Melky Cabrera’s double but they had to wait until the eight inning before they could add two more runs.
In the third game, it was the same story as R.A. Dickey gave up a two-run homerun in the first inning. He absorbed the loss as the Jays were shut out, 2-0.
Once again, the Jays could not, despite two hits each by Jose Reyes and Lind, get anything going with runners in scoring position.
Isahi Iwakuma recorded his 11th win of the season, giving up only five hits and one walk and Fernando Rodney notched his 35th save.
The lack of hitting in key moments is becoming alarming.
After an off day on Thursday, the Jays welcomed Encarnacion, but the smiles quickly faded as Marcus Stroman could not even get through the first inning!
The White Sox got to him for five runs in only two thirds of an inning and although the Jays made it close, 5-4 in the second inning, they went down 11-5 for their fourth loss in a row.
While the Sox got nine hits with runners in scoring position, the Jays could not do better than two in such occasions.
This game gave us a very clear indication about the status of young Stroman.
Each time Stroman uses more than 100 pitches in a game, his next start is a disaster. On July 4th, he made 115 pitches and in his following start, he gave up five runs on eight hits in less than four innings… on July 29th, once again he made 115 pitches and on his following start, he was roughed up for five runs on seven hits in three innings… on August 9th, he made 109 pitches and on Friday he could not even pitch a full inning!
Is there a message somewhere?
On Saturday, the Jays renewed with victory, but it was not easy.
Mark Buhrle held the fort over the first five innings and the Jays even gave him a three-run cushion. But in the sixth inning, he gave up a run and he exited after one out and with two runners on the basepath.
Dustin McGowan came in relief and was unable to hold the lead.
Luckily, Melky Cabrera and Jose Bautista came to the rescue in the seventh inning, driving in three run for a 6-3 victory and Casey Janssen recorded his 19th save.
On Sunday, Drew Hutchison gave the Jays no chance as he issued a grand slam and a two-run homer in the first innings and the Jays trailed 6-0. They made a valiant effort to overcome the deficit, but they came up short, losing 7-5, despite Encarnacion first homerun since his return to action.
One must hope that the Jays will use Monday’s off day to do lots of soul searching… because as Yogi Berry once said: « It’s getting late, early » !