Toronto Bullpen: 3.2 innings, 6 hits, 7 walks, 8 runs @ Seattle
|Litsch left the game with a five-run lead, but|
the Blue Jays bullpen made sure it didn't hold up
When Blue Jays starter Jesse Litsch left the game after five solid innings (four hits, four walks, four strikeouts, no runs) due to a pitch count of 111, Toronto was beating Seattle five to nothing. After the sixth inning, it was 7-0, and things looked really bad for the Mariners--not only did ace Felix Hernandez give up seven runs in six innings, but talented-though-struggling Chone Figgins had left the game with a bruised thumb. No hope? No problem for the Mariners, who got some help from the Blue Jays bullpen in a furious late-inning comeback that ended with Figgins' replacement, 31-year-old journeyman shortstop Luis Rodriguez. Rodriguez, who only had 69 career RBIs spread out over the last five seasons, hit a two-out, two-RBI single to center to score Michael Saunders and Ichiro Suzuki. Unfortunately for Toronto reliever Shawn Camp, he'd intentionally walked Ichiro after a Saunders leadoff double, but then Suzuki stole second, allowing him to score on the single. The real trouble came, however, in the five-run 8th inning, when Octavio Dotel came in to relieve David Purcey with one out and the bases loaded. Instead of getting the outs his team needed to preserve what was at the time a six-run lead, Dotel instead walked both Rodriguez and Michael Bradley on full counts. Marc Rzepczynski came in next, and promptly walked Jack Cust on only four pitches before giving up a two-RBI single to Justin Smoak, making it 7-6. Usually getting five quality innings out of your starter while getting seven runs off the defending Cy Young winner is a recipe for a win, but the Blue Jays bullpen found a way to not let that happen.
Mark Buehrle, CHW: 8 innings, 2 hits, 0 runs, 1 K
Nothing too crazy about this stat line, but you have to feel bad for a guy who gives his team that kind of effort and doesn't get the win, as the Sox ace managed to do last night. This time, it was Matt Thornton and Jesse Crain who each let up a run in the 9th and 10th innings, respectively, to give the Oakland Athletics a 2-1 victory in those 10 innings. At some point we're going to do a post about pitchers who've given the best efforts and got nothing to show for, and I would imagine that Buehrle's gamescore of 78 is going to be right up near the top of that one. The White Sox have usually been taking advantage of good starting pitching, but not last night.