The Bullpen imploded. That's what happened.
I was downstairs last night fighting hard with my eyelids as I attempted to watch as much of the ball game as I could. Finally, when I conceded defeat and reached for the remote, it was the end of the fifth. The Blue Jays were up 5 to 0 with all five runs coming off of King Felix. The game seemed to be well at hand. I headed upstairs to retire for the night feeling good that we had gotten a win from Seattle's best, scratch that, the American League's best starting pitcher. What a great way to start the series.
Then I woke up.
A few minutes after rising this morning I picked up my blackberry to check the overnight emails. As my weary eyes adjusted to the screen, I saw a message from Sportsnet Radio. "Mariners Clip Jays"
What? How the? Whaaat? But as I'm sure you already know, it was true. The Blue Jays went on to take a 7 to nothing lead on those Mariners, and then literally let the Mariners 'walk' all over them in the eighth and ninth to take home the win.
The Blue Jays were leading 7 to 1 heading into the eighth and the Blue Jays turned to David Purcey to hold the Mariners. The move made sense as Purcey was the only Jays reliever that wasn't a part of the 14 inning (that should have been 13 inning) marathon with the Angels on Saturday night, and they had a six run lead. Well, it would have made sense if he had been able to throw strikes. After falling behind 3 and 1 to Micheal Saunders, Purcey gave up a single to him. Then promptly walked Brendan Ryan on four straight pitches before getting down 3 and 1 again this time to Jack Wilson. Purcey got lucky and Wilson flew out. The next batter was Ichiro, who smacked a single on the first pitch and loaded the bases. That was it from Purcey. He threw 16 pitches, 10 of them balls.
Unfortunately, it got much worse.
Octavio Dotel came in next and waked the first two batters he faced, bringing in two runs. Dotel threw 12 pitches, 8 of them balls. Exit Dotel, enter Rzepcynski for the lefty lefty match up with Jack Cust. He walked him on four pitches. Justin Smoak worked a 3-2 count before smacking a two run double. Thus ending Rzep's day. Rzepcynski threw 10 pitches, 7 of them balls.
Shawn Camp was next. Camp's first offering to Miguel Olivio induced an inning ending double play. Jays escape the eighth with a 1 run lead.
However the Mariners weren't finished yet.
In the ninth, Camp gave up a lead off double to Micheal Saunders. Brendan Ryan bunted Saunders to third. One out. Jack Wilson grounded out to short.
Jays are up by a run with two out in the ninth.
Ichiro is the next batter. Camp starts him out with two balls, and Farrell opts to put Ichiro on with the count at 0 and 2. So with the intentional walk, Ichiro goes to first.
Runners at first and third, bottom of the ninth, Jays still clinging to a one run lead.
Luis Rodriguez is the batter. Ichiro steals second, to put both runners in scoring postion. After a long at bat, Rodriguez singles and brings in both runs. Mariners come all the way back from 7 - 0 and walk off with am 8 - 7 win.
It's a terrible way to lose a ball game. What makes it worse is Felix probably won't give up 7 earned runs to any team the rest of the season. Actually, he almost certainly will not. The Jays got to Felix, and couldn't pull it out.
Frankly, I'm kind of glad I went to bed and didn't see it happen.
Here's hoping they can still leave Seattle with a series win and head into Boston on a high note.