Revenge is a dish served right away, if your name is Eric Thames.
The winner of the Blue Jays’ Battle For Left Field ™ this spring was traded to Seattle early Tuesday morning, got his first start for the Mariners on Wednesday night and was a key factor in the series-sweeping win for the M’s.
Mariners fans’ first taste of Thames was actually a defensive gem, despite his issues with the glove. Thames, who had a pretty good scouting report having played with the guy the last couple of months, stole a hit from Anthony Gose with a pretty sliding backhand grab of a line drive in short left field in the 3rd inning.
That got the fans on his side right away, and they fell completely in love with him two innings later when Thames took Carlos Villanueva out of the ballpark to dead centre — a two-run homer that tied the game at 3-3. Villanueva had looked all but untouchable to that point — prior to the ground-ball single by Mike Carp that immediately preceded the Thames homer, the Jays’ righty had retired 14 of the 16 hitters he’d faced and had struck out three in a row.
The Mariners pulled ahead for good in the 6th and extended their win streak to seven games with the sweep of the Blue Jays.
The Jays have had a roller-coaster type season, and now sit, once again at their low point record-wise — two games under .500. Amazingly, this is the ninth time this season that the Blue Jays have had a losing streak of three games or more, but it’s only the second time they’ve lost as many as four straight.
The combination of the west coast, Safeco Field and the losses of Jose Bautista, J.P. Arencibia, Adam Lind and now Travis Snider have seemingly caught up with the team that led the major leagues in runs scored as recently as four days ago. They scored just six runs in the three games in Seattle, and the line-up that very recently looked deep and mildly terrifying isn’t scaring anyone lately after getting past the top three hitters.
Of course, the way things have gone for the Blue Jays this season, they’ll likely go in to Oakland and take three out of four from the A’s.
We did get to see Brad Lincoln make his Blue Jays debut in the Seattle finale. The righty came in with a man on first and two out in the 7th and got Michael Saunders to hit a little dying quail to centre that Colby Rasmus ran down to end the inning. He then worked a perfect 8th. Lincoln needed only seven pitches to record the four outs, all of them fastballs topping out at 95 miles an hour. Also, he wears his socks high, which is pretty cool.