Since 1901, only 12 teams have lost 100 games in a season and played .500 or better the next year - a number that could grow by one tonight if the Seattle Mariners beat Roy Halladay again.
Again? Yes, they beat Halladay in July, 3-2, in a typical Mariners victory. That means they won by a run.
Seattle has won 33 games by that margin, and that's been a huge factor in why, tonight, they have the chance to win their 81st game of the year and lock up a .500 season.
That's not the team goal.
"We think we can catch Texas and finish in second place," Bill Hall said.
The Mariners start the night 3 1/2 behind the Rangers in the American League West, facing 15-game winner Halladay.
It's Halladay vs. Doug Fister.
Hits yes, runs no
Four Mariners hits in the first three innings against Halladay - two of them doubles - and still no runs.
The right-hander stranded men on second base in each of the first two innings and then, with two on and one out in the third, got a double play ground ball from Seattle's top RBI producer, Jose Lopez.
Yes, Halladay is tough.
About Mr. Fister
The Mariners soft-tossing rookie has been scarey good tonight, putting on a four-inning clinic that even Halladay has to admire.
Not only has he retired all 12 batters he's faced, Fister has done so with a minimum of effort - 45 pitches in four innings.
You don't need velocity to dominate. You need command. Fister has that, and the courage to live on off-speed pitches and the occasional 89 mph fastball.Blue Jays strike first
One out into the sixth inning, Fister allowed his third hit, a single to Jose Bautista, and then made his first real mistake of the night.
That mistake became Aaron Hill's 34th home run.
Fister has pitched a marvelous six innings, but being down two runs to Halladay? Not comforting.
After six: Blue Jays 2, Mariners 0
Fister got two quick outs in the seventh inning but couldn't get the third, and back-to-back singles chased him in favor of reliever Chris Jakubauskas.
Jakubauskas wild-pitched both runners up a base, then gave up Bautista's two-run single. Ouch, indeed.
The final line on Fisher: 6 2/3 innings, seven hits, four runs, five strikeouts and 92 pitches.
After seven: Blue Jays 4, Mariners 0
Mr. Silva's second
Carlos Silva in to make his second relief appearance of the season, and he got two quick outs before walking Edwin Encarnacion.
The next batter, Lyle Overbay, grounded a double inside first base and into the right field corner. A run scored. Silva got out of the inning.
After eight: Blue Jays 5, Mariners 0
And in the ninth
Halladay came out looking for his eighth complete-game of the season, which is two more than anyone else in the league.
Lopez singled, his second hit and the Mariners seventh. Ken Griffey Jr., now 0-for-10 on the trip, popped out. Beltre lined out. Johjima grounded out.
It's a final: Blue Jays 5, Mariners 0