WP: Drew Hutchison – 8.2IP, 1H, 1ER, 1BB, 8K
LP: Wei-Yin Chen – 5.0IP, 8H, 4ER, 2BB, 6K
The Toronto Blue Jays appeared to be re-awakened on Wednesday night en route to a dominant 5-1 victory over the Baltimore Orioles. Melky Cabrera and Jose Bautista led the offensive charge with 3 hits apiece, while Drew Hutchison provided the most important start by a Blue Jays pitcher in 2014.
The Blue Jays jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the bottom of the 1st, something they desperately needed, with RBI singles from Dioner Navarro and Danny Valencia. In the end, that was all the boys in blue would need.
The big blow of the game came from the bat of Jose Bautista, who launched a monster two-run home run into the 2nd deck in the bottom of the 2nd inning to put the Blue Jays ahead 4-1. The game stayed deadlocked until the 6th, when Bautista’s double down the left field line scored Munenori Kawasaki to stretch the lead to 5-1.
Drew Hutchison, outside of one pitch to Chris Davis in the 2nd inning, was nearly perfect. Hutchison retired 22 batters in a row following the home run to Davis, riding a dominant fastball and a change up that consistently kept itself out of danger. Entering Wednesday, many feared that the young righty may be wearing down and in need of a skip in the rotation. Hutchison put these fears to rest, though, with the biggest outing of his young career. Towards the end of a year full of extreme highs and lows, I am hopefully that Hutchison will be a pitcher that thrives in big moments like this going forward.
The atmosphere in the Rogers Centre was electric on Wednesday, and should spark a battered Blue Jays squad after their sluggish start on Tuesday. John Gibbons, just by leaving the dugout to challenge a double play with a four run lead, received raucous cheers from the Blue Jays faithful. The feeling of playoff ball was in the air, and with this win, it will continue to linger.
MVJ: Drew Hutchison is the clear choice here. Honourable mention, however should go to Melky Cabrera (3-4, 2B, BB, 2R) and Jose Bautista (3-4, HR, 2B, 3RBI, R), who made the Blue Jays bats click at the top of the order. A gentlemen’s cap-tip to Ryan Goins, as well. With 2 quality sacrifice bunts, Goins isn’t the sexy pick, but I’m sure someone still gives out points for being a good teammate. No?
Tomorrow’s Probable Starters:
TOR: J.A. Happ (8-5, 4.25 ERA)
BAL: Miguel Gonzalez (5-6, 3.93 ERA)