Toronto Blue Jays ride Hutchison’s brilliance to opening win


Drew Hutchison stole the show on Monday night as the Toronto Blue Jays shut out the Chicago White Sox 6-0 at the Rogers Centre.  Hutchison threw a complete game shutout, allowing just four hits while striking out nine.

This continues a surprising streak of deep starts by the Toronto Blue Jays rotation that is well-timed given the health of their lineup.  Jose Reyes did return after his DL stint on Monday, but waits to be joined by Jose Bautista, Devon Travis and Michael Saunders from the trainer’s room.

Toronto’s shutout win was their most complete game of the season in all three phases.  The defence worked, the offence clicked and Drew Hutchison left no doubt.  The Blue Jays will now look to lock up the series win on Tuesday when they send R.A. Dickey to the mound.

Final. 0. 128. 6. 39

Game Notes:

Jose Reyes returned to the lineup and made himself immediately noticed, slapping a double to right field in his first plate appearance.  His presence at shortstop alone is critical, but the greatest value of his return is the balance it should begin to offer this lineup.  As much as we love

Munenori Kawasaki

, his presence in an MLB lineup just isn’t a sign of good things.

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While Reyes isn’t a stud defensively, his return along with Donaldson at third, Goins at second and Smoak at first produced a very solid infield behind Hutchison.

  • People continue to get their thrills by pointing out Chris Colabello‘s inflated BABIP.  Thankfully, those of us who choose to enjoy his hot streak rather than question it were rewarded with a line-drive single that cashed in the first two runs of the night.
  • The return of Jose Bautista to right field will allow for more Justin Smoak, and that’s a good thing.  Smoak went deep to right in the first to extend the Blue Jays lead to 4-0.
  • Josh Donaldson shook off his ugly Sunday performance with a deep drive of his own, sending his 10th home run of the season to centre field in the second.
  • A+. The “hot take of the night” seems to be that Hutchison was facing a weak lineup, but at a certain point, let’s be crazy and enjoy the Blue Jays’ success.  Hutchison’s key to success on Monday night was asserting his dominance early and controlling the count.<p>Hutchison did not allow a walk and consistently pounded the zone with his fastball and off speed pitches.  His ability to record the first out in nearly every inning along with zero free passes left Hutchison out of any jams.  This is a pitcher capable of going on a real hot streak, and that’s exactly what we’ll be looking for in his next outing.</p>. Game Ball. <b>Drew Hutchison</b>. STARTING PITCHING

    Have you heard that Josh Donaldson is for real?  Donaldson moved back to the number two spot in the lineup behind Jose Reyes and responded by going 2-for-3 with a walk and one RBI.  It’s important to consider what this lineup would look like without Donaldson right now considering Bautista’s absence.  If he keeps rolling like this, the offense will operate well above the league average.<p>We can’t go without recognizing Justin Smoak, either.  Smoak clubbed a two-run homer in the first inning and later drove in his third run of the ball game, finishing 2-for-3 with 3 RBI and a walk.  Bautista’s return will push Smoak back to regular first base duties and while he still has much to prove, the signs are encouraging.</p>. Game Ball. <b>Josh Donaldson</b>. HITTING . A-

    A+. Hutchison’s outing gave this bullpen another light day at the office which will only benefit this club over the coming week.  Especially with the young <strong><a href=. Game Ball. <strong>Paid Vacation</strong>. BULLPEN

    MVJ:  Drew Hutchison

    Next: Complete series preview: Blue Jays host White Sox

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