This contest started out rather slowly. It was made even more painful by the continued struggles of Drew Hutchison on the road. But, when all looked lost, the bullpen came in and saved the day with some help from an unlikely source. The Blue Jays turned this game around to be a rather exciting one. The Safeco Field crowd, made mostly of Blue Jays fans was loud! Real loud. It had the atmosphere of playoff baseball.
Hutchison got off to a very rough start. 7 pitches in and the bases were loaded for Robinson Cano. He appeared to be struggling through his delivery. Whether that is left over from his “stomach bug” or not remains to be seen. But, it was a real struggle. The broadcast called him “weak” due to his illness and they worried about his high pitch count in the first. Honestly, the later innings weren’t on my mind. I was worried if he’d be able to get through the first few. Mercifully, the inning came to an end with just one run surrendered, which might say more about the Mariners’ offense than anything else.
- In the 2nd inning, J.A. Happ could not get in sync with his catcher, Jesus Sucre, or the strike zone. In an inning that took about a year to complete, he walked 4 batters, hitting another and gave up a weak single to LF that brought in the Blue Jays’ first run. Devon Travis showed his great approach at the plate and walked in the second run. Josh Donaldson walked in another to make it 3-1 Blue Jays. Happ was lifted before the 2nd inning ended. The following tweet from MLB.com Gregor Chisholm about sums it up:
- Venezuelan rookie, Jesus Sucre hit his first MLB HR off Hutchison to bring the score to 3-2 in the 2nd inning. It was kind of special to see him round the bases smiling and pointing as he crossed the plate. There was no calm, veteran demeanor. It was like watching a kid. Refreshing.
- Hutch returned for another lengthy inning in the 3rd. It took 52 total pitches for him to get to the end of the 3rd. Not a good sign of effectiveness, to say the least. Of course, a rare Devon Travis error didn’t help things either. 3-3 at that point.
- With a tie game in the 4th, Robinson Cano hit an opposite field 3-run HR bringing in Kyle Seager and Nelson Cruz to bring the score to 6-3. That signaled the end of the day for Hutchison. His line: 4 IP, 7 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 2 HR. If this start doesn’t highlight the need for pitching at the Trade Deadline, nothing will.
entered the game after Hutchison was pulled and settled things down nicely. In the 5th and 6th, he set the Mariners down in order.
Toronto Blue Jays