The first half of the series in the Show Me State is going quite well, with the Jays offense leading them to a 9-5 victory tonight.
On the Mound: Drew Hutchison showed his nerves a bit, but for a major-league debut, he did fairly well. Hutchison got behind too many hitters, and seemed to have trouble locating his changeup, the pitch the Royals seemed the most ready for. They hit two out for home runs, and strung together a rally in the 5th inning. That said, while Hutchison's final line isn't anything to write home about (5 1/3 innings, 5 runs, 8 hits, 4 Ks, 3 walks), he certainly didn't look overmatched. I'm not saying he's ready for the majors quite yet, and in fact it's probably unlikely, but today's start wasn't conclusive either way in my view.
At the Plate: It was great to see the Jays' offense string together some runs. They strung together a whole bunch of hits in the 4th inning to jump ahead, and added three home runs in the 6th and 7th innings, two by Colby Rasmus and one by Edwin Encarnacion. Rasmus and Encarnacion each had three hits. Adam Lind, Eric Thames (who also walked), and J.P. Arencibia each contributed doubles, and Kelly Johnson walked thrice. A terrific offensive performance. Only Jose Bautista failed to join in the fun, with an 0-5 showing and 7 men stranded.
From the Pen: Well-seasoned portsider Darren Oliver really helped out the callow Hutchison with a well-timed strikeout of Mitch Meier with two on in the 6th. He then got Yuniesky Betancourt on a liner to right to end the inning and preserve the win for Drew. Oliver also pitched the 7th, and then gave way for Carlos Villanueva, who pitched an uneventful 8th inning. He put two on to start the 9th, but managed to pitch out of it.
In the Field: Brett Lawrie continues to look sensational at third base. Three double plays (two initiated by Lawrie) really helped the Jays in this one. Eric Thames really looked confused on a play to left, and doesn't yet appear to be exhibiting improvement in left.
Jays of the Day: Oliver, Encarnacion, Rasmus, Lawrie, Arencibia.
Join us tomorrow for game three. Ricky Romero and Danny Duffy will face off in an alliterative showdown for the ages!
Today's wrap up title is from another great Mates of State song, My Only Offer. Hugo out!