It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Dickens may have preceded Drew Hutchison by over a century, but it would have been an apt description of his outing tonight, unfortunately ending on a distinctly down note.
I confess that I missed the top of the first, but I'm told Hutchison's command was pretty good. Alas, that didn't carry over the second inning, as leading off Chris Davis utterly destroyed a 2-1 middle-middle fastball into the second level for his 39th home run of the season in an effortless display of light tower power. Hutch rebounded to get the next two on the first pitch - Matt Wieters failing to square up another meatball - before allowing a two out single. He got ahead of Steve Pearce 0-2, before hitting him with a slider that got away and squandering an opportunity to end the threat.
And Hutchison was made to pay in short order, as Ryan Flaherty hit a ball out to right field that Bautista got to in time, but failed to come up with catch adding to a long line of similar misplays the last month. It was scored an RBI double, but by all rights it should have been the end of the inning. Fortunately, Troy Tulowitzki saved any more damage with good range on a grounder up the middle for the third out and hold the score at 2-0.
Hutchison then settled in, allowing just one baserunner over the course of the 3rd and 4th. Again he was the beneficiary of Tulo's wizardry, going way up the middle to grab a ground ball, flipping to Goins at second, who almost turned a double play with Jimmy Paredes just beating it out. Hutch carried that over to the 5th, recording by far his best inning on six pitches, a strikeout and two first pitch groundouts. His command his exceptional, and at 57 pitches it looked Like he had found his rhythm and was poised to go deep into the game.
As it turned out, he had recorded his last out of the night. Adam Jones led off with a sharp single, bringing up Chris Davis. He again crushed a first pitch fastball to the opposite field for his 40th home run to put the Orioles back up after the Jays plated the tying run in the bottom of the 5th. Wieters followed that with a deep fly ball to left that Revere tracked to the wall. He timed it, lept, got his glove on the ball...and knocked it over the fence. Not what Hutchison needed, but it didn't really matter as Hutch yielded a hard double and then hard single to end his night.
In came Liam Hendriks, starting a cavalcade of relievers in from the bullpen:
- Hendriks allowed one of those runners to score, a sac fly featuring a terrible throw by Revere from shallow left field. Pillar got to the spot and probably would have made a better throw despite a much worse angle. He pitched well, a strikeout and weak contact
- Ryan Tepera had a decent 7th after hitting Jones leading off; 1K
- Bo Schultz came in for the 8th and got hammered, a walk followed by two ringing doubles and capped off by a blast from Adam Jones, the 4th Oriole HR of the night
- Aaron Loup replaced Schultz and got two weak grounders
- Jeff Francis turned in an efficient 9th, not that it mattered or that anyone cared at that point.
Offensively, it was a very frustrating game. Ubaldo Jimenez was in fine form, that is he walked batters in every inning but one, six in total. But the Jays largely failed to take advantage, piling up 12 (team) runners left on base.
In the 2nd, they scratched one across, Colabello walking with one out and advancing to second on a Russell Martin single. Ryan Goins hit a sharp ground ball to first, the Orioles tried to turn two but Ubaldo couldn't handle the return throw allowing Colabello to score. In the 5th, Goins walked - of course - scoring on a Donaldson sac fly with a Pillar single in between. That tied the game briefly, but was the extent of offensive production on the night.
There were many opportunities squandered. In the 4th, Edwin Encarnacion walked and Colabello singled, but Martin grounded into a double play. He did the same in the 6th after Tulo reached on a leadoff throwing error (almost getting caught rounding first, but he lept over Wieters to get back in) and Colabello singled. Two runners were stranded in the aforementioned 5th. Two more in the 8th. The bases loaded in the 9th. So it goes.
Jays of the Day: Babipello (+0.134 WPA, 3-3, BB) and Goins (+0.109, 0-2, 2 BB) though he committed an uncharacteristic error that perhaps would take him below the threshold.
Suckage: Hutchison (-0.392), Martin (-0.181, 2-4 but two backbreaking GIDP). Revere only piled up -0.072 WPA but 0-5, a terrible throw and turning a double into a home run is a slam dunk. Schultz gets one too for 4 ER in 0.1 IP despite it only being -0.032 WPA. Tulo's 0-fer and sombrero would normally put him in the crosshairs, but his defensive efforts clear him. It feels strange completing this section without mention of Luis Rivera, but broken clock etc.
To add insult to injury the Yankees won tonight, leaving the Jays 0.5 games up for the division lead. Tomorrow the Jays will look to square the series at 1:05 ET, sending David price to the mound against Mike Wright. I'll have the day off from recapping but will be back for the series finale Sunday, so caveat lector.