12:06AM Eastern

You won’t be able to tell from looking at his final pitching line, but 21 year-old Drew Hutchison acquitted himself very well in his major-league debut for the Blue Jays, and he definitely looks like a keeper.

Hutchison was unflappable in allowing five runs on eight hits over 5 1/3 innings, walking three, striking out four, hitting one and giving up two home runs.

The line’s not pretty, to be sure.  That’s a WHIP of 1.875 and an ERA of 8.44.  But Hutchison pitched a lot better than that line.

Over the first four innings of his night, he gave up just one run on three hits, two of which were ground balls.  The other, not so much, as Alex Gordon took him deep in the first inning.  He breezed through those first four innings, throwing just 60 pitches and looking completely comfortable with his lot in life as a 21 year-old major-leaguer, but the fifth inning was a separate issue.

Hutchison faced seven hitters in that fifth inning and only got two of them out, but only two of the other five managed to hit the ball hard.  The Royals scored four times, but a broken-bat double and a bloop single played a big part in the big inning for K.C.  Believe it or not, Hutchison also should have had a triple play behind him that inning.  It’s amazing to say, especially since the Blue Jays turned their first triple play in 33 years the night before, but with runners on first and second, none out and two runs already in, Hutchison got Billy Butler to hit a hard grounder right at Brett Lawrie.  If Lawrie picks it clean, he takes two steps to the bag and starts an around-the-horn triple killing.  Easy like cake.  But he couldn’t handle the hot shot, and when he recovered, he still had time to get two.  But for a cleaner hop, the Blue Jays have two triple plays in as many games, incredibly.

It wasn’t a thing of beauty for Hutchison, though the first four innings sure were terrific, but for a 21 year-old making his major-league debut – just his seventh start above A-ball – that’s a very, very good job.  And that he was able to hit his spots for the most part, keep his nerves in check and maintain his composure are very good portents, to be sure.  Another good omen might well have been his one hit batsman.  Hutchison drilled Butler, the Royals’ three-hitter, in the ribcage with a man on second and one out in the third.  It may not have been intentional, but Hutchison is a kid with very good command.  It just so happens that the Royals drilled Jose Bautista the night before.  If that was Hutchison standing up for his teammate, then that speaks volumes about the kid.

There’s a good story to tell about the bullpen, as well.  The group that has blown four saves in the first two weeks of the season had a golden opportunity to blow a fifth, as Darren Oliver took over for Hutchison with a one-run lead in the sixth and runners on the corners with just one out.  But Oliver, born 20 years before his young charge, got a huge strikeout, then a liner to right that Bautista managed to pick out of the lights, escaping the threat, and Edwin Encarnacion and Colby Rasmus went deep in the top of the 7th to extend the lead.  For Rasmus, it was his second home run of the game.

Carlos Villanueva closed it out by pitching the final two innings, but when he got in trouble in the 9th it was Francisco Cordero, not Sergio Santos, who started warming up in anticipation of a save opportunity.  We found out why after the game when the Blue Jays placed Santos on the 15-day disabled list with right shoulder inflammation, recalling Evan Crawford to take his place.  Santos said his shoulder didn’t feel right in saving Friday night’s win, and when the pain got worse Saturday morning the decision was made to shut things down for a while in order to nip any potential issue in the bud.  Manager John Farrell says the move is precautionary and the Jays don’t expect Santos to miss a lot of time, but you never know with shoulders.  Until Santos returns, Cordero will be the closer and the 8th inning will be shared by Oliver, Casey Janssen and Jason Frasor.

Here’s Saturday night’s edition of The BlueJaysTalk, for your listening pleasure:

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Sunday afternoon, the Blue Jays will try to break out of the win two-lose two pattern they’ve established to this point in the season, and they’ll have their ace on the mound as they try to do it.  The Jays have yet to lose any of Ricky Romero’s starts this year, and he’ll put his 2-0 mark on the line against Royals’ lefty Danny Duffy.  We’ll have it all for you along the Blue Jays Radio Network beginning with the pre-game show at 1:30PM Eastern – join us, won’t you?

Please give me a follow on The Twitter, you can find me @wilnerness590.

Comments are welcome – I read them all and respond to most!

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13 Responses to “The Kid Was All Right”
  1. 1.

    What do you think AA do will all of the pitching depth they have? Romero, Morrow, and McGowan are signed for the new couple of years, that gives no room for prospects like Jenkins, McGuire and Hutchison. Does that force AA to make a trade?

    MW: Not yet. The prospects still need a lot of time, and you never know who is going to get hurt or fail to perform. If all three of those kids you mentioned wind up being very good big-league pitchers, the Blue Jays will have defied some pretty serious odds.

    - Jason
  2. 2.

    Santos probably gone for the season. The closer role remains elusive for the jays

    MW: I’m curious as to when you examined Santos’ shoulder. What did you see?

    - santos
  3. 3.

    Is there any chance of putting a non flash audio link for your apple using followers?

    MW: That’s well beyond my magnitude. I hope the techies can figure that out.

    - Paul
  4. 4.

    Do you think Santos is faking it so that he could spend time with his new baby and family?
    I’m kind of joking asking this, but just curious, when players are on the DL list with a minor injury like this, do they have to travel with the team or can they go home for a couple weeks?

    MW: I hope you’re more than kind of joking. When players have a minor injury, the best place for them to be is with the team and its therapists.

    - Shmuel
  5. 5.

    You make a great point Mike about the lone hit batsman. I did not think much of it at the time but now that you bring it up, I agree with you. Even though we will not be able to get anyone to go on record about it, actions speak louder than words.
    I was also glad to see Carlos Villanueva pitch in this game. He would have been my first choice as the starter for this game but perhaps the management knows something that I don’t (imagine that) about one of the Jays’ 2011 work horses.
    Drew Hutchison had his problems out there but Villanueva had his problems too.
    This season is shaping up to be spectacular for the top three teams in the AL East: New York, Tampa Bay and Toronto.
    While injuries are playing a part in the Boston’s latest struggles, the Red Sox team is suffering with so many issues internally; I would have to say the Orioles will have company at the bottom of the standings in September if the Beantown organization cannot heal some of their personnel concerns.

    - Joseph P.
  6. 6.

    hutchinson’s line would’ve looked a lot nicer if the ump didnt hose him on the pitch before the longball

    - chone figgins
  7. 7.

    It was nice to see Drew coming in throwing strikes. The second and third time through the order, and with him starting to tire, it was clear that his was getting hittable. It was good that he was facing the Royals and not a Tiger or Ranger lineup. He definitely seems like a keeper.

    MW: The second time through the line-up, Hutchison gave up one hard-hit ball.

    - Jack
  8. 8.

    Tough to lose Santos!!!!! I was really wondering why they put Hutch back out there when he had the lead after five…….

    Its just one game but I was very impressed with how the Jays answered in the top of the 7th which ended up giving Hutch the win.

    So far it seems it takes us a few innings to get going but I really like where we are at. Could we be better, absolutely…..but to make the playoffs you have to win ugly. JP, Colby, Esobar are heating up.

    Posting this after Sunday’s game, another win!!! Ricky is the steady leader again. I love how John has got the running game going again, with hit and runs, steals….and today double steal home! If you put consistant pressure you will win more than losing!!!

    GO Jays GO, Lets see the Morrow we need tomorrow and finish this series off!!!

    - Moon
  9. 9.

    Nothing like playing KC to get the bats going!!

    - Evan
  10. 10.

    michael,
    certainly indeed enjoyed watching the debut showing of the striksky and hutch show on saturday. more or less billed as advertised i thought.
    for the most part very good located fastball. throwing strikes does seem like it will be his forte. nice velocity too really. was a bit surprised by that. 94/95 from time to time during his start.
    certainly in the early going.
    the kid’s delivery changed a little and looked at little wonky in the 5th. a few pitches getting away from him.
    but that’s ok… really good composure it seemed. pretty unexcitable all in all.
    21 yrs old. only a handful or 2 of starts past “a” ball to date.
    looking forward to his next few starts michael.

    - darrell bishop
  11. 11.

    michael,
    btw. heard you make reference to young drew as “hutch” on fri. or sat. i could have sworn.
    thought… for sure… you’d be all over the “striksky and hutch” reference or something along those lines.
    just seemed to have your name written all over it with your ever present cleverish, wordsmith blog titles that we’re all too accustomed to here on a regular basis.
    i thought it was ok… hey… i tried.

    - darrell bishop
  12. 12.

    Hi Mike,

    Still nothing new on McGowan? If he’s healthy, wouldn’t he made great closer material?

    MW: He has yet to be enough of a strike-thrower, but his stuff is incredible. He may yet wind up there.

    - Slingshot
  13. 13.

    micahel,
    and for the record, the “the kid was alright” who reference…
    pretty good indeed.
    guessing that if young hutch was actually closer to light out the other night, you were going with the loverboy reference.
    also would have been very well played…

    - darrell bishop
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