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The first 10 minutes we were fairly slow getting going, but after that I thought we diid a good job of forcing the play
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The first 10 minutes we were fairly slow getting going, but after that I thought we diid a good job of forcing the play
TORONTO - Drew Hutchison was roughed up by the St. Custom Houston Rockets Jerseys . Louis Cardinals on Sunday afternoon; a brief, poor outing that served to highlight two trends that have developed this season. The first: Hutchison is dominant pitching on the road and has been anything but throwing at Rogers Centre. After Sundays outing in which he tossed only three innings, allowing five earned runs on six hits (two home runs) and one walk in a 5-0 Toronto loss which dropped his personal win-loss record to 4-4, the splits look like this. Hutchison at home: 5 Games Started, 1-3, 8.72 ERA, 7 HR allowed and a 1.892 walks and hits per innings pitched (WHIP). Hutchison on the road: 8 Games Started, 3-1, 2.03 ERA, 3 HR allowed and a 0.973 WHIP. Both Hutchison and his manager appear to be at a loss to explain the discrepancy. "Obviously I feel the same when I take the mound every time, at home and on the road," said Hutchison. "I just havent executed well here and I havent put together good games." "Some guys are like that, its hard to put a finger on it," said manager John Gibbons. "But you cant pitch him on the road every time … He wasnt very good today. They hit him around a little bit. But hes been pretty good for us." Hutchison is coming off of Tommy John elbow ligament replacement surgery, which was performed in July, 2012. He rehabbed for a full year and pitched briefly at Triple-A late last season and then in the Arizona Fall League. His 75 innings this year surpass, by far, his allotment from the abbreviated 2013 campaign. The Blue Jays are taking care of the 23-year-old. Prior to his last start, a scoreless, seven-inning gem last Tuesday in Detroit, Gibbons gave him a full weeks rest after he struggled in a home start against the Tampa Bay Rays. That leads to the second trend. Hutchison pitches much better when hes had extra rest, five or more days in between starts, than when he pitches on the usual four days of rest to which starters are accustomed. Here are the numbers: Hutchison on four days rest: 6 Games Started, 3-3, 5.94 ERA, 14 walks, 21 strikeouts, 7 home runs allowed. Hutchison on five or more days rest: 7 Games Started, 1-1, 2.62 ERA, 5 walks, 34 strikeouts, 3 home runs allowed. Expect Gibbons to cherry pick spots to give Hutchison extra rest over the course of the season but its difficult to do at the moment due to a lack of off days. Toronto has two more before the All-Star Break, one on Monday, June 16 and another on Monday, June 30. The task becomes easier in August when there are five off days in the month and becomes difficult again in September, when there is only one. By that point, though, the Jays hope to be counting on Hutchison in important games down the stretch. Hutchison, arguably, has been the Blue Jays second-best starter to Mark Buehrle and its likely the club will allow the 23-year-old to work through the ups and downs of a long season. Few are the young pitchers who thrive every time they take the ball. With a long road trip coming up, Hutchisons next two starts are scheduled to be in Baltimore on Friday night and against the Yankees, in New York, on the following Thursday. Dont expect Gibbons to take the ball out of Hutchisons hands on either occasion. LINDS SPLITS Adam Lind is strictly a platoon player these days. Hitting coach Kevin Seitzer is bound and determined to change that. "Im working my butt off to change that because I think he can be just as effective, or almost as effective, off lefties as what he is off righties," said Seitzer. "What happens with lefties and its guys that Ive worked with in past years, they get pounded in by hard stuff and they get to chase stuff and the breaking stuff and secondary pitches in any count." The narrative is that Lind, a left-handed hitter, cannot hit left-handed pitching consistently. The talking point is backed up by his career statistics and the sample size, over nine seasons, is large enough. Lind, versus right-handers: 2,263 plate appearances, .290/.347/.512, 122 home runs, 17 per cent strikeout rate. Lind, versus left-handers: 875 plate appearances, .216/.261/.337, 21 home runs, 25.8 per cent strikeout rate. Manager John Gibbons has worked accordingly this season, relegating Lind to starts against right-handers. Entering Sundays play, Lind had 20 plate appearances against left-handed pitchers for the entire season. "We have a team thats versatile and can do a bunch of different things," said Lind. "I face lefties at the end of the game. I just dont start when they start the game. I get my share of at-bats against those guys." Lind is quick to point out that he often gets the more difficult left-handed challenges. "I dont get the normal starters but Ill take the lefty specialists." Lind faced an old nemesis in Friday nights win over the Cardinals. He drew a full count walk off left-hander Randy Choate, a guy who Lind saw frequently when Choate was with division rival Tampa Bay. He fouled off some tough pitches in that plate appearance. "I played against some lefties at the beginning of the year and had some good at-bats, hit the ball hard, just didnt get a hit," said Lind. "When youre in June and you look back at May you dont remember who you faced and you dont remember what really happened. Its just a statistic now. I get it, thats just how it goes and thats how people are going to look at it over the course of a season." Seitzer, as much a psychological coach as a mechanical instructor, wants Lind to look for pitches out over the plate. He believes positive results will follow. "Thats all it boils down to is breaking that bad wound that hes put in his brain that hes got to get to pitches inside because thats where theyre going to come," said Seitzer. DICKEY ON STROMAN Marcus Stromans curveball has been on full display during his first two big league starts. Hes baffled Royals and Cardinals hitters with the pitch and hes impressed his veteran teammates. "Its his ability to spin the baseball that separates him from other guys," said Dickey. "He can really spin a ball and that takes a lot of arm speed, a lot of God-given, innate natural ability to be able to do that. You cant learn that." Stroman is scheduled to start Wednesday afternoons series finale against the Twins. Teams are developing a book on the 23-year-old, information which will only increase each time he takes the mound. Hitters will make adjustments. Itll be up to Stroman to do the same. "Thats one of the things that makes you successful and able to endure at this level," said Dickey. "Do you have an aptitude where you have the ability to make adjustments quickly? I dont see anything that would lead me to believe he doesnt have that. Hes got a lot of moxie, too. He seems pretty confident out there, which is great." In the spring, general manager Alex Anthopoulos joked that Stroman was the first pitcher hed ever seen blow a bubble in the middle of his windup. Its a common occurrence. "We were on the bench thinking, like, what is Matt Holliday thinking when hes in the middle of his leg kick and a big bubbles in his mouth," joked Dickey. "Hes probably just thinking, Throw the ball. I mean, thats just what you think but everybody has their own little thing." BLUE JAYS SIGN TWO PICKS The Blue Jays signed their fourth and eighth round draft picks from last weeks amateur draft. Right-handed hitting catcher Matt Morgan, an 18-year-old out of Thorsby High School in Alabama, put pen to paper on a contract. He was taken 114th overall. Right-hander Justin Shafer, a 21-year-old whos completed his junior year with the University of Florida Gators, is on board. He was taken 234th overall. PJ Tucker Jersey . Harris has played in six games since joining the Argos in 2012, completing 17-of-35 passes for 256 yards and one touchdown. Chris Paul Jersey . Calgarys Bo Levi Mitchell and Montreals Troy Smith will be the starting quarterbacks in a CFL season-opener for the first time in their careers. Both want to reinforce their No. 1 status. You can watch the game live in the first half of a doubleheader on TSN and TSN GO at 3:00pm et/Noon pt. http://www.therocketsofficial.com/Authe ... ts-Jersey/ . As each game passes (each has played close with the exception of last night) it becomes clearer just how evenly matched these two teams are and how one mistake, or one bad inning, is likely to sway the result. TORONTO -- James van Riemsdyk tugged at the Toronto Maple Leafs logo on his chest, mimicking the celebration P.K. Subban made after an overtime goal two nights earlier. That wasnt a coincidence. Van Riemsdyk was on edge after some taunting from the Montreal Canadiens defenceman but waited until after scoring the game-winning goal Saturday night before letting that emotion show through. It was tension that was building throughout a 5-3 Leafs victory that was a showcase for the rivalry. "Im usually not one to engage in stuff like that, but I was a little bit fired up," van Riemsdyk said. "It just kind of happened." Those are the things that happen when the juices are flowing and emotions are heightened as they were for this game between the Leafs and Habs. Of the 19,667 fans in attendance, more than a few were cheering for Montreal, and it made for a much more raucous atmosphere than usual at Air Canada Centre. "If you dont get shivers and chills on Toronto-Montreal on a Saturday night on Hockey Night in Canada, either in Montreal or Toronto, then I dont think you understand the true meaning of the game here in Canada," Leafs coach Randy Carlyle said after his teams season-high fourth consecutive victory. With the teams trading chances back and forth, it was an excellent example of what the NHL is supposed to offer. And even though eight total goals were scored, neither the Leafs Jonathan Bernier (30 saves on 33 shots), nor possible Canadian Olympic starter Carey Price of the Habs (25 saves on 29 shots) could be faulted. Instead, this was a case of two offences getting the job done. Before van Riemsdyk scored the game-winner at 14:27 of the third, Cody Franson, Phil Kessel and Mason Raymond also scored for the Leafs (25-20-5), while Brendan Gallagher, Brian Gionta and David Desharnais scored for the Habs (27-17-5). "Were a team that was pushing the pace and we were skating well," Montreal coach Michel Therrien said. "Individual mistakes cost games. Thats where its disappointing. We give goals. Theyre not even supposed to be scoring chances." But scoring chances were readily available. Toronto centre Nazem Kadri had two of the games best passes, setting up Franson for the Leafs first goal and then Raymond for his on the power play. It was a breakout night for Kadri, who has been the subject of criticism and trade rumours lately. "I wanted to come out and have a big game," Kadri said. "Obviously the magnitude of this game was huge. For us to chase that top spot in the division is still a realistic goal for us." The Leafs victory moved them to within four points of the third-place Habs. They still trail the Atlantic Division-leading Boston Bruins by seven points and have played three more games. But when the focus was on one game against rival Montreal, the Leafs brought close to their A-game. Carlyle called their start by far the best of the season, while Gionta wasnt thrilled with how he and his teammates responded. "The first 10 minutes we were fairly slow getting going, but after that I thought we diid a good job of forcing the play and getting some good chances," Montreals captain said. Steve Francis Jersey. "Its definitely a tough one to lose." It wouldve been a tough one for the Leafs to lose after their strong start and considering the emotional investment. "That was a statement game for this team," Kadri said. "Its the Montreal Canadiens. Theyre one of the better teams in the conference and obviously theyre ahead of us in the division, as well. The rivalry speaks for itself. We wanted to come out here, home ice, and give these fans something to cheer about." Montreal fans had something to cheer about early thanks to stellar goaltending from Price, who kept the Habs in the game despite being out-shot by a wide margin. Chants of "Carey" became jeering ones later on when Leafs fans got on him, loud enough that the goalie at the other end could hear them. "The crowd was pretty amazing tonight," Bernier said. "It felt like a playoff game." No Leafs players were alive the last time the Leafs and Habs met in the playoffs -- 1979. Only Montreals Gionta, Andrei Markov, Daniel Briere and Francis Boullion had been born by then. But a lack of recent playoff history didnt seem to hurt Saturday night, thanks in part to Subban skating by the bench after Gallaghers goal and giving the Leafs some motivation. "He was saying some stuff to our bench and we werent thrilled about that," van Riemsdyk said. "Its hockey. Hes got to do what hes got to do -- hes a great player, its fun to play against players like that. Obviously theres some emotions that were flying around out there." Subban did not speak to reporters after the loss. He was a central topic of conversation in hockey circles since his celebration of an overtime goal against the Ottawa Senators on Thursday night brought some criticism. Subban flashed the crest on his jersey a few times before going down the tunnel. Don Cherry said on "Hockey Night in Canada" that "all (Subban) does is pump up the other team." "He has to stop that stuff," Cherry said. "Its absolutely ridiculous." Van Riemsdyk wouldnt even go that far, choosing instead to show Subban up after scoring his 19th goal of the season. "If they wanted to play that game, then well play it, too," van Riemsdyk said. Van Riemsdyk insisted popping his jersey wasnt a pre-meditated act. Instead, it was the release of a build-up of emotions that went beyond just redirecting Tyler Bozaks pass past Price. Asked earlier in the day about goal celebrations, van Riemsdyk said that he preferred an understated approach. His teammates didnt mind when he veered from that just once. "Obviously you get excited when you score," Kadri said. "Thats on JvR -- he likes scoring goals, so more power to him." NOTES -- Joonas Nattinen made his NHL debut for Montreal and played 1:45, all in the first period. Nattinen replaced Rene Bourque, who was a healthy scratch. ... Toronto called up Troy Bodie from its AHL affiliate to replace the injured David Clarkson. Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys ' ' '
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