TORONTO - Sean Nolin may one day be ready to pitch in the major leagues.
The time isn't now and after Nolin struggled in his major league debut on Friday night, a 10-6 loss to the Orioles, he was optioned back to Double-A New Hampshire.
“Definitely not the way I envisioned it,” said the big lefthander of his first start for the Blue Jays. “I think I just had too much energy going. Kind of felt like I already threw a few innings and kind of wasted some gas without doing anything. I think that was a part of it for sure.”
Nolin's night was over after 1 1/3 innings, six earned runs and 35 pitches.
The Orioles came at him in waves. Nick Markakis led off with a single, Manny Machado followed with the same and both scored on J.J. Hardy's three-run home run. Baltimore had a lead it wouldn't relinquish.
In the second, Danny Valencia doubled, Steve Pearce walked and Yamaico Navarro singled to load the bases. Markakis, hitting for the second time, doubled home all three.
One out later, Nolin's night was over.
“It was a tough go for him, no question,” said manager John Gibbons. “Even (J.P.) Arencibia told me everything was kind of flat, you know flat in the zone. They didn't miss anything. They're a good hitting ball club, they make you pay when you make mistakes. Everybody knows how the ball flies in this ballpark, I mean it was pinball out there tonight. But he'll be fine. He's a good kid, I'm sure he wanted a great one, we wanted him to have a great one but that doesn't always happen at this level.”
Nolin's parents, Edward and Patricia, made the 10-hour drive from Long Island to watch their son pitch.
Less than three hours before the game, as his teammates took batting practice, Nolin was sitting in the dugout taking it all in. You only get one debut, after all.
“Just a lot of excitement,” said Nolin. “It's always somewhere where I wanted to be, the big leagues, make my debut and just had a lot of thoughts, good thoughts, and just a lot of high energy.”
Nolin returns to the Fisher Cats, for whom he's 2-0 in three starts. He's struck out more than one hitter per inning and has an ERA of 1.17.The Blue Jays say a corresponding roster move will come at a later time.