Toronto Blue Jays Japanese pitcher Yusei Kikuchi failed again to reach the top of the first 10 victories in the big leagues.
Kikuchi started in the home game against the Philadelphia Phillies held at the Rogers Center on the 16th (Korean time), and gave up 4 hits and 1 run in 6 innings. Toronto won 2-1, but scored the winning run after Kikuchi rumbled.
Kikuchi pitched 7 innings, 3 hits and 1 run against the Cleveland Guardians on the 9th, but the team lost 0-1 and suffered a loss. He was unsupported by the batting line for two consecutive games. Kikuchi, who made his debut with the Seattle Mariners in 2019, has marked 9 wins this season as his career high.
However, after the match against the Los Angeles Dodgers on the 27th of last month, Kikuchi, who succeeded in making quality starts in four consecutive games, lowered his ERA from 3.53 to 3.44, widely publicizing that he had risen to become a key starting pitcher in the team. As of this day, within the team, he is tied for second in most wins after Chris Bassett (11-6, 3.95), and second in ERA behind Kevin Gaussman (9-6, 3.04).
Kikuchi, who was somewhat uneasy with an ERA of 4.24 while recording 7 wins and 3 losses in 18 games in the first half, is continuing his ace-class pitching with 2 wins and 1 loss and an ERA of 1.29 in 6 games in the second half. If he plays the postseason now, it would be no problem to start as the second starter after Gaussman.
The number of pitches was 84, and the fastball speed was a maximum of 96.5 miles and an average of 94.9 miles. While effectively mixing the slider, curveball, and changeup, he cooked the Philadelphia hard-hitting line with control power that did not give up a single walk.
Kikuchi started the game with 7 consecutive hits until 1 out in the 3rd inning. He passed the 4th inning with a three-way foul, let Bryson 안전놀이터 Stadt out with a left-handed hit in the 5th, then finished off the inning lightly by knocking out Trey Turner with a ground ball to third baseman and JT Real Muto to third baseman with a double hit.
Kikuchi conceded first in the 6th inning when the score was 0-0. After giving up an infield hit to leader Edmundo Sosa, he was hit by a double from the left by Yohan Rojas and allowed one run. However, he struck out Kyle Schwaber, hit Alec Bom with a fly ball to right field, and caught Bryce Harper with a fly to first base to prevent additional runs.
Toronto, which was dragged by Philadelphia starter Jack Wheeler, tied the game in the bottom of the sixth inning. Leading Whit Merrifield’s infield hit, Brandon Belt’s walk led to 1st and 2nd bases safely. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. hit a bottle hit in front of the pitcher and poured cold water on it, but George Springer hit a heavy hit to bring home runner Merrifield from third base.
Toronto then scored the winning run in the bottom of the 8th inning. Leading Nathan Lukes walked and Merrifield hit 1st and 2nd base safely. After Belt struck out, Guerrero walked and got the bases loaded with one out. A grounder hit by Springer put Luke out at home and the chance seemed to be ruined, but Merrifield scored the winning run when Cavan Vizio got a push ball from opposing pitcher Serantoni Dominguez.
Finisher Jordan Romano, who returned from a back injury and pitched in the ninth inning, recorded a save by cooking an inning with two strikeouts and a tripartite strike.
Toronto, which had two consecutive victories, secured 3rd place in the AL East Division and 1st place in the wild card with 67 wins and 54 losses.