‘I didn’t know he could do this well’ PS I thought it would be an obstacle, but Kikuchi performed better than expected… toronto laughs

Even before the season opened, there were only obstacles to advancing to the postseason. However, he maintained the mound with performance that exceeded expectations. Toronto Blue Jays Japanese pitcher Yusei Kikuchi pitched well.

Kikuchi started in the 2023 Major League Baseball team’s home game against the Kansas City Royals held at the Rogers Center in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on the 9th (Korean time). On this day, he gave up 3 hits, 1 walk, and 1 run in 5 innings, but kept the mound by striking out 8. Although the victory was not achieved due to the silence of the batting lineup and bullpen fire, Kikuchi performed his duties perfectly.

Except for the third inning, Kikuchi did not give up a run. He threw an 84 mph curveball on the 5th pitch to Dayron Blanco with 2 balls and 2 strikes. Kikuchi dropped the ball low to his body, but Blanco scooped it up and connected with a solo shot to the left.

But Kikuchi was more unwavering. He finished the inning without allowing any additional runs until the fifth inning. The batting line was unable to score a run while Kikuchi was on the mound, but Kevin Kiermaier hit a triple in the sixth and then Bo Bichette hit an RBI double to tie the game. Kikuchi had to be satisfied with avoiding defeat.

Kikuchi’s performance this season is 28 games, 148⅔ innings, 9 wins, 5 losses, and an average ERA of 3.57. He has appeared in the second most games among Toronto starting pitchers and has the second best earned run average. He ranked second with the most wins and had the fewest losses. Kikuchi maintained the Toronto mound in a stable manner.

In fact, even in the opening game, not many people expected Kikuchi to perform well. Rather, he was evaluated as being an obstacle to the team. Local media outlet CBS Sports said, ‘Kikuchi must produce results. Otherwise, he said, “He will be eliminated from the postseason,” and MLB.com, the official Major League website, also urged Kikuchi’s rebound, saying, “Kikuchi is a huge question mark for Toronto.”먹튀검증

That’s why Kikuchi’s performance last year wasn’t good. Ahead of the 2022 season, Kikuchi signed a three-year, $36 million contract with Toronto. However, he was unable to resolve his chronic lack of ball control and received a failing grade as a starting pitcher. He also suffered the humiliation of being left out of the starting rotation during the season. Kikuchi left behind a shabby record of 6 wins, 7 losses, 1 save, and an ERA of 5.19 in 32 games.

However, Kikuchi worked hard during the off-season and aimed for a rebound. And he showed a change since the exhibition game. He pitched well in 7 games, 20⅔ innings, with 2 wins, 1 loss, and an ERA of 0.87. Kikuchi, who continued the momentum from the exhibition game into the regular season, is contributing to Toronto’s efforts to advance to the postseason.

Japanese media outlet Chunichi Sports said on the 9th, “Kikuchi performed at an ace level. He recorded 15 outs, 8 of which were strikeouts. His fastball and slider control was sharp. Martinez’s commentary from the American broadcasting team ‘Sportsnet’ also said, He said, ‘Kikuchi’s slider is effective. It is number one in the major leagues.’”

Kikuchi has become an indispensable presence in Toronto. When Ryu Hyun-jin returned, he was expected to be dropped from the starting lineup, but he ended up remaining a survivor. And he is still doing his job by pitching well. Toronto is also smiling while looking at Kikuchi.

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