“I will train more during the offseason and come back stronger.”
Japanese pitcher Yusei Kikuchi, 32, who went 11-6 with a 3.86 ERA in 32 regular-season games in the Toronto Blue Jays’ starting rotation this year, expressed his disappointment that fall baseball ended early, saying, “I will come back stronger and more disciplined during the offseason.”
Toronto went 0-2 against Minnesota in the second game of the wild-card deciding round of the 2023 Major League Baseball postseason at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, on Friday (Nov. 5). After going 1-3 in Game 1, the Jays’ fall baseball season came to a swift end with two losses.
In Game 2, starter Jose Berrios walked the first batter he faced, Donovan Solano, in the bottom of the fourth inning with the score tied 0-0. The Toronto bench immediately made a pitching change, and Kikuchi came on.
With Berrios having only 47 pitches, the Toronto bench tried to make a quick pitching change and it didn’t work.
Kikuchi gave up an infield single to Max Kepler, a walk to Donovan Solano, and a bases-loaded single to Carlos Correa to make it 0-1.
With the bases loaded, he got pinch-hitter Gleyber Castro to ground out to shortstop for a 6-4-3 double play, allowing the runner from third to cross home plate to make it 0-2. Kikuchi had allowed one run on three hits and one walk in 1⅔ innings until the bottom of the fifth.
The bats went silent, and Toronto ended fall baseball early with its second straight loss. Berrios took the loss, but it was Kikuchi who fell apart. “I want to be a starter next year,” Kikuchi said, “and I want to come into spring training with a solid offseason.”
“It was an away game, but I pitched like I usually do,” Kikuchi said, adding, “I can’t help it. It’s baseball.”
Kikuchi made his big league debut in a Seattle uniform in 2019. He signed a four-year, $56 million guaranteed, seven-year, $190 million maximum contract with Seattle. After parting ways with Seattle, he agreed to a three-year, $36 million contract with Toronto ahead of the 2022 season.
Kikuchi was Ryu’s fourth Japanese teammate, joining Genta Maeda, Darvish Yu, and Shun Yamaguchi.
Their paths are mixed going forward. Kikuchi earned a starting spot this year and accumulated double-digit wins for the first time in his big league career. Ryu, on the other hand, earned a spot in the starting lineup this year after returning from injury, but only went 3-3 with a 4.54 ERA in nine appearances over five starts. He didn’t even make the wild-card roster.
“First of all, I want to get rid of the fatigue,” Kikuchi said, “I want to improve everything and play better baseball. I also realized that it’s a world where you can’t survive if you don’t change. I’m going to take a week off and get back to work.” 토토사이트
While Kikuchi will continue to take the mound in a Toronto uniform next year, Ryu’s time with the Jays is coming to an end. Ryu’s four-year, $80 million contract with Toronto has come to an end. The two players, who represented South Korea and Japan in the Jays’ starting rotation, will go their separate ways.