Already 4 wins ERA 3.00, ransom of 48.1 billion… “It was there when it sparkled” Still ‘doubt’

 Yusei Kikuchi, who caused trouble for the Toronto Blue Jays last year, has completely changed. He did not record a quality start (less than 3 earned runs in 6 innings), but he has already reported his 4th win, showing a scoreless pitch with 8 strikeouts.

On the 27th스포츠토토 (hereinafter Korean time), Kikuchi started in a home match against the Chicago White Sox held at the Rogers Center in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and recorded 4 hits, 1 walk, 8 strikeouts and no runs in 5⅔ innings. The season ERA was lowered to 3.00.

Kikuchi put an end to his accompaniment with the Seattle Mariners prior to the 2022 season, signed a three-year, $36 million (approximately 48.1 billion won) contract with Toronto, and embarked on a new challenge. However, Kikuchi’s performance last season did not match the ransom. He left a regret with an average ERA of 5.19 with 6 wins and 7 losses in 32 games (20 starts).

His biggest problem was pitching. Kikuchi walked 58 in 100⅔ innings, a very high number. He had a high WHIP (on-base percentage per run) of 1.50, so he couldn’t pitch reliably. Toronto hoped to show a changed appearance by using Kikuchi as a bullpen pitcher, but there was no significant progress. But he is definitely different this year.

Kikuchi took the mound in 7 games (6 starts) in the demonstration game, marking an average ERA of 0.87 with 2 wins and 1 loss, raising expectations. Of course, 10 walks in 20⅔ innings is still a disappointment. However, it is no exaggeration to say that Kikuchi’s appearance in the regular season was his best season since stepping on the major league stage.

Kikuchi reported his first win in his first appearance of the season, against the Kansas City Royals, by allowing 1 run (1 earned) in 5 innings. In his second appearance, against the Los Angeles Angels, he was disappointed with 6 runs (6 earned) in 4⅓ innings, but this was just trial and error. Kikuchi earned one run in 6 innings (1 earned) against the Tampa Bay Rays, and 1 run in 6 innings (1 earned) against the New York Yankees, building up victories step by step.

Kikuchi, who had a good flow, showed off his changed appearance once again and ran for 4 individual wins in a row. Kikuchi got off to a good start by striking out Elvis Andrews and Andrew Vaughn in a row in the first inning. Afterwards, he got a hit from Lewis Robert, but ended the inning without any danger through the stolen base judge.

In the second inning, Kikuchi turned the center batting line from Illroy Jimenez, Andrew Benintendi, and Jake Burger into a tripartite, and then struck out two again in the third inning, continuing the scoreless cruise. In response to Kikuchi’s good pitch, the batting line gave support for 3 points, and Kikuchi recorded another triple-death in the 4th inning.

He overcame his biggest crisis well. Kikuchi was in danger of giving up his first run in the fifth inning when he gave up a hit to Benintendi and a walk to Sevi Zavala. However, he escaped the crisis by striking out Romy Gonzalez on a swing and went down the mound with two outs on first base in the sixth inning. After Kikuchi was replaced, Toronto’s bullpen pitchers also showed no runs, and finally got their 4th win.

Although Kikuchi is having his best season yet, the local media is still not relieved. “Everything is positive, but nothing indicates that Kikuchi is fixed forever,” said the ‘Toronto Star’. It collapsed with an average ERA of 5.98 with 1 win and 5 losses.”

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