GDB 103.0: Yusei Kikuchi looks to lead Toronto Blue Jays to series win over Los Angeles Dodgers

Photo credit:Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
Zach Laing
10 months ago
Don’t worry, Blue Jays fans.
No late night for you tonight.
After two marathon games lasting minutes shy of 3.5 hours taking east coasters into the wee hours of the morning, the Jays get an afternoon game today as they look to secure a series win against the LA Dodgers.
Monday night saw Jay Jackson clutch up like no other helping lead the Jays to a 6-3 win, but last night, the team wasn’t so fortunate.
After a top of the ninth that saw Danny B̶o̶n̶d̶s̶ Jansen crush a deep double into left field driving in three runs to give Toronto a 7-3 lead, an unlikely bullpen arm fell apart: Erik Swanson. Heading into the night there hasn’t been much more the Jays could have asked from Swanson.
He’s been crucial for the team in high-leverage situations, but for the first time all year, that wasn’t the case last night. The Jays had a 98 percent chance to win the game heading into the bottom of the ninth, and Swanson allowed four earned runs off five singles and the game was off to extras.
After Dodgers reliever Brusdar Graterol took down the Jays side in order, Mitch White entered the game for Toronto. Yeah, you know what happened next. Woof.
For Swanson, it was particularly tough. As I mentioned above, he’d been nearly flawless this year. He had only allowed two runs five times this season and any runs period in 10 of his 47 appearances. Getting pegged with four runs against last night took his sparkling 2.89 ERA down to a 3.59, even though his FIP remains in a great spot at 3.83.
Nonetheless, the Jays turn the page to today as Yusei Kikuchi looks to help secure a series victory coming off what might be his best performance in the blue and white. Kikuchi’s last start saw him go five and a third innings against the Seattle Mariners and issue one walk and five hits while fanning eight of the 21 batters he faced. It was one of four games this year he didn’t allow an earned run.
Kikuchi’s had some issues against the Dodgers in the past allowing eight earned runs off eight hits and five walks across 11 innings, but LA is trotting out a softer lineup than typical with a few players who struggle against lefties.
First pitch: 10:10 p.m EST
Toronto Blue Jays: 56-46, 6.5 GB, – WCGB, +39 DIFF.
LA Dodgers: 58-42, – GB, – WCGB, +104 DIFF.
Odds via Betano:
Moneyline: TOR +107; LAD -125.
Starting pitchers:
TOR: Yusei Kikcuhi HP – 7-3, 20 GS, 103.1 IP. 3.92 ERA, 4.95 FIP, 1.268 WHIP, 9.4 SO/9, 2.7 BB/9.
LAD: Tony Gonsolin RHP – 5-3, 15 GS, 77.2 IP. 3.94 ERA, 4.73 FIP, 1.082 WHIP, 7.3 SO/9, 3.5 BB/9.
  1. G Springer (R) RF
  2. B Bichette (R) SS
  3. B Belt (L) DH
  4. V Guerrero Jr. (R) 1B
  5. M Chapman (R) 3B
  6. W Merrifield (R) LF
  7. D Varsho (L) CF
  8. D Jansen (R) C
  9. C Biggio (L) 2B
  1. M Betts (R) RF
  2. F Freeman (L) 1B
  3. J Martinez (R) DH
  4. C Taylor (R) LF
  5. M Muncy (L) 3B
  6. K Hernández (R) 2B
  7. J Outman (L) CF
  8. M Rojas (R) SS
  9. A Barnes (R) C

Need to bide the time until first pitch?

Tune into the latest edition of Blue Jays Nation Radio as the crew talks about the Jays’ latest series against the Seattle Mariners.


Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at zach@oilersnation.com.

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