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José Berríos’s strong outings against the Astros and White Sox are reason for optimism

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Photo credit:Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports
Nick Prasad
11 months ago
The Toronto Blue Jays pulled off a sweep of the Chicago White Sox this week and front and centre was the strong work of their starting pitchers. 
Chris Bassitt was quality in the opener against Chicago on Monday and Yusei Kikuchi tossed another strong outing in the sweep on Wednesday, but the gem from José Berríos between those two is what stands out the most.
Berríos had a rough time with Peurto Rico in the World Baseball Classic and those struggles bled into the start of the Blue Jays’ regular season. The right-hander led off the season in early April with an 11.17 ERA after giving up 12 earned runs on 15 hits in just his first two games against the Kansas City Royals and Los Angeles Angels. This was fairly alarming in Blue Jay world as assumptions of where Berríos would fit in as a pitcher began to churn. 
Fast forward to April 25, Berríos took the mound at the Rogers Center in front of 28,917 fans to battle the White Sox. Needless to say, Berríos was spectacular in his outing, going seven strong innings, only allowing four hits, one walk, and striking out nine White Sox hitters for a 7-0 Blue Jays victory. 
What did we see from Jose Berríos? There were a ton of positive differences from his performance beyond the numbers in his pitching line.
Let’s start with comfort and composure! Berríos was dialled in and relaxed in each of his matchups. His delivery and finish were fluent and calculated without hesitation. His fastball command was on point, locating the heater effectively on the top and bottom shelf and he was able to work the corners while dancing in the strike zone. Berríos’ off-speed selections were also effective and used confidently in very calculated at-bats. 
He finished the game with 103 pitches, 69 of those being strikes. He started 14 of the 25 at-bats with first-pitch strikes, along with 22 called strikes, and 16 swinging strikes. 14 strikes from Berríos were in play and led to seven ground outs and four fly outs. 
In his past three starts, he’s struck out 18 batters and has given up only three earned runs on 11 hits and three walks in 19 innings pitched. Jose Berríos has turned a corner and Blue Jays fans are in some sort of relief. Berríos has improved to 2-3 with a 4.71 ERA.
This is the best run of pitching the Blue Jays have received from Berríos since the 2021 season when they acquired him from the Minnesota Twins. Berríos was great for the Blue Jays down the stretch that season and the hope is that he’s found his groove and can continue to provide the team with quality innings.

ARTICLE PRESENTED BY BETANO

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